Elmiron (generic name pentosan) is a prescription medication used to treat a painful bladder syndrome called interstitial cystitis. The drug has been prescribed since the late 1990s, but new studies have linked long-term Elmiron use to eye issues, including damage to the retina, loss of vision, and even blindness.
If you or a loved one has suffered any of the above symptoms or another eye injury after taking Elmiron, reach out to an experienced dangerous drugs attorney from Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm, for a free consultation of your case.
More than one million people in the United States suffer interstitial cystitis, and Elmiron is the only FDA-approved medication to treat the condition. Hundreds of thousands of these patients may have been treated with Elmiron and are potentially at risk of severe eye damage and even vision loss.
Elmiron has been linked to a severe eye condition called maculopathy, which causes a progressive loss of central vision and often leads to significant visual impairment. In most cases, both eyes are affected, but occasionally it occurs in only one eye. If you or a loved one have developed maculopathy after taking Elmiron, please contact Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm, as you may qualify for financial compensation.
Recent medical research has linked Elmiron to an eye disease known as maculopathy – which means that your retina is being damaged. This eye damage worsens with time, often before symptoms begin, which include:
If you have any of these symptoms, please see an eye doctor right away to be evaluated for maculopathy and other eye conditions.
There are several different kinds of macular disease, including age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, which is one of the most common types. Elmiron has been associated with a type called pigmentary maculopathy, in which users of the drug are found to have small, pigmented deposits in the macular area. This condition is sometimes mistaken for AMD, especially in older patients. If you took Elmiron and were later diagnosed with any kind of maculopathy, it’s possible you may actually have pigmentary maculopathy.
Many people want to know if they will lose their vision completely. The good news is that this doesn’t happen with maculopathy, because only the central vision is affected. Even in severe cases, patients still retain lateral vision. The bad news is that pronounced damage to your central vision can still make it difficult to do your usual activities and tasks.
Unfortunately, there are currently no treatment options for this type of maculopathy. There are some coping strategies that may help patients adjust to difficulties with central vision:
The side effects of Elmiron are still being studied by the science and medical communities. Currently, data shows that of the participants studied, those who were on the medication for an extended period had a significantly higher risk of presenting with atypical maculopathy.
A follow-up study looked at 140 patients who had consumed, on average, around 5,000 Elmiron pills over about 15 years. Researchers convinced 91 of these patients to have an eye exam and identified signs of drug toxicity in 22 of them, or around 24 percent. They also found that higher doses correlated with higher rates of toxicity and retinal damage. Because the rate of toxicity rises with long-term use, researchers recommend that anyone who has taken Elmiron for an extended period of time have an eye exam.
Unfortunately, researchers have not been able to determine if stopping treatment with the medication will alter the course of the eye disease. You should not stop taking your medication without speaking to your doctor first. Do tell them about any changes in your vision, and ask about other treatment options.
In light of the potentially serious vision problems associated with Elmiron, numerous affected patients filed lawsuits based on the following claims:
The drug’s manufacturer failed to warn consumers that vision damage could be a potential side effect. (In 2020, Elmiron finally added a dug label warning about pigmentary maculopathy, but patients who took the drug before then received no warning.)
Manufacturers allegedly concealed information about these risks from clinical trials.
The manufacturers also allegedly failed to initiate a drug recall or add a warning about vision damage sooner.
At the end of 2020, these lawsuits were consolidated into a multi-district litigation, or MDL. In an MDL, each case remains separate, but they are all filed against the same plaintiff with similar complaints. If you believe you suffered vision damage due to Elmiron, you may still be able to join the MDL.
We are investigating claims on behalf of patients and consumers who used Elmiron and developed the eye disease known as pigmentary maculopathy. Contact a St. Louis Elmiron dangerous drug lawyer if you or a loved one developed maculopathy after being prescribed Elmiron.
Since 1949, Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm, has been representing St. Louisans like you. You never have to worry about any up-front charges – we work on a contingency fee basis, so you will only be charged a fee if we are successful in recovering compensation for you. Contact us today by visiting our website or calling 314-888-1000.