Elmiron (Pentosan Polysulfate)
Elmiron (Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium) Medication Information
Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate) treats interstitial cystitis, a condition with pain and feelings of pressure on the bladder. The pain ranges from mild to severe.
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that mostly affects women. It is often confused for a urinary tract infection (UTI) but is not an infection.
Other symptoms include frequent urination, a persistent urge to urinate, pain during intercourse, and pain in the pelvis.
The cause of interstitial nephritis is not known, but healthcare professionals believe it’s a problem with the lining of the bladder. Small leaks in the cell layer may cause urine to irritate the bladder.
Elmiron is thought to work by adhering to the cells of the bladder wall and protecting it from toxic substances.
The dose of Elmiron is 100 mg by mouth three times daily. Treatment usually continues for three months, and your doctor might extend the treatment for an additional three months.
Common side effects of Elmiron include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal liver enzymes
- Rectal Hemorrhage
- Retinal hemorrhage
- Skin rash
Elmiron has a similar structure to anticoagulant medications, which are used to slow down the amount of time the blood takes to clot. Anticoagulants are usually used to treat clotting disorders and increase the likelihood of non-fatal and fatal bleeding events. Elmiron is an anticoagulant, but it is unknown if this property contributes to its effects in interstitial cystitis. Use caution if you are taking anticoagulants or other medications that affect the platelets.
Long-term use of Elmiron can change the color of the retina in some people. This effect is more common in people with risk factors and those who use it for long periods.
Elmiron has drug-drug interactions with the following medications.
- Antiplatelet drugs
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Store Elmiron at controlled room temperature 15°-30°C (59°-86°F).
- Elmiron is a week anticoagulant and may increase the risk of bleeding, so tell your doctor if you are taking any anticoagulants, antiplatelets, or any of the following over-the-counter medications: naproxen, ibuprofen, or aspirin.
- Tell your doctor if you have an upcoming surgery. Elmiron may need to be stopped before the surgery and restarted afterward.
- Take Elmiron on an empty stomach, one hour before meals or two hours after.
How long will I be taking Elmiron?
The package insert recommends taking it for three to six months, but your healthcare provider may decide to keep you on it for longer. ‘
What if I miss a dose of Elmiron?
Take it as soon as you remember and skip the dose if it is close to your next dose. Do not double up.
How long will it take Elmiron to start working?
You should notice a difference within a few days of starting Elmiron. Tell your doctor if you do not notice a difference after two weeks.
- Elmiron [package insert]. Raritan, NJ: Division of Ortho−McNeil−Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; 2002.
*Product image for reference use only
Author: Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS
Dr. Sheehy is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. He has worked in multiple practice settings, including retail and hospital pharmacies, and in medical clinics. He specializes in anticoagulation, psychiatric medications, and diabetes medications. He strives to empower his patients to understand their medications and improve their overall medical care.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.