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Do Muscle Relaxers Help Interstitial Cystitis & Can IC Lead To Cancer?

Interstitial cystitis is an adverse bladder condition, which causes various problems in urination and long-term pain in the pelvic region. Doctors also refer it a bladder pain syndrome or painful bladder syndrome.(1)

IC is one of the chronic bladder problems and hence, it affects about 4 million to 12 millon people belonging to different areas of the United States.(2)

In most of the cases, patients of interstitial cystitis experience painful urinary symptoms. However, symptoms may vary among people largely. For instance, a few people have mild pressure, discomfort, and tenderness in their pelvic regions. Other patients suffer from intense pain in the urinary bladder or deal with urinary urgency i.e. sudden urge to urinate or frequency i.e. needs to pee frequently.(3)

Discomfort in IC patients may be anything from a mild sensation of burning to a severe form of pain. Moreover, a few patients have an infrequent or persistent level of discomfort, while others experience remission.(4)

Muscle relaxants or muscle relaxers are certain medications used mainly for the treatment of muscle spasticity or muscle spasms. A few of the muscle relaxants are useful to give short-term relief to pain and inflammation associated with urinary tract infection.(5)

Do Muscle Relaxers Help Interstitial Cystitis?

Muscle relaxants or muscle relaxers help a lot to relieve various symptoms related to interstitial cystitis. They mainly prevent the bladder from squeezing at wrong intervals of time. Based on broad classifications, muscle relaxers types of medications are available in the following major categories-

Antidepressant Medications: Antidepressants and other pain-relieving medications are useful to relieve pain in patients suffering from interstitial cystitis.

Tricyclic Antidepressant Medications: Tricyclic types of antidepressants, like for instance Amitriptyline has proved to bring improvements in the pain and reduce the problem of frequent urination in various patients suffering from interstitial cystitis.(6)

Anti-inflammatory Medications: Anti-inflammatory types of medications are available as Diclofenac or anything similar. These medications help reduce the problem of inflammation.

Other Relaxants: Along with the aforementioned medications, doctors also recommend Oxybutynin and other oral medications to calm the contractions done by bladder muscles. Alternatively, a few of the doctors also recommend for hydroxyzine or any other antihistamine medicine to deal with pain and inflammation problems.(7)

Does Interstitial Cystitis Cause Bladder Cancer?

Interstitial cystitis disease is not a contagious one and hence, it never spreads in your body and never becomes worse with time. Moreover, doctors said that the problem is not a major cause behind bladder cancer.(8)

However, another research study has shown that repeated or chronic types of urinary infections i.e. inflammatory interstitial cystitis takes place because of using a urinary catheter for a long time. This will increase your risk to suffer from a squamous type of cell bladder cancer. In a few of the areas across the world, squamous type of cell carcinoma has relations with the inflammation of chronic bladder caused mainly from parasitic infection i.e. schistosomiasis.(9)


To conclude, we should say that muscle relaxers or muscle relaxants types of medications help in reducing pain, inflammation, and other types of discomfort in patients suffering from interstitial cystitis. Moreover, depending on the condition of patients, interstitial cystitis may or may not cause bladder cancer.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 30, 2020

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