Experiencing Vision Problems due to Elmiron? You May Be Eligible for a Lawsuit

Have you been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC) and been prescribed medication to treat the pain? Have you noticed vision problems after taking the medication?


If so, you may have been prescribed pentosan, more commonly known as Elmiron — an FDA-approved medication often prescribed to people diagnosed with painful bladder syndrome.


In August of 2020, two people filed lawsuits against the manufacturers Elmiron. They cited that people taking the medication have experienced long-term side effects, including blurry vision caused by damage to the eye’s retina.


In particular, a woman living in Nevada developed retinal maculopathy after taking the medication for six years.


Have you or a family member taken Elmiron? Are you experiencing any of the above symptoms? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries and suffering. 


For more information regarding Elmiron lawsuits, reach out to an accident injury law firm with the experience in taking on pharmaceutical companies. 


Elmiron Explained


Interstitial cystitis (IC) has been notoriously difficult to treat. So when Elmiron was approved by the FDA in 1996, medical providers heralded it as a great breakthrough. In fact, IC treatments bring drug companies over $150 million dollars a year.


The active compound in Elmiron, called pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), creates a barrier in the bladder by forming a thin layer of protection from irritating bacteria present in the urine. 


Does Elmiron Cure Interstitial Cystitis (IC)


There is no cure for IC. Elmiron relieves and reduces the associated symptoms, but it isn’t a cure.


Elmiron is often paired with other treatments and therapies to manage IC. In some cases, IC symptoms fade on their own with time. 


What other medications can treat IC?


There are no other medications currently approved by the FDA except for Elmiron.  In fact, there isn’t even proof to support if Elmiron really treats the symptoms of IC and painful bladder syndrome. According to a FDA reviewer: “the evidence of efficacy of Elmiron for the treatment of interstitial cystitis is very weak.”


Is It Common for People Who Take Elmiron to Experience Vision Problems?

Is It Common for People Who Take Elmiron to Experience Vision Problems?


Unfortunately, it is quite common, with the leading symptoms being distorted or blurred vision. 


The Emory Eye Center recently released a study in 2019 stating that ten patients who used Elmiron as an IC treatment experienced symptoms, including: 

  • Poor vision in low light
  • Dimming vision
  • Farsightedness 
  • Issues with reading vision

Elmiorn commonly leads to maculopathy. This progressive eye disease causes vision loss, often in both eyes. 


Researchers know for sure that Elmiron causes structural changes to the retina. But what they don’t know is if  discontinuing the medication slows the progression of maculopathy. 


Though these findings are unsettling, note that it is uncommon to experience complete blindness.


Does Elmiron Cause More Than Vision Related Symptoms?


Yes. Elmiron users have noted multiple side effects, including:

  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Upset stomach
  • Abnormal liver functions
  • Dizziness
  • Bruising
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling

Elmiron’s producer, Jannsen Pharmaceuticals has listed the aforementioned side effects. Unfortunately, the following warnings and risks were not disclosed:

  • Drug toxicity
  • Vision loss
  • Unfocused vision and difficulty reading
  • Macula or retinal damage (maculopathy)
  • Trouble adjusting to dim or dark lighting

If you are experiencing any symptoms, it’s essential to report them to your medical physician immediately. 


The Symptoms of Maculopathy ExplainedWhat Should I Do If I’m Prescribed Elmiron and Experiencing Symptoms of Vision Loss?


If you’ve experienced vision loss due to taking Elmiron, reach out to a law firm with Elmiron specialists. Even more importantly, contact your primary care physician to discuss symptoms relating to:

  • Maculopathy (macular degeneration)
  • Vision impairment or loss
  • Unilateral or bilateral blindness
  • Reduced nighttime vision 
  • Macular dystrophy
  • Retinopathy

In a breakthrough 2019 study, 91 people taking Elmiron for 15 years or longer had been tested for vision loss. Of the test group, 22 were diagnosed with retinal damage related to macular degeneration. That is almost 25%!


If you are currently taking Elmiron and believe you have experienced vision loss, contact a legal team right away.


The Symptoms of Maculopathy Explained


Note that the symptoms of maculopathy are typically painless. Many people don’t even realize they are experiencing vision problems until it is too late.


Maculopathy is a condition of the macula, an area of the retina associated with accurate vision.


Common symptoms include: abnormal vision distortion, problems seeing in dim lighting, problems focusing, or spots and floaters in the field of vision.


It is essential to have a medical professional examine any signs of vision loss.


Is Vision Loss Due to Elmiron Permanent?


Several recent studies suggest that people who have taken Elmiron for years showed significant signs of eye damage. 


Researchers have uncovered that the impacts of this drug can mimic other common retinal problems, including age-related macular degeneration and pattern dystrophy. 


Current Elmiron Lawsuits


It wasn’t until 2015 when the risks of Elmiron risks were discovered. Atlanta’s Emory Eye Center alerted medical officials to a troublesome pattern — several women who had been taking Elmiron for years came down with the same eye and vision problems.


Lawsuits across the country include a Nevada woman who had developed maculopathy due to Elmiron usage since 2012. 


Is Elmiron a Class Action Lawsuit?


Elmiron is not a class action lawsuit. It’s called an MDL which means each plaintiff or person affected by Elmiron will have their own case and require their own Elmiron lawyer / attorney. Damages awarded will be on an individual case by case basis influenced by the MDL judge’s initial cases. It is imperative that you find your own Elmiron Attorney to help guide you through this process. 


Who Is Eligible to File An Elmiron Lawsuit?


Current Elmiron lawsuits state that Janssen Pharmaceuticals knowingly failed to disclose the link between the drug and serious vision damage in users. 


People experiencing Elmiron-related eye injuries may be eligible to file a lawsuit and potentially be awarded significant compensation. 


If you have taken Elmiron for IC and believe you incurred eye damage, vision loss, or injury, then you could qualify for a lawsuit and should reach out for free help.


How an Elmiron Attorney Can Help


If you have taken Elmiron, it’s essential to contact a lawyer. Even if you don’t think you’ve experienced side effects, they occur in the future.  


Make sure to choose a lawyer that is committed to taking on big pharmaceutical companies and holding them accountable for unethical actions and dangerous medications. 


You may be able to receive compensation in the form of:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Pain and suffering (past and future) for both physical and mental injuries
  • Loss of wages
  • Punitive damages

Personal injuries caused by dangerous medications can change your life forever. We understand this and are here for you to help you get back on your feet.


You deserve to find answers to your injuries and the right lawyer can help you do that. 


If you have incurred a personal injury because of taking Elmiron, don’t wait to find legal help.  


No matter the state in which you reside, an expert attorney can help you.