Recent studies have demonstrated a link between Elmiron and severe eye damage in long-term users. Research also suggests that Elmiron manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals may have been aware of these potentially dangerous side effects during clinical trials but failed to halt the drug’s rollout or warn the public.
All medications have the potential to treat or cure disease or medical conditions. However, they also have the potential to injure a patient through temporary or permanent side effects. For this reason, federal law requires thorough testing and approval before drugs hit the market. But when drug makers fail in their duty to develop safe products, consumers are at risk of potential harm from these dangerous drugs. That’s what happened with the bladder drug Elmiron.
If you took Elmiron and suffer from any eye-related injuries, including full or partial loss of vision, you may be eligible to sue the pharmaceutical manufacturer by consulting an Elmiron lawsuit lawyer at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. For over 25 years, our legal team has represented clients from all over the U.S. in suing pharmaceutical companies for defective and harmful products.
What Is Elmiron?
Elmiron is the common brand name for pentosan polysulfate sodium, an oral medication developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and approved by the FDA in 1996. In the past, Elmiron was prescribed as an osteoarthritis treatment and an anticoagulant, but it is most commonly used to treat a condition called interstitial cystitis (IC), or painful bladder syndrome.
IC is a chronic condition that causes recurring discomfort in the bladder or pelvic region. Patients who suffer from IC typically develop inflammation and irritation in their bladder walls, leading to scarring and bladder stiffening over time. At this time, there is no known cure for IC.
IC patients typically take the drug continuously for years. Studies published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the National Institutes of Health, and others in recent years have shown that long-term use of Elmiron can lead to irreversible eye damage. Specifically, Elmiron is associated with damage to the retina, the part of the eye that detects and organizes light and other visual information. Patients who took higher doses of Elmiron over more extended periods reportedly displayed more severe signs of retinal damage.
Elmiron Injuries and Side Effects
Studies suggest that long-term use of Elmiron may result in eye conditions including:
Macular degeneration – A common eye disease, often age-related, that causes blurred vision in the center of your field of vision.
Pigmentary maculopathy – An eye condition involving hyper-pigmented spots, or “dark spots,” on the retina that appear in your field of vision.
Retinal maculopathy – An eye disease that affects the back of the retina, which leads to central vision loss in both eyes over time.
Other side effects that have been linked to eye damage caused by Elmiron use include:
- Blurred or haloed vision
- Pattern dystrophy, or the accumulation of pigment in the eye
- Eye pain
- Difficulty reading
- Difficulty adjusting to changes in ambient light
- Visual disturbances, vision loss, and blindness
- Metamorphopsia, which causes shapes to appear distorted
- Poor night vision
- Retinal pigment epithelium atrophy
- Partial vision loss or blind spots
Recent research linked the long-term use of Elmiron with a condition known as pigmentary maculopathy, which affects the retina’s macula. The macula is the middle part of the eye. Its main function is to protect the retina from ultraviolet light and allows either more or less light to enter the eye. The macula enables a person to see details clearer.
The Emory Eye Center, which studied data from patients taking Elmiron for approximately 15 years, found that a certain population of patients suffered changes to their macula. Ten patients in the report were diagnosed with interstitial cystitis and were prescribed Elmiron. These ten patients have symptoms that correspond with pigmentary maculopathy.
Kaiser Permanente conducted another study, which found that approximately 24 percent of patients prescribed Elmiron for five years or longer suffered some eye damage. According to the article, the signs and symptoms associated with Elmiron eye damage included difficulty with reading and adjusting to light changes, distorted vision, and, in some cases, vision loss.
While the vision damage might be preventable, the eye damage caused by Elmiron is not treatable, according to the report. It is likely and presumed to be permanent. These eye conditions are the latest to be linked to Elmiron. The report states that other medical conditions already linked to Elmiron include:
- Amblyopia, or lazy eye
- Retinal hemorrhage (bleeding of the retina)
- Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
The studies also showed that even when patients stopped taking Elmiron, they continued to have difficulty adapting to low-light environments. This eye condition mimics macular degeneration in later stages.
How Do I File an Elmiron Lawsuit?
If you are a current or previous long-term user of Elmiron and have developed an eye-related condition, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The Elmiron lawsuit attorneys at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. are currently reviewing cases of individuals who took Elmiron to determine if they qualify to make a claim for monetary damages for the harm, losses, pain and suffering they endured.
The best way to determine whether you may have a case is to speak with an Elmiron attorney. While Elmiron eye injury litigation is at an early stage, it’s expected that several hundred or thousands of Elmiron lawsuits will be filed in the future. With that in mind, the cases were consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) suit in December 2020. With an MDL, multiple civil cases that share the same defendant and complaint are transferred to a single court to speed up the legal process. Such cases are being consolidated before U.S. District Court Judge Brian R. Martinotti. USDC has a mass tort case similar to a class action but for individual damage awards to people injured by Elmiron.
Potential Elmiron Lawsuit Settlement Compensation
Elmiron lawsuits are emerging rapidly across the country. But so far, there have been no legal settlements. An initial bellwether trial is expected in 2023. A bellwether trial is a test trial that gives everyone in a lawsuit an idea of what to expect moving forward.
The Elmiron lawsuit lawyers of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. in New Jersey are committed to holding negligent drug manufacturers accountable when their actions harm others. Our trusted team can help you pursue compensation in a defective drug lawsuit for:
- Pain and suffering – The subjective value of the physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering you endure from your eye injury(s), vision loss, or blindness. This amount of money is what a jury could or does award. There is no minimum or maximum a jury could award for loss of vision or blindness. If a case does not settle, it would be up to a jury to determine how much an Elmiron vision loss case is worth.
- Medical expenses – The cost of any medical treatment you need for eye-related injuries or conditions stemming from your Elmiron use. This includes expenses such as doctors’ visits, hospital stays, and eye exams.
- Lost wages – The value of any reductions in your take-home pay from time missed at work due to your Elmiron injury.
- Lost future income – The value of projected future losses in your long-term earning capacity caused by permanent changes to your vision.
Contact an Elmiron Lawsuit Lawyer
Over the past 40 years, our accomplished attorneys have secured over $500 million in verdicts and settlements for injured people in New York and New Jersey. We’re a no-nonsense firm with one goal — to help you pursue the compensation and justice you deserve. Call or contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how our legal team can help you seek maximum compensation.