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Elmiron: Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium

Elmiron pensosan polysulfate chronic pelvic pain prostatitisInterstitial cystitis, a chronic pelvic pain condition seen maily in women, has been theorized to result from defects in the urothelium: The lining of the bladder. Among the treatments commonly used to treat interstitial cystitis is the oral medication pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron), a sugar-based partly synthetic plant derivative  that is believed to "coat" the lining of the bladder and thus reduce symptoms.

Because of the clinical similarities between chronic prostatitis in men and interstitial cystitis mainly in women, it has been suggested that Elmiron could be also effective for chronic prostatitis.

2005 multicenter study set out to examine the therapeutic effect of Elmiron in men with chronic prostatitis. The study involved 100 patients with an age range of 18 to 50 years (mean ages 37.5 and 40.8 years for the placebo and Elmiron arms, respectively) and a clinical chronic prostatitis of at 3 months. Each was treated with either placebo or Elmiron by mouth 3 times daily, each capsule containing 300 milligrams. Study participants reported side effects including nausea and diarrhea.

The changes in the symptom scores as measured by the Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (CPSI) were:

  • From 26 pre-treatment to 23 by 16 weeks in the placebo group  (-3)
  • From 27 pre-treatment to 21 by 16 weeks in the Elmiron group  (-6)
At the dosing tested, the Elmiron group had a statistically significant greater reduction in symptomatic improvement. It was associated

Would it work for older patients and/or patients whose illness had endured longer and/or who had failed many treatments?
Would the effect be more pronounced with longer administration?
How clinically meaningful is a symptomatic drop of 6 points?
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