Have You Developed Eye Damage and Regularly Take Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium)? You May Be Entitled to Compensation
December 14, 2020
What is Elmiron?
Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) is the brand name of a popular prescription drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Elmiron is the only FDA-approved pill to treat individuals with interstitial cystitis.
Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) causes chronic pain in the bladder and pelvis area. According to the Interstitial Cystitis Association, up to 12 million people in the United States are estimated to have the condition. It is more prevalent in women, affecting an estimated 3-6% of all women in the United States. Since there is no cure for IC, millions of Americans are on Elmiron to manage their pain. This means that millions of people have likely been exposed to dangerous levels of the drug.
Research on Elmiron and Eye Damage
Starting with a preliminary report from Emory Eye Center in 2018, the theory that Elmiron might be associated with retinal damage began swirling around the ophthalmological community. Because of the potentially devastating consequences of this theory, Robin A. Vora, M.D., Amar P. Patel, M.D., and Ronald Melles, M.D., a group of ophthalmologists, conducted a review of their patients at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. In October 2019, their research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Their research proved that Elmiron, a drug widely prescribed for decades, is toxic to the retina. Further, they found that about 25% of patients with significant exposure to Elmiron showed definite signs of eye damage.
What Symptoms/Conditions Does Elmiron Cause?
As stated above, Elmiron causes damage to the retina, the thin layer of light sensitive tissue lining the inside of your eye. More specifically, individuals in these studies developed unusual changes in their macula. The macula contains a high degree of sophisticated structure and is the functional center of the retina. It takes the light focused by the cornea and lens and sends it along the optic nerve to the brain. While the other parts of the retina provide peripheral vision, the macula allows us to see in detail. Think of the macula as taking a picture which is then sent to the brain to complete the visual process. Just like with cameras, the macula needs to be undisturbed in order for the “pictures” to be clear (i.e. to have good vision).
Elmiron is linked to macular retinopathy, or “maculopathy.” Maculopathy involves progressive loss of vision in the center of your eye and usually affects both eyes. Elmiron is directly linked to a specific kind of maculopathy, called pigmentary maculopathy. Unfortunately, maculopathy caused by Elmiron can be confused with other common retinal conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy
Symptoms of Elmiron-related eye damage include:
- Dark spots at the center of your vision
- Dimming, spotty, or blurring vision
- Difficulty reading or seeing close objects
- Eyes are slow to adjust to the dark
- Central vision loss (paracentral scotoma)
- Distorted vision or vision disturbances, like straight lines appearing curved
- Hyperpigmented or dark spots on the retina
- Eye pain or discomfort
What Do I Do If I’m Experiencing Symptoms?
If you currently take Elmiron (or took it in the past), contact your doctor right away. Your doctor will instruct you on the immediate next step and likely instruct you to see an ophthalmologist to determine whether you have any eye damage.
What Do I Do If I Have Eye Damage Due to Elmiron?
Contact an attorney. Loss of vision is a catastrophic injury, and you deserve compensation.
Due to the recent research and large number of cases filed, we expect all Elmiron cases will likely be consolidated into what is called “multi-district litigation” or MDL. The defendant does not oppose the consolidation, and a motion seeking consolidation was heard by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on December 3, 2020.
Our law firm is currently taking cases for individuals whose eye damage was caused by Elmiron. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with maculopathy (macular retinopathy), age-related macular degeneration, retinal dystrophy, or other retinal conditions and have a history of Elmiron use, contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC today for a risk-free case review.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Our trial attorneys have the resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.