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What about taking drugs when you get older?

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  • What about taking drugs when you get older?

    I thought I would ask this question here because this site has been around a long time. I always avoided taking drugs for the past 50 years as much as possible except for dire flares so I never became an expert as to what worked. I dappled. I only took elmiron for 2 six month periods and both times quit because it did not seem to do anything. I also would take such drugs as amitriptyline or benedryl or uribel just for short periods and when I felt better I would stop basically because I was just scared of them and the thought of taking something for the rest of my life was daunting. I also realized that my IC seem to vary so much that usually time or a change in diet would pull me out of flare; then I would slide back into my bad habits like drinking a little coffee or even having sex (which I always paid for later). I tried many therapies such as instills and PT (many therapists many times) but nothing seem to really impress me as doing very much. Now I am older and I realize I have to keep up with vaginal estrogen (pretty sure that seems a no brainer to help). I also have been getting into more flares which last longer. I have a virtual pharmacy in my closet and my urologist is happy to refill it for the most part. She is quite clueless really about how to help me at this point so she goes along with what I ask for for the most part, even a little valium, which is like having gold as that is the one drug that works best, but I know how dangerous it can be, being a controlled substance. However, if I look up the various drugs, such as hyoscamine for instance, there are warnings - don't take over the age of 65! All those types of drugs for the most part carry warnings as such. Not only can they contribute to dementia, they can tax your liver or kidneys eventually or make you dizzy. Does anybody have any idea about how to handle the pain of IC, especially the kind that causes great sleep disruption (which in itself is dangerous) as one gets older, like in your 60's,70's,80's even beyond. Are you willing to continue to take the same drugs you did when you were younger? Has anyone had a discussion with their doctor about this subject? Thanks to anyone who can try to answer.
    I got IC in 1970! I was not diagnosed until 1991. I've tried many drugs and therapies but I tend to only resort to drugs when in a flare because when I am not in a flare (from being good on diet), I suffer only from small bladder volume (like about 7 ozs.) and peeing will relieve the discomfort. When I am feeling relatively normal, I say to myself I am glad I am not on a drug. When I am in a flare, I say, why am I not on a drug! I've recently have been trying to solve my connective issue problems in general. I look to diet and herbs mostly unless it gets really bad. I still think there is great hope for each individual finding a path to healing and there are many.

  • #2
    I share your concerns. I would continue keeping dosages to minimum necessary to treat and avoid altogether if possible. Routine blood tests can monitor liver and kidney function. If there are signs of memory loss or confusion, I'd stop all anticholinergics if possible.

    Valium can cause dependency even in young people, so I don't take it. It also doesn't help you get restorative sleep, it's like getting drunk, you think you're sleeping, but really you're just passed out.

    My sleep has been a mess for the longest, so I'm not really one to give advise on this. Though I slept through the night last night. It's the first time in years and I'm hoping for a repeat.


    • #3
      I am also over 65. I talked to my Dr about sleeping aids. He prefers that I stick with CBD or CBD/THC gummies vs taking prescription medication. I previously took Xanax or Flexeril on nights that I had trouble sleeping. I share your reservations about medication, however, I am having a long flare, and this time it includes burning and general pelvic pain. Controlling my diet also used to work for me without medication, but this time is different. If you are having a lot of pain, maybe Azo or Uribel will help your pain enough to sleep. Please let us know what works.


      • #4
        I'm a senior citizen who takes several medications. I'm also a cancer survivor (11 years since diagnosis). I don't like taking all my medications, but without them, I would probably not be able to function. Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do! I think it's wise to be medication cautious.

        I sleep with a bipap --- if you snore, a sleep study might be a good idea for you. When I did mine, I had 74 incidents per hour of irregular breathing. With my bipap I feel rested in the morning and the machine says I have less than ten incidents per hour.

        Stay safe

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        I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

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        • #5
          Good suggestion Donna for the sleep study. These problems can be a little "chicken and egg". I spent years trying to get my sleep apnea controlled. Once I finally succeeded with a dental device, I found that my bladder was also a major part of my sleep problem.