Many people have been prescribed the drug Elmiron to treat bladder disorders. Unfortunately, however, researchers have found that long-term use of this drug can cause an eye disorder called maculopathy. Maculopathy is degenerative and can result in permanent vision loss. Because of the demonstrated link between taking Elmiron and the development of maculopathy, the American Academy of Opthalmology recommends that patients who are currently taking this drug should undergo eye imaging and discontinue taking it if maculopathy is present.
People who have taken this drug and who have developed maculopathy and vision loss are filing product liability claims against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which is Elmiron’s manufacturer. If you have developed maculopathy and have suffered vision loss or blindness after taking Elmiron, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Lovely Law Firm in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina are currently accepting cases for review. Our attorneys believe that people who have suffered injuries because of the failure of drug companies to properly warn about dangerous side effects deserve to be compensated for their losses.
What is Elmiron?
Elmiron is the brand name for pentosan polysulfate sodium and is prescribed by doctors for the treatment of a bladder syndrome called interstitial cystitis. This is a disease that is also called bladder pain syndrome. If interstitial cystitis is not treated, it can cause moderate to severe pelvic pain and bladder pressure. Women are the most commonly affected and might feel a need for frequent urination.
It is not known how Elmiron acts. However, doctors believe that it works by attaching to the bladder wall to provide a barrier to irritants. This can allow bladder and pelvic pain and pressure to decrease. Besides being prescribed for interstitial cystitis, Elmiron is also prescribed to treat the pain of osteoarthritis.
Why are the Elmiron lawsuits being filed?
The American Academy of Opthalmology published an article in 2018 about the link between long-term use of Elmiron and the development of pigmentary maculopathy in six people who were treated from 2015 and 2017 at the Emory Eye Center. The results of a follow-up study were published in 2019 in the journal Urology. In that update, the authors found that 10 additional patients who were being treated at the Emory Eye Center and who had been taking Elmiron were also diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy.
Despite the research showing a link between Elmiron and vision loss, Janssen Pharmaceuticals has failed to include warnings about the risk of developing maculopathy when taking Elmiron. Maculopathy is a disease that impacts the macula, which is located on the back of the retina in the eye.
The retina of the eye allows people to see by sensing light and sending nerve signals to the brain. Retinal damage can result in vision loss and blindness. One of the most common causes of severe vision loss and blindness in the West is maculopathy. Pigmentary maculopathy, the particular form of the disease that has been linked to taking Elmiron, appears to be unique to people who have been prescribed this drug.
Pigmentary maculopathy that is linked to Elmiron use may be halted when it is caught early. However, if the disease has been allowed to progress, the vision loss can be permanent. The most common symptoms of pigmentary maculopathy that have been reported include trouble adapting the vision to dim light and difficulty reading. People have also reported experiencing vision loss in their fields of vision, dimming of their vision, and difficulty seeing close objects.
Despite the research showing a link between pigmentary maculopathy and taking Elmiron, the product label does not include warnings about the potential risk. The label does not include anything relevant to the risk of maculopathy and blindness.
What is maculopathy?
Maculopathy is a pathology of the macula. The macula is the center part of the retina at the back of the eye that provides the ability for people to have visual acuity. Several types of maculopathy are unrelated to Elmiron. For example, age-related macular degeneration is a type of maculopathy that develops as some people age. Pigmentary maculopathy, which is the type that has been associated with taking Elmiron, does not have a known etiology. Some of the symptoms include the following:
- Pigmented deposits of abnormal capillaries that cause vision loss
- Yellow lesions beneath the macula
- Atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium
- Hyperpigmented spots on the retina that are found during eye exams
Do you qualify for a lawsuit against Janssen for Elmiron?
The attorneys at The Lovely Law Firm are currently reviewing cases from people who were prescribed Elmiron and have taken it for a year or longer before developing maculopathy and vision loss. Some of the types of injuries that might form the basis of a lawsuit include the following:
- Blurry vision
- Halo vision
- Pattern dystrophy
- Degenerative maculopathy
- Reduction in the ability to see at night
- Atrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium
- Pigmentary maculopathy
- Vision loss
Potential damages in an Elmiron lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit against Janssen for its failure to warn about the risk of maculopathy and vision loss might give you the ability to recover damages for your losses. Damages are monetary amounts that are meant to compensate victims for their economic and noneconomic losses. While the amounts may vary and depend on the seriousness of your injuries, some of the types of damages might include the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Income losses
- Emotional or mental anguish
- Physical suffering
- Rehabilitation costs
- Other damages
An attorney at The Lovely Law Firm can analyze your claim and provide you with an estimate of what a reasonable settlement amount might be for your claim against Janssen.
Get help from The Lovely Law Firm
People who are prescribed medications should receive an adequate warning about all of the risks of taking the drugs so that they and their doctors can make informed decisions. Drug manufacturers must properly advise people of the risks of taking their drugs. If you have suffered vision loss or blindness after taking Elmiron as prescribed by your doctor, you may be entitled to recover damages by filing a lawsuit against Janssen. Contact the attorneys at The Lovely Law Firm today to receive a free case evaluation and to learn more about your rights. We can be reached at 843.839.4111 or through our online contact form.