Elmiron is the only FDA-approved drug for treating the bladder condition, Interstitial Cystitis, which is painful and incurable. Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis include chronic pelvic pain, frequent urination, urinating often or urgently, and pain or pressure in the bladder, urethra, and lower back — including during sexual intercourse. Elmiron is also used to treat Osteoarthritis.
Elmiron is prescribed on a constant, long-term regimen in order to continue providing relief from these symptoms. Most patients typically take Elmiron for years at a time on a regular basis — usually one 100-mg. capsule three times daily.
The drug’s label mentions that patients may not see benefits for at least the first six months.
In the 2018 study, 24% of patients showed Pentosan-associated maculopathy, and those who didn’t exhibit macular damage had taken lower doses of the drug over shorter periods of time.
Long-term use of Elmiron causes small, dark spots to appear on the macula and retina, hence the term “Pigmentary Maculopathy.”