7.4.3 Drugs used in urological pain

NHS England (NHSE) has published new prescribing guidance for various common conditions for which over the counter (OTC) items should not be routinely prescribed in primary care (quick reference guide). One of these conditions is mild cystitis.

Many of these products e.g. potassium citrate mixtures are cheap to buy and are readily available OTC along with advice from pharmacies. Some self-care medicines are available from shops and supermarkets. Please click here for further information, exceptions, and a patient leaflet.

Potassium Citrate Mixture BP
  • Oral solution (£1.38 = 200ml)


  1. Potassium citrate is used to alkalinise urine, if pH testing first confirms it to be strongly acid, but it should not be used as sole treatment for infective cystitis.
  2. Potassium citrate may cause severe hyperkalaemia, even when renal function is normal, and it should be used with great care in the elderly and if there is renal or cardiac disease.
Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium
  • Capsules 100mg


  1. NICE TA610: Pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron) is recommended as an option for treating bladder pain syndrome with glomerulations or Hunner's lesions in adults with urinary urgency and frequency, and moderate to severe pain, only when the criteria of the NICE TA are met (November 2019)
  2. MHRA Drug Safety Update (September 2019): Cases of pigmentary maculopathy leading to visual impairment have been reported with pentosan polysulfate, particularly after long-term use at high doses. Ensure patients taking pentosan polysulfate have regular ophthalmic examinations and ask them to promptly seek medical advice in case of visual changes.
Last updated: 04-09-2019


Home > Formulary > Chapters > 7. Obstetrics, gynaecology, and urinary-tract disorders > 7.4 Drugs for genito-urinary disorders > 7.4.3 Drugs used in urological pain


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