Elmiron® Vision Loss Lawsuits

If you took Elmiron® or a similar medication and suffered vision loss or Maculopathy, you may be eligible for financial compensation.

Hughes & Coleman is now evaluating cases for a lawsuit regarding Elmiron® and other pentosan polysulfate sodium drugs. We are representing clients who have taken these medications and experienced side effects impacting their vision. Many people who have been prescribed Elmiron® have developed maculopathy, an eye disorder that affects the macula (the central part of the retina) and can in some cases lead to blindness.

If you or someone you love has taken Elmiron® or a similar drug and suffered vision loss or blindness, financial compensation may be due. The legal team at Hughes & Coleman can help you. You may be entitled to receive compensation when a company is negligent and you suffer the consequences, but you need a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer to go up against the makers of the drug that harmed you. Contact us today to schedule a free initial case evaluation, you won’t be charged anything until you receive monetary compensation from your case.

What is Elmiron®?

Elmiron® is a prescription medication used to treat interstitial cystitis, better known as “painful bladder syndrome.” Those suffering from interstitial cystitis frequently feel the need to urinate, and the condition causes bladder pressure, along with pain in the abdomen, bladder, and pelvis. The pain from this condition can be either intermittent or chronic and ranges from modest to severe.

Elmiron® works as a weak blood thinner or anticoagulant. Besides being used to treat interstitial cystitis, it has also been prescribed to treat osteoarthritis in humans, dogs, and horses. The active ingredient in Elmiron® is pentosan polysulfate sodium, which was first approved for use in oral form (pill) in 1996 to treat bladder conditions. The drug works by producing a thin mucus layer on the wall of the bladder, helping to reduce bladder inflammation and alleviate bladder discomfort.

Is Elmiron® Dangerous?

A link between Elmiron® and maculopathy was first discovered by researchers associated with the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta, GA. Between 2015 and 2018, a study was conducted with patients who had taken Elmiron® regularly for interstitial cystitis. Researchers were shocked to discover an eye disease developing in 6 female patients. This eye disease was classified as maculopathy, which refers to when the pigment cells in the eyes change color.

Symptoms of maculopathy include:

  • Blindness
  • Eye pain
  • Changes to vision in low light
  • Dark spots in center of vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Partial loss of vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Difficulty adjusting to a dark or dim room
  • Straight lines appearing curved

In addition to side-effects related to vision, Elmiron® has been found to cause:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Alopecia (hair loss)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Skin rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sleep disorders

The link to maculopathy poses a serious problem. Elmiron®, like all drugs, should be labeled to warn users of all possible side effects. However, this is not the case. While Janssen Pharmaceuticals, its maker, listed some of Elmiron’s® possible side effects, it failed to include a warning regarding vision problems or maculopathy. Thus, lawsuits are being filed against the company for failing to disclose these potential dangers.

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What is Maculopathy and How is it Linked to Elmiron®?

Maculopathy is a term referring to conditions that cause damage to the central part of the eye’s retina, the macula. The macula is the part of the eye that is responsible for visual acuity and light-sensitivity.

There are different types of maculopathy:

  • Age-related macular degeneration: This is an age-related degenerative condition that develops over time. The sight loss occurs gradually, beginning in the central field of vision.
  • Cellophane maculopathy: This condition is also referred to as “macular pucker,” which distorts vision. It is a result of a thin layer of scar tissue forming and pulling on the light-receptive nerves of the macula.
  • Malattia leventinese: Also referred to as “Doyne Honeycomb Retinal Dystrophy” (DHRD), this is an inherited form of macular degeneration. It is characterized by small, pale spots that grow within the macula and can eventually form a honeycomb pattern.

The type of macular degeneration linked with Elmiron® is known as “pigmentary maculopathy” without any known cause. Normally, macular degeneration is a condition found only in older patients. However, studies conducted by the researchers at the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta, GA, have found that patients who began taking Elmiron® in their twenties began developing reading and near-vision problems by the time they turned 30.

Should I Stop Taking Elmiron® if I Don’t Have Vision Problems?

Have you been taking Elmiron® or another pentosan polysulfate sodium medication to treat your interstitial cystitis? Even if you haven’t noticed any vision damage up to this point, it is recommended that you consult your physician as to the risks and benefits of continuing the medication.

Some ophthalmologists have recommended sticking to your annual eye exams if you choose to continue taking Elmiron®. Keep in mind that if you continue on the medication, though, by the time vision damage becomes evident, it may be too late to stop the maculopathy from developing further.

Contact an Elmiron® Lawyer Today

Ever since the link was made between Elmiron® and maculopathy, an increasing number of patients continue to come forward to pursue lawsuits against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. If you or someone you love has taken (or is currently taking) Elmiron® and is interested in filing a claim to receive financial compensation, please contact the lawyers at Hughes & Coleman today.

In order for you to receive financial compensation, there is a legal time limit during which you must file a lawsuit against the drug manufacturer. The sooner you act, the better.

The lawyers at Hughes and Coleman offer free case evaluations. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay us anything until you receive monetary compensation from your case. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 800-800-4600 or fill out the online case evaluation form.

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