pentosan, Elmiron

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is pentosan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Pentosan is a semi-synthetic (man-made) drug that resembles the anticoagulant ("blood thinner") heparin and is used for treating the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. Interstitial cystitis is a condition, usually of unknown cause, in which there is inflammation of the urinary bladder that most frequently causes pelvic pain and frequent urination. The exact mechanism whereby pentosan reduces the symptoms of interstitial cystitis also is unknown; however, scientists believe that pentosan may coat the lining of the bladder and prevent irritating substances in the urine from reaching the cells of the lining. The FDA approved pentosan in September 1996.

What brand names are available for pentosan?

Elmiron

Is pentosan available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for pentosan?

: Yes

What are the side effects of pentosan?

The most common side effects of pentosan are:

Other important side effects include abnormalities of liver tests in the blood. Bleeding from the rectum and other areas also may occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/23/2015

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