New Approaches in Managing Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome

Amber Jerauld, PharmD, BCACP; Lyndsay Wormuth, PharmD, BCACP; Brent Carlson, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP


US Pharmacist. 2016;41(9):29-33. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is a chronic condition of the bladder, which causes pain or discomfort in the absence of infection or other identifiable causes. The exact etiology of IC/BPS is unknown, leading to controversy regarding treatment. The American Urological Association guideline recommends a stepwise approach in the selection of treatment options, based on patient characteristics and the severity of symptoms. Due to the difficulty in fully understanding this condition, the goal of therapy is to provide symptom relief and improve quality of life.


Interstitial cystitis (IC) and bladder pain syndrome (BPS) or painful bladder syndrome are terms that are used together to describe a chronic condition involving bladder pain or discomfort, which can have a significant impact on quality of life. Chronic bladder pain has historically been referred to as interstitial cystitis; however, since there is no clear evidence that bladder inflammation (cystitis) is involved in the pathophysiology or that the condition is associated with abnormalities of the interstices of the bladder, it has been thought to be misnamed.[1] The term BPS is not used alone because of the previous efforts to identify IC as a debilitating medical condition, so for continuity reasons it is called IC/BPS.