Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New study tests amitriptyline for painful bladder syndrome


A new study will test an FDA-approved antidepressant for its potential to alleviate bladder pain for which there is no known cause and no effective therapy. Thousands, if not millions, of patients may benefit. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Ten medical centers in the United States and Canada are recruiting adults newly diagnosed with either painful bladder syndrome (PBS) or interstitial cystitis (IC) to learn if the oral drug amitriptyline (Elavil®) will reduce the pain and frequent urination that are hallmarks of the conditions. The centers make up the Interstitial Cystitis Clinical Research Network, sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at NIH.

PBS is defined by symptoms--frequent urination day and night and increasing pain as the bladder fills--according to the International Continence Society. The syndrome includes IC, which has been estimated to affect as many as 700,000 people, mostly women. Estimates for PBS vary widely, but as many as 10 million people may suffer from this condition.

The 270 participants will be randomly assigned to take up to 75 milligrams of amitriptyline or a placebo each day for 14 to 26 weeks. All will practice suppressing the urge to urinate for increasingly longer stretches until they can wait 3 or 4 hours before going to the bathroom. Participants will also regulate when and how much they drink and avoid bladder irritants such as alcohol, acidic foods and carbonated or caffeinated drinks. Staff and patients will find out who received the amitriptyline when the study is finished. Medications and tests are free to participants. Although amitriptyline is primarily used for depression, the way it works makes it useful for treating the pain of fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic pain syndromes. Prior small studies in IC suggested the drug may be a wise choice for this syndrome as well, because it blocks nerve signals that trigger pain and may also decrease muscle spasms in the bladder, helping to cut both pain and frequent urination. An average of 75 milligrams of amitriptyline a day may begin relieving IC pain within a week. In contrast, doses in the range of 150 to 300 milligrams are generally used to treat depression.

"Like so many potential treatments tried before it, amitriptyline looks promising. And we are desperate to find a safe and effective treatment for patients. But until the drug is rigorously tested we won’t know its true value in these syndromes," said Leroy M. Nyberg Jr., Ph.D., M.D., who oversees IC research sponsored by NIDDK. "And we’ll never know if we are raising false hopes for patients, and unnecessarily spending health care dollars on prescriptions, if we don’t do this study. It’s critical to base our treatment decisions on evidence."

Eligibility criteria for the amitriptyline trial mark a major departure from two prior IC studies supported by NIDDK. The current trial is enlisting newly diagnosed adults and only those who have not yet received treatment.

Following up on earlier promising research supported by NIDDK, participants’ urine will be checked for substances that may, ultimately, lead to a definitive test for diagnosing IC and for measuring the effectiveness of potential treatments.

Mary M. Harris | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Steering a fusion plasma toward stability

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Bioluminescent sensor causes brain cells to glow in the dark

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Activation of 2 genes linked to development of atherosclerosis

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>