Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Interstitial Cystitis and Prescription Pain Medications

Pain Medication Policies
I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the media and legislators who want to put more restrictions on prescription medications. I work with chronic pain patients every day who have very painful bladders often along with other painful conditions, so it strikes me as evil to put more controls on life-saving drugs when I know millions (yes millions) depend on them to have some sense of a normal life. Dependence of this sort is NOT the same as addiction or abuse. Each of those words has its own, distinct medical definition.

I don't believe the answer is to over-regulate the drugs for people who "depend" on them. Imagine already having a chronic illness where you have to go to the doctor several times a year, then asking that same person to go to the doctor every 30 days to renew their prescription. Rather than make life even harder for people who really NEED the medications, let's provide deliberate and consistent education about keeping these drugs locked up if someone is prescribed them and allow for enhanced identification and intervention for those who abuse (usually illegally) or those who are addicted (a physical and mental health condition). This WebMd article is very thoughtful on the topic: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/prescription-painkiller-addiction-7-myths?page=1

Ok, that's my soapbox for the day. What are your thoughts?

Julie Beyer, MA, RDN
Author, Speaker, Patient Advocate

Diet Is One of the First Line Treatments for IC/BPS

For step by step guidance for creating your own personal interstitial cystitis meal plan, see: Confident Choices®: Customizing the Interstitial Cystitis Diet.

For some basic, family-style, IC bladder-friendly recipes, see: Confident Choices®: A Cookbook for Interstitial Cystitis and Overactive Bladder

For health care workers:  Interstitial Cystitis: A Guide for Nutrition Educators


  1. Here is another article talking about the differences between dependence, addiction, and abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-abuse-addiction

  2. As someone who suffers from IC, Gastroparesis and Postherpetic Neuralgia, I'm very frustrated with the restrictions the government is putting on the medications that enable me to get out of the house, make a living and try to enjoy that life. I take the least amount that I need to get by...why should I be punished for needing these medications? Being in constant pain is a horrifying way to live.

    1. I totally agree, Carolyn. It seems like the honest people who really need the help are eclipsed by those who abuse and break the law. Sending you understanding hugs...

  3. Doctorsrs who are "specialists" will say "we don't feel the need to givr pain meds". When you are sobbing and in pain. Can't sleep , work , or parent because of the pain. Really ? It's cruel. Interstitial cystitis is as bad as cancer pain! Those of us who've had both know there's little difference. It's so sad , we barely can get through a day let alone work and not lose our jobs. Why? what can we do suffer in pain? Live a half life forever? Help !!!

    1. Kristi, it is important that you find another doctor who specializes in IC. You can find a great list at www.ic-network.com/md I know you are frustrated, but don't lose hope. You CAN feel better!

  4. A combination of treatments is the best approach and Finding the optimal individual treatment protocol may also require a period of trial and error. At this time there is no cure for interstitial cystitis (IC). There are, however, many available treatment options to help relieve the symptoms of bladder pain, urgency, and frequency.