New Treatment Developments For Interstitial Cystitis


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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  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?
      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!
    In pain!

  3. Hi This is great news and particularly in the UK where treatment options seems to be poor and confined to ant-spasmodics and if formally diagnosed following invasive testing , elmiron.

    I have Interstitial cystitis and what helps me is drinking lots of water, having a bland diet and also a specific brand of aloe Vera capsules. I have also had some success with famotodine. I feel that this antistamine must be effective to reduce inflamation. Attempting to go as long as possible before voiding also seems to calm symptoms. I hope this helps someone.

  4. Rebecca From Michigan November 9, 2016
    Also suffering from Interstitial Cystitis. This is one miserable nightmare of a condition to live with. Thought I was cured of this bladder condition, but it came back on me months ago, after suffering depression and stress with the loss of my dog. I also have Candida too.

    • I have had ic since I was forty. I’m m 56 now. I believe that if you have candida you need to do everything you can to reduce candida. No alcohol or sweets. Eat wholefoods as much as possible. I’m vegan but that came later for other reasons. I also decided that flooding my bladder with water did not work for me. Honestly I’m felt like it just taxed me bladder. And my bladder needed a rest. I have a normal life. In the beginning I didn’t think that was possible.

  5. Linda Coleman says:

    Linda in Kentucky, I was diagnosed with IC in 2000. I had a high stress corporate job. At that time the doctors were treating me for UTI and the antibiotics were only making me worse. A Nurse practioner told me to go to a uralogist and they did a bladder distinction to diagnose the IC. It’s been 17 years. I take acidophilus, a pro-biotic every day along with 1,500 mg of magnesium tablets. For me I have found that the gel caps bother me. I have been gluten-free, dairy-free and mostly grain free too for 3 years. That has helped out a lot. I flare in the Spring and Fall with the allergies, and with too much acid in my system. It can be an aweful disease to deal with.

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