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More Details on Pentosan

Important Information for Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk to your healthcare provider prior to taking pentosan if you have any of the following:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you may already be taking, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Elmiron Precautions and Warnings for more information on this topic, including information on who should not take pentosan.)

How Does Pentosan Work?

Pentosan is actually a weak blood thinner. It is not completely understood how pentosan works, but it is believed that it works by helping to rebuild the mucous lining of your bladder.
After taking pentosan, the drug dissolves and eventually ends up in your bladder. Here, it sticks to the bladder wall (instead of being removed with urine) and helps rebuild the lining.


In clinical studies, pentosan was able to improve bladder pain in about 38 percent of women with chronic interstitial cystitis, while 18 percent of women taking a placebo (sugar pill) had improved symptoms of interstitial cystitis.
Patients may not feel relief from interstitial cystitis pain for the first two to four months. A decrease in urinary frequency may take up to six months. Patients are urged to continue with pentosan for at least six months to give the drug an adequate chance to relieve interstitial cystitis symptoms.
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