Elmiron Vision Damage Lawyers Fighting for Injured Victims
Elmiron, also known as Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium, is a prescription medication used to relieve the symptoms of interstitial cystitis or bladder pain syndrome. In 2018, physicians and scientists discovered a connection between prescription Elmiron usage and Pigmentary Maculopathy, which is commonly known as macular degeneration. The most common side effect of Pigmentary Maculopathy is gradual loss of central vision in both eyes. The progression of vision loss may occur quickly for individuals who took Elmiron or it can take up to several years depending on various factors. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Pigmentary Maculopathy or macular degeneration after using Elmiron, you may be eligible for financial compensation, including the cost of medical bills, treatments, loss of income, and other out of pocket expenses incurred in your recovery. Our product liability and prescription drug attorneys are available to speak with you today, and we offer free consultations.
Nationwide, lawsuits are being filed against defendants including Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Janssen Research & Development LLC, Johnson & Johnson, and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. for their role in manufacturing and distributing Elmiron throughout the United States. Many researchers and doctors have linked Elmiron with blindness and other conditions. There is no generic drug substitute for Elmiron.
What is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis is characterized by the frequent need to urinate. Individuals who have unexplained urinary pain for six or more weeks are at risk of having developed IC. It is estimated that amongst individuals with IC, approximately 90% are women and the average age of onset is in their 40’s. However, men and women both can develop IC. Common symptoms can include: bladder pressure, pain in your lower stomach, lower back, pelvis, or urethra, frequent urination, and pain during sex. If you experience any of these symptoms after using Elmiron, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
What is Elmiron, and Who Can it Negatively Affect?
In 1996, the FDA approved Elmiron for treatment of individuals suffering from interstitial cystitis (IC). Individuals with interstitial cystitis often have chronic bladder pain that can range from minor discomfort to debilitating depending on the severity of the condition. Elmiron manufacturers marketed the drug as “The Only Oral Medication Approved to Treat the Bladder Pain or Discomfort of Interstitial Cystitis (IC).” Despite this marketing, Elmiron is not the only oral medication approved by the FDA that doctors can prescribe to treat IC and Elmiron is not the only IC treatment available to individuals suffering from interstitial cystitis.
Between 1996-2020, the makers of Elmiron did not include any label on the drug warning its users that they were at risk for developing Pigmentary Maculopathy. After researchers and physicians discovered the potential link between Elmiron and Pigmentary Maculopathy, the manufacturers of Elmiron submitted for approval to the FDA a new warning label disclosing the potential link between prolonged Elmiron use and the development of Retinal Pigmentary Changes. The warning label was approved and is now, for the first time, included on all Elmiron prescriptions.
Considering the length of time that Elmiron was publically available prior to its manufacturers warning the public of this risk, thousands of users of Elmiron were unknowingly put at risk of developing Pigmentary Maculopathy. At this point, any individual who took Elmiron might be at risk of developing this condition and it appears that the longer an individual takes Elmiron, the higher the likelihood that the individual will develop Pigmentary Maculopathy. These findings have been determined through scientific studies, including a study performed by Kaiser Permanente in which it was discovered that up to 25% of interstitial cystitis patients taking Elmiron for six months or longer developed Pigmentary Maculopathy. A study published in February 2021 in Clinical Ophthalmology further supports the connection between prolonged Elmiron use and the development of Pigmentary Maculopathy. Additionally, over 150 cases of eye disorders have been reported to the FDA as adverse effects of Elmiron.
Due to these findings, ophthalmologists have recommended that anyone taking Elmiron for six months or longer should begin having annual eye exams. As far as self-monitoring, the common early symptoms of maculopathy include:
- unexplained changes in vision
- difficulty seeing close objects
- dim vision
- night blindness
- blurry vision
- loss of detailed vision
- deterioration of the eyes
- dark spots in vision
- darkened vision
Pigmentary Maculopathy can be diagnosed by ophthalmologists because individuals suffering from the condition will develop darker spots known as hyperpigmentation on the macular. If the condition is caught in the early stages, it may be possible to limit the damage. However, it is believed that late-stage Pigmentary Maculopathy can lead to ongoing damage for individuals even if they are no longer taking Elmiron.
Will there be a Recall?
At this time, Elmiron has not been recalled despite the studies linking long-term use to potentially permanent vision damage. Other than the warning label, which was included in June 2020, the manufacturers of Elmiron have not issued any additional safety communications regarding the risk of developing vision damage after using Elmiron. Users of Elmiron should consider consulting with their doctor to determine whether they are at risk for developing vision issues related to their use of the drug.
Are there Lawsuits Against Elmiron?
After over 100 lawsuits were filed nationwide, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order in December 2020 creating a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the District of New Jersey to handle the claims. There are now over 200 Elmiron lawsuits that have been filed in federal and state courts. It is expected that there will be numerous additional lawsuits filed given the number of individuals who took Elmiron and are at risk for developing Pigmentary Maculopathy.
The damage resulting from Elmiron use may not develop instantly or even while an individual is using the drug. It is important to monitor your vision for symptoms after prolonged Elmiron use. If you or a loved one have developed vision issues after using Elmiron, you are aware of the significant hardships it can impose on every aspect of daily life. Individuals who have used Elmiron and developed Pigmentary Maculopathy can pursue a legal claim to recover damages associated with their injuries, including medical bills, the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. The damages caused by Elmiron, including blindness, can be catastrophic. You should consult with a lawyer with experience handling Elmiron lawsuits to discuss the types of compensation you may be able to recover in a lawsuit.
Injured individuals also may be entitled to punitive damages, which are designed to punish a defendant for intentional or reckless conduct, including knowingly hiding risks associated with a prescription drug from prospective users. In a product liability lawsuit, this theory of liability is referred to as failure to warn. However, there are certain time limitation requirements, known as the statute of limitations, for filing your claim and a claim can be barred forever if you do not file it in a timely manner. Jannsen, Teva, and Johnson & Johnson have denied wrongdoing in these cases, but expert physicians and scientists have found links between Elmiron use and Pigmentary Maculopathy.
Let Our Lawyers Help Your Elmiron Case
For a free consultation with an Elmiron attorney today, call us toll-free at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz is currently evaluating cases on behalf of people diagnosed with Pigmentary Maculopathy or experiencing blindness or other symptoms following their use of Elmiron. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we handle cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that clients owe no fees throughout our representation, and all attorney fees come after a recovery is made. Our Elmiron lawyers have the skill, experience, and resources necessary to handle your claim, including consulting with and retaining expert witnesses. With over 30 years of experience, Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz is a large law firm that is always willing to help injured people.
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