How do urinary analgesics work?
- Phenazopyridine: Phenazopyridine is an over-the-counter azo dye medication that works as a painkiller by soothing the lining of the urinary tract. Phenazopyridine does not treat the cause of urinary irritation but can relieve symptoms until other treatments start working.
- Pentosan polysulfate sodium: Pentosan polysulfate sodium is a polysaccharide (carbohydrate) and a weak anticoagulant medication, prescribed to treat bladder pain. Pentosan polysulfate sodium is thought to adhere to the mucous membrane (mucosa) of the bladder wall and protect the tissue from irritating substances in the urine.
How are urinary analgesics used?
Urinary analgesics are administered as tablets or capsules to treat urinary tract and bladder pain from conditions such as:
- Dysuria (pain or burning during urination)
- Irritation of lower urinary tract mucosa
- Interstitial cystitis, a painful bladder condition that causes frequent and urgent urination
Pentosan polysulfate sodium also has orphan use designation in the treatment of:
- Sickle cell disease: Sickle cell disease is a condition in which red blood cells become misshapen and sickle-shaped, break down early, and can block blood flow. The anticoagulant properties of pentosan polysulfate sodium can help improve blood flow.
- Mucopolysaccharidosis type IV: Mucopolysaccharidosis is a rare hereditary disorder in which the body is unable to properly break down mucopolysaccharides (chain of sugar molecules), also known as glycosaminoglycans (GAG). Consequently, GAG builds up and disrupts cellular functions. Pentosan polysulfate protects the bladder mucosa from GAG in urine.
What are side effects of urinary analgesics?
Side effects of urinary analgesics may include the following:
- Pruritus (itching)
- Mild gastrointestinal disturbances
- Methemoglobinemia (abnormal blood levels of methemoglobin, a form of hemoglobin)
- Hemolytic anemia (anemia from rapid destruction of red cells)
- Skin pigmentation
- Transient acute kidney failure
- Renal calculi (kidney stones)
- Staining of contact lenses
- Hepatic/renal toxicity (toxicity to liver/kidney)
Pentosan polysulfate sodium
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal hemorrhage
- Elevated liver function test values
- Leukopenia (low count of leukocytes, a type of immune cell)
- Increased time for blood clotting
- Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
- Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
- Retinal hemorrhage
- Pigmentary changes in the retina
Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.