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Elmiron Treatment and Vision Loss

A recent study out of the Emory School of Medicine suggests that the widely used bladder drug,  Elmiron, may lead to irreversible vision loss in patients. Elmiron, also known as pentosan polysulfate sodium or PPS, is used to treat interstitial cystitis (IC), otherwise known as “painful bladder syndrome”. The drug is produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, and has been sold in the United States since the late 1990s.

Elmiron is Linked with Causing Toxic Maculopathy

Interstitial cystitis affects more than 1 million people in the United States, and Elmiron is the only drug approved to treat it. The study found that prolonged use of Elmiron can lead to toxic maculopathy, a disease that affects a part of the retina called the macula. The macula controls the ability to focus central vision, such as when reading or recognizing fine details in objects. Common symptoms of maculopathy include difficulty reading and difficulty adapting to dim lighting.

Studies Show the Extent of the Injuries Caused by Elmiron

Included in the study were 11 females diagnosed with Elmiron-induced maculopathy. The researchers observed the effects of Elmiron from 6 months up to 10 years after the treatment had concluded. Of the 11 women, none showed improved in their IC condition, but 9 showed increased vision problems. A secondary study conducted in Northern Calfornia supports this result. Of 91 patients who had taken Elmiron over the course of 15 years, 22 of those patients exhibited aggressive toxicity within the macula. The rate of toxicity rose depending on the dosage of Elmiron as well. 11% of the patients showed signs of toxicity from taking 500 to 1,000-gram dosages, while 42% showed signs if the dosage was 1,500 grams or more.

Speak with an Attorney for More Details

Although the FDA updated the label for Elmiron listing maculopathy as a potential side effect, lawsuits are still accumulating against Janssen Pharmaceuticals for failing to disclose safety warnings to the public.

If you have taken Elmiron to treat interstitial cystitis and have suffered from maculopathy or other serious vision problems, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced lawyers at Whitley Law Firm are here to help counsel you on your legal options. Contact us today.