Medical Treatments

At this time there is no cure for IC/BPS. There are, however, many available treatment options to help relieve the symptoms of bladder pain, urgency, and frequency.

IC/BPS Treatments

For most people with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), a combination of treatments is the best approach. Finding the optimal individual treatment protocol may also require a period of trial and error. IC/BPS treatments may include:

IC/BPS Pain Medicines

IC Diet & Self Management

Ways to help control symptoms: diet modificationstress management, and healthy sleep habits.

Different approaches to the IC diet: allergy testing, gluten-free diets, IC Food List, antiyeast therapy, alkaline diets, nutrition supplements, and IC-friendly recipes.

Physical Therapy

Learn about hands-on therapy and tools PTs use. Also get tips on how to find a knowledgeable PT and pay for therapy.


Learn about tricyclics (amitriptyline aka Elavil), SSRIs (Prozac, Paxil), SNRIs (Cymbalta), NRIs (Strattera), and bupropion (Wellbutrin).


Hydroxyzine is most widely used; however, some people with IC find relieve from Claritin, Benadryl, and Singulair.

Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium

Pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron) is the only oral medicine that is FDA approved for IC.

Bladder Instillations

Bladder instillations are mixtures of medicines put directly into the bladder. Read about DMSO, Sodium Hyaluronate, Heparin, and cocktails.


Read about Cyclosporine, Mycophenolate (CellCept), and Mycophenolate mofetil as potential IC/BPS treatments.

Surgical Procedures

Laser surgery is helpful for Hunner’s Ulcers. Other bladder surgeries—such as cystoscopy with hydrodistention—are considered a treatment of last resort.


Electrical nerve stimulators, also known as neuromodulators, have been helpful for many IC/BPS patients—products include UrgentPC, InterStim, Eon Mino, and IF3WAVE.

Other Medicines

IC/BPS treatment protocols may also include lots of other medicines such as alpha blockers (Flomax), amphetamines, anti-seizure meds (Neurontin), histamine blockers (Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid), leukotriene inhibitors, prostaglandins (NSAIDS, ibuprofen), urinary antacids (potassium or sodium citrate, tricitrates), and urinary tract antispasmodics (Detrol, Toviaz, VESIcare).

Learn more about IC/BPS therapies: