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"What medications help treat interstitial cystitis?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat medications help treat interstitial cystitis?


I have had what I thought was just a urinary tract infection for a while. I tried to treat it with a round of antibiotics that didn't seem to get rid of it completely, so now I'm thinking I might have interstitial cystitis. Are there special medications for treating interstitial cystitis? If so, what are they? Would I just end up taking more antibiotics?


Interstitial cystitis is a syndrome that causes painful urination, sudden urges to urinate, and pressure feelings within the bladder when it fills up only a small amount. These symptoms are also consistent with other possible diseases that would need to be ruled out before Interstitial cystitis can be diagnosed. Treatment of interstitial cystitis is challenging. There are no magic medicines that have been shown definitively to help most patients. Some urologist will choose anti-depressants such as amitriptyline which have shown to give some patients relief. Other possibilities are the addition of an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine which may help to reduce symptoms. If medications fail to provide relief, then there are urologic procedures that can be tried. I suggest you schedule an appointment with you primary care physician and describe your symptoms to him or her. After a thorough history, physical exam and urine analysis with culture, then perhaps interstitial cystitis will be suspected. If suspected, then your doctor may refer you to a urologist who may be better equipped to perform the necessary tests for diagnosis. I would not begin any treatments until then because you do not want to have to endure any unnecessary side effects. Good luck.

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