At least 90 lawsuits have been filed against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson by patients who used the interstitial cystitis drug Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium), lawyers for these plaintiffs have announced. The lawsuits allege that Elmiron users are at risk of developing serious and permanent eye damage caused by the toxicity of the bladder medication.
Legal experts have predicted that hundreds of additional lawsuits will be filed over the coming year as more patients who were diagnosed with eye damage after using Elmiron learn about the link between the interstitial cystitis drug and an increased risk of vision problems.
Elmiron Linked to Increased Risk of Vision Loss
Elmiron is the only drug approved by the FDA to treat patients with interstitial cystitis, a condition that is also known as painful bladder syndrome. Approximately 1 million patients in the U.S. suffer from interstitial cystitis, most of them women.
Concerns about the side effects of Elmiron first arose in 2018, when researchers at the Emory Eye Center in California noticed that some of their patients with vision problems had been using Elmiron. Over the next few years, researchers performed several studies examining Elmiron users, which confirmed that the drug was linked to an increased risk of vision problems.
These studies found that about 25% of patients who had used Elmiron at higher doses developed retinal damage. The risk of vision problems increased the more that a patient was prescribed: only 11% of patients who took 500-1,000 grams of Elmiron developed eye damage, compared to 42% of patients who took more than 1,500 grams.
Dozens of Lawsuits Filed by Elmiron Users With Vision Problems
After Elmiron users began to learn that the drug was linked to an increased risk of eye damage, dozens of patients began to file lawsuits against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of the drugs. According to these lawsuits, the two drugmakers failed to properly warn patients that they could face an increased risk of permanent eye damage as a result of taking Elmiron.
Lawsuits filed by Elmiron users against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson have also identified a “signature disease” linked to their use of the drug, which is known as pigmentary maculopathy. Pigmentary maculopathy, which causes damage to the back of the eye, is the most common form of blindness in the U.S. However, researchers have concluded that the type of pigmentary maculopathy observed among Elmiron users is unique to patients who have taken this drug.
Experts believe that the link between Elmiron and pigmentary maculopathy is due to the retinal toxicity of this drug. Because of the association between Elmiron and retinal damage, patients who use the drug over an extended period or who are prescribed higher doses of the drug increase their risk of developing permanent vision problems.
Elmiron Users With Eye Damage May Qualify to File a Lawsuit
If you or a loved one used Elmiron to treat interstitial cystitis and have been diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy, retinal damage, blindness, or other vision problems, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. The first step in taking legal action is to consult with an experienced product liability attorney to find out whether you qualify to file a claim.
For more information about filing an Elmiron lawsuit and to learn whether you may be eligible to take legal action, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend by calling us toll-free at 1-866-806-8117. You can also contact our law firm by filling out the free case evaluation form located on the right side of this page for desktop users, and at the bottom of the page for mobile and tablet users.
After we receive your submission, one of our staff members will contact you for additional information and to help you schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.