Recent studies have shown that patients treated with the drug Elmiron over an extended period are at risk of developing retinal damage, vision loss, and even blindness. According to one study, 25% of patients treated with Elmiron for five years or more developed vision problems as a result of taking the drug.
Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) is a prescription medication that is designed to treat interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome. Patients with this condition experience severe, chronic pain in the bladder and pelvic area. About 1 million patients in the U.S. – mostly women – suffer from interstitial cystitis. Elmiron is the only prescription medication approved by the FDA to treat patients with this condition.
High Dose Users 25% More Likely to Develop Retinal Damage
For many years, most doctors thought that Elmiron had few side effects. But in 2018, several opthamologists in California noticed that one of their patients who had been taking Elmiron for several years had begun to develop eye problems. They suspected that Elmiron might be the cause of this patient’s worsening eyesight, and started examining the medical records of other Elmiron users to find out whether the medication may be toxic to the retina.
The three opthamologists found that 25% of patients who had taken high doses of Elmiron had developed retinal damage. According to a study published by the doctors in 2019, the risk of eye damage increased along with the amount of Elmiron taken by the patient: 42% of patients who were prescribed 1,500 grams or more of the drug developed vision problems, compared to only 11% of patients who took 500 to 1,000 grams.
According to the study, patients who develop retinal damage caused by Elmiron may experience different symptoms, depending on the dose that they were prescribed and the time that they were treated with the drug. Some of the symptoms associated with retinal toxicity from Elmiron including blurred vision, night vision problems, and difficulties with reading small words.
The doctors also found that retinal damage caused by Elmiron could be mistaken for other eye issues. Some of the conditions with symptoms that are similar to the side effects of Elmiron include age-related macular degeneration and pattern dystrophy. The opthamologists advised patients who are taking Elmiron to visit an eye doctor at least once per year in order to undergo a screening for retinal damage.
The eye problems caused by Elmiron can be halted by stopping the drug, the doctors who conducted the study wrote. They advised patients who are taking Elmiron and suspect that they may be developing vision problems caused by the drug to talk with their urologist or ob/gyn about stopping treatment.
Eye Damage from Elmiron? You May Qualify to File a Lawsuit.
If you or a loved one were prescribed Elmiron to treat interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome and developed poor eyesight, vision loss, or even blindness, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced pharmaceutical liability attorney, who can advise you regarding your legal rights and walk you through the first steps in filing a claim.
The lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend have handled numerous lawsuits and settlements involving patients who were injured by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, or other hazardous consumer products. Our attorneys believe that all clients who have been harmed due to the negligence of drug manufacturers and other corporations should have the right to experienced, professional legal counsel to ensure that their legal rights are fully protected.
For more information about filing an Elmiron lawsuit – and to find out more about whether you may qualify to take legal action – contact the lawyers at Hissey Mulderig & Friend for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-806-8117, or by filling out our free case evaluation form located on the right side of this page.