New Treatment Developments For Interstitial Cystitis

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The future is looking bright for Interstitial Cystitis patients as new treatment developments are in the works. Thanks to the RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology (RICE) study, urologists and researchers have discovered that Interstitial Cystitis is more prevalent than once thought and doctors will have better methods to diagnose and treat IC with. Philip M. Hanno, MD, MPH, professor of urology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia says that the higher rate of prevalence should “stimulate the drug development, since the market may now be large enough for new products to be profitable. It should also spur academic and government-sponsored research to serve this significant population.”

One of the treatment approaches to be further studied is the use of Elavil, or amitriptyline, for the early stages of IC, which is a medication already used to treat the illness. The study is being conducted to help evaluate whether the use of amitriptyline can make a difference in the overall course of the illness if it has been diagnosed and treated in the early stages.

New treatment approaches to be studied include the use of Botox (botulinum toxin A) injections, a Chinese herbal therapy that contains a nerve-targeting plant alkaloid and acupuncture. According to Dr. Hanno:

“These are both very small studies, but they are interesting and may get more researchers interested in doing bigger, placebo-controlled trials or even looking at potential new medications based on Chinese medicine. That session will also include a report from a group of researchers working on phenotyping IC or characterizing different patient groups. It may help us with selecting proper treatments and also learning about what the cause of the disease is.”

Unfortunately, the process of getting new treatments approved is a long and expensive task with several studies, trials, and everything else that’s involved. Interstitial Cystitis patients currently only have one FDA-approved treatment method to rely on for their IC symptoms and that is Elmiron, which was approved back in 1996. It’s time we have more options available to us.

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Comments

  1. Carin E. Willis says:

    I was diagnosed with IC at the beginning of 2005 after numerous tests and visits to two urologists. The second urologist wanted to definitively diagnose me as having IC by conducting a bladder installation within his office, although I presented most of the classic signs of IC such as painful sex, overactive bladder, food sensitivities, IBS, and vaginal and bladder pain and discomfort. I spent over three years researching both Western and holistic treatments, using my own body as the proverbial guinea pig in the hope of one day helping other women with IC. The main factors in getting my IC to a manageable level include: acupuncture, a strict zero yeast elimination diet, and natural antibiotics. I found that the combination of care from Western and TCM doctors to also play a vital role in my change from a nearly suicidal woman with severe vaginal and bladder pain to someone that barely notices any of the IC-related pain and symptoms mentioned above. I believe that the latest advancements in helping IC patients is both timely and exciting given that there are a least a million women in the U.S. alone who suffer from IC.

    • Caroline says:

      Hi carin- can u please tell me exactly which supplements
      And diet you followed? Did u take any western meds that
      Were helpful?
      Thanks
      Caroline in chicago

  2. I’ve been doing much Internet research on IC and as the disease itself i find so many different “versions” if you will on what it is and how to avoid flares ect!
    Is there any real info or guidelines to follow for how to manage flares being that there seems to be a common thing going on here,that a LOT of ICers are now drug sensitive!
    Also how much research has gone into looking at how Candida effect the body,including the bladder!
    Around the area I live in the Drs look at you all crazy like and dismiss that just like your a crazy person!
    Even though from my experience so far NOT ONE understands IC to begin with so why count out any possible cause.
    I’m getting little to no help from my medical community and I’m in a flare as I write this!
    Tired!
    In pain!
    Help

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