So, being the intrepid research scientist that I am (seriously, I contracted to NASA for two years), I did some digging. Here's what was discovered:
Interstitial Cystitis (ICN) Bladder Pain Support Forum
Just wanted to put it out there for those that use it- that Urised has been discontinued by the manufacturer (Amerifit) and according to them it is permanent. I liked Urised the best out of all of the antispasmodics. This was effective in late 2007
There is a near-substitute, Prosed, which has had it's own problems. So, here's the rest of the story:
As mentioned above, Urised was produced by a company called "Amerifit Brands", which apparently purchased it's former manufacturer, American Urological sometime after 1999. Everything was copasetic until 07 November 2007, when this occurred. (well worth linking to, and they sent it via FEDEX!)
Shortly thereafter, the remaining stock was sold off, and Urised was destined to never be seen again.
Oh - wait, THERE'S MORE!!
Anyone having to purchase medications containing pseudoephedrine can tell you of the rigamarole that you now have to go through. A driver's License, passport, birth certificate, iris scan, and third-degree interrogation seem to be commonplace because of the pseudoephedrine controls initiated at the state level. This law has made it more difficult for diversion of the substance, which is a precursor to methamphetamine, to be purchased by clandestine manufacturers of illicit meth, thus making manufacture of meth almost impossible, correct??
Well, it turns out that Urised contained a chemical called methanamine, which metabolizes into formaldehyde in the urinary tract. Methanamine is also a precursor to methamphetmine, and a DEA Schedule C-I Controlled Substance, which made Urised a possible target for meth labs as a source of the base ingredient. It seems the formulation of Urised is easily separated by the backyard chemist. Prosed uses a proprietary process to sequester the methanamine, making its separation darn near impossible. Rumors were, that in order to continue the manufacture of Urised, Amerifit would have been required to also sequester the Methanamine.
YES, THERE'S STILL MORE!!
CHAPTER TWO POINT ONE
A little more research yielded a treasure-trove of info on Amerifit Brands, and their "alleged" quality control issues. It turns out that Amerifit is/was one of the leading manufacturers of non-prescription (which often contained ephedra) diet pills and programs (can you say "Accutrim"?). Much of this mess started with the push to restrict the sale of ephedra and pseudoephedrine in 2004 (election season), and concluded with the restriction of phenylproponalamine (PPA) and ephedra under the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. Whatever occurred, in 2010 Martek Biosciences Corporation followed through with the purchase of Amerifit Brands.
People who have various lower urinary tract disorders no longer have the peace of mind (without the large out-of-pocket cost) and relief offered by Urised for more than fifty years!
Say thank you to your local meth addict!
That's all she wrote folks, it's ProsedDS® or nothing, and that a damn shame....
BTW: I settled for its more expensive half-brother, ProsedDS®. <---hey, it's better than nothing!
UPDATE: 22 JULY 2012
The makers of ProsedDS® had a few QC Hiccups in September of 2011, and as of this writing, it has pretty much disappeared from pharmacy stock. Hyophen®, a similar, and slightly less expensive alternative (again, without the atropine liability of Urised®, and at a slightly lesser expense than ProsedDS® appeared in our pharmacies earlier this year. The jury is still out on it's effectiveness, however, Hyophen® provides an alternative to phenazopyridine. A much welcomed alternative.
UPDATE: 30 JULY 2012
The initial information that we received regarding Hyophen® was that it was intended to be a similar performer to ProsedDS® and Urelle®, but would be available at lower pricing; that information was partially in error. To my astonishment, I paid $69.04USD for THIRTY of them. My apologies for not verifying pricing before publishing a post, you have my assurances that this will not happen again. You may have noticed a survey request for information from those taking Hyophen®. This request was made after receiving an email from a urologist who had questions about the performance of the medication. The results were informative, but not sufficient for a conclusion in any direction. ProsedDS® is off of the market; Urelle® and Hyophen® are both of similar composition and price. Let's just say that you had better have a good third party pharmacy plan should your urologist prescribe either medication. We are looking for foreign alternatives.
We have also heard that two of the ingredients in the medications have become extremely expensive, and difficult to source.
Per: Moderator Tim