Recent studies have suggested that long-term use of Elmiron can cause maculopathy, an eye disorder that can lead to blindness. Doctors studying the drug have identified several patients with pigmentary maculopathy that those patients developed after taking Elmiron. The American Academy of Opthalmalogy reports that doctors studying the drug recommend eye imaging for patients currently on Elmiron to determine whether maculopathy is present and discontinuation of the drug if maculopathy is found.
Patients who have taken Elmiron are now suing the manufacturer of the drug, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Patients accuse Janssen of failing to warn patients about the full dangers of taking the drug, including the risk of maculopathy and blindness. If you or a loved one took Elmiron and then developed maculopathy, filing a lawsuit may help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with your suffering. Lawsuits can also help send a strong message to big pharmaceutical companies that they should fully test their products for safety before selling them to the public.
What is Elmiron?
Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) is a drug commonly prescribed to treat interstital cystitis, a bladder disorder. Interstitial cystisis is part of a group of diseases referred to as "painful bladder syndrome" or bladder pain syndrome. Untreated, interstitial cystitis can cause bladder pressure and bladder and pelvic pain that can range from moderate to severe. The disorder most frequently affects women and can lead to the sensation of needing to go to the bathroom more often.
Though doctors are not sure exactly how Elmiron interacts with the body, Elmiron is thought to work by attaching itself to the wall of the bladder and providing a buffer to irritating substances. In this way, the drug may decrease bladder pressure and pain.
Elmiron is the only FDA approved drug to treat interstitial cystitis or bladder pain syndrome. Though the patent expired on Elmiron in 2010, the lack of substitute drugs means that many patients pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for the medication. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson and the current manufacturer and marketer of Elmiron, has not offered an explanation for the increasing prices of Elmiron. Nevertheless, Janssen stands to make increasing profits on Elmiron as the market for interstitial cystitis treatments continues to grow.
What are the symptoms of maculopathy?
Patients that have taken Elmiron and developed maculopathy usually report problems with their vision as the first symptom. Specifically, an article in the Journal of Opthamalogy reported that Elmiron patients experienced the following symptoms:
- Difficulty reading
- Taking a long time to adjust to the dark
- Difficulty seeing close objects
- Dimming of vision
- Paracentral scotoma, a spot of vision loss in the field of vision
If you have experienced any of the above symptoms, you should consult a medical professional for your next steps. You should not stop taking any medication without consulting a medical professional.
What does the Elmiron maculopathy lawsuit say?
Plaintiffs accuse Janssen Pharmaceuticals of failing to warn patients and doctors about the full dangers of prescribing Elmiron. Though Janssen discloses some side effects of taking the drug, the packaging for Elmiron does not include any warning about maculopathy. Plaintiffs will likely claim that Janssen knew or should have known that Elmiron caused maculopathy and should have provided patients and doctors with a warning on the packaging.
Do I have an Elmiron case?
Contacting a lawyer is the best way to determine whether you have an Elmiron case. A lawyer is in the best position to evaluate your case and help you secure your maximum recovery. The experienced lawyers and staff at the Kishish Law Group can help. We will listen to your story and assist you in deciding your legal path forward. Our case evaluations are free and confidential. Contact us today for more information on the Elmiron lawsuit by completing our contact form or calling us toll free at 1 (888) 609-4664.
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Speak with an Elmiron Lawyer
If you were prescribed and took Elmiron and then suffered from maculopathy, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.
Reach out to Kishish Law Group immediately to find out your legal options.
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