Elmiron: This Common Bladder Pill Is Causing Blindness

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder condition that may trigger scarring and stiffening of the bladder walls. After decades of use, new information demonstrates a long-term medication, Elmiron, may cause retinal damage mimicking age-related macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy, resulting in blindness
  • Researchers are hopeful that if identified early, the damage may be mitigated; how the damage is triggered is unclear
  • IC causes a frequent urge to urinate, sometimes up to 60 times in a 24-hour period. It also causes pain and pressure in the bladder. Those with IC may also have migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and/or allergies. Those with pelvic floor dysfunction may find relief with physical therapy
  • Certain foods trigger symptoms in the bladder, as do stress and anxiety since it increases muscle tension. One study found symptom relief with melatonin and another with quercetin; consider using emotional freedom techniques to help reduce stress and muscle tension and to experience pain relief

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