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Elmiron Lawsuit Attorney St. Louis, MO

At the law offices of Carey Danis & Lowe, our attorneys have been representing individuals injured by America’s largest corporations since 1995. Our firm has played a significant role in many high-profile class action and mass tort cases because we care about every victim.

In the last decade, we have worked tirelessly for harmful drug and pharmaceutical liability clients, including those affected by ElmironⓇ, and have obtained over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements. Our St. Louis, MO, ElmironⓇ lawsuit attorneys will continue to fight in state and federal courts for those injured by harmful drugs.

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Vision & Eye Problems related to Elmiron®️

Elmiron®️ (Pentosan Polysulfate)

The potential vision-related risks associated with Elmiron®️ weren’t publicly known until 2015, when researchers at the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta discovered a retinal injury in six women. Although the cause of their retinal maculopathy was originally thought to be from aging, further investigation revealed that all six patients had been taking Elmiron®️ for an extended period of time. The discovery of a potential link between the drug for interstitial cystitis (IC) and vision problems prompted the need for greater research.

Elmiron®️ Maculopathy

Two studies in 2018 and 2019 were published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), which discussed the six women’s development of pigmentary maculopathy, as well as more Emory Eye Center patients with the same issue. These findings strengthened the belief that those taking Elmiron®️ were at an increased risk for developing vision-threatening side effects. Furthermore, three ophthalmologists conducted a review of Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, where approximately one-fourth of patients in the study taking Elmiron®️ had definite signs of eye damage.

Pentosan Polysulfate Maculopathy Warnings

In October 2019, a warning and precautions were added to the Canadian Monograph for the drug Elmiron®️ (pentosan polysulfate sodium). The warning message pertained to a link between Elmiron®️ use and serious eye and vision problems, including the possibility of Pigmentary Maculopathy, which is permanent and irreversible without a chance for recovery.

The more Elmiron®️ taken, the greater the increase in eye damage. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Elmiron®️, has never updated their labeling or conducted further research concerning this associated risk, despite the company knowing about the connection for over 20 years. The United States Monograph has yet to be updated.

While the research and warning on the Canadian Monograph is helpful for those who have considered taking the drug, it does not provide relief or assistance to patients who have already taken Elmiron®️ and incurred the vision issues as a serious side effect. Contact our ElmironⓇ lawsuit attorneys in St. Louis, MO, if you feel that you or a loved one may have been affected by the unknown vision-related conditions.

How Do I Know if Elmiron®️ Has Damaged My Eyes?

Ask yourself or your loved one the following to determine whether Elmiron®️ caused eye damage:

  • Have you noticed a change or distortion in the color of one eye?
  • Are you seeing dark spots in your vision?
  • Do your eyes have difficulty adjusting to changes in light, such as when entering a dark room or stepping into the sunshine?
  • Are the colors you see muted or faded?
  • Do straight lines ever appear curved, or vice versa?
  • Is reading difficult?
  • Do you struggle with blurred vision?

If you or a loved one answered yes to any of the above questions and have taken Elmiron®️ for an extended period, visit an eye specialist right away. It’s possible you may be suffering from a serious condition.

What is Elmiron®️ and What is It Used for?

Elmiron®️ is a prescription drug used to treat interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome. With this condition, patients endure discomfort and pain in the bladder as well as bladder pressure and pelvic pain. Interstitial cystitis causes the signals in the brain to become confused and the patient feels the need to urinate more often with smaller volumes than other people because the bladder is not yet full.

The exact way that Elmiron®️ works is not completely understood. However, in an effort to relieve the pain and discomfort from this bladder issue, Elmiron®️ is thought to adhere to the bladder mucosal lining, which prevents potentially irritating solutes in the urine from reaching the bladder wall.

What are the Side Effects of Elmiron®️?

Until very recently, only mild side effects related to the use of Elmiron®️ such as nausea, diarrhea, headache, or an increased risk for bleeding were reported by Janssen. However, the serious side effects related to eye damage and vision problems were never disclosed, even though Janssen had been aware of these potentially permanent injuries for more than 20 years. 

The potential side effects that have been recorded include:

  • Eye pain 
  • Difficulty seeing up close 
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Distorted vision
  • Trouble adjusting to darkness
  • Vision loss
  • Dark spots
  • Change in eye color
  • Hair loss 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Severe nausea 
  • Bloody stool 
  • Rash 
  • Bruising

Additionally, Elmiron®️ has also been linked to very serious conditions, such as: 

  • Macular degeneration 
  • Pigmentary maculopathy 
  • Retinal maculopathy
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Macular disease
  • Pigmentary retinopathy
  • Pigmentation macular degeneration
  • Pigmentation maculitis
  • Dry macular degeneration
  • Optic neuritis
  • Retinal hemorrhage
  • Retinal detachment 

Patients who have taken Elmiron®️ and developed any of these vision impairments may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturers, and fight for their well-deserved compensation. Although Elmiron®️ is the only prescription medication available for interstitial cystitis, these severe side effects could warrant a recall by the manufacturer. Our ElmironⓇ lawsuit attorneys in St. Louis, MO, are here to help.

Elmiron®️ in the Pharmaceutical Market

Since the late 1990s, Elmiron®️ has been available as the only prescription medication treatment option for patients suffering from interstitial cystitis, and it has been distributed through Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals since 1996. Research has recently discovered that using Elmiron®️ in the long-term can result in the serious side effects listed above. Unfortunately, despite clear empirical evidence of the harm caused by the drug to its users, Elmiron has not yet been recalled by either the manufacturer or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Drug recalls are an effective way to eliminate the potential for harm from a dangerous drug or other product to the larger public, but they are voluntary. Pharmaceutical companies are not required to recall any product from the market, and Elmiron®️ has not faced any such recalls. Even with substantial evidence pointing to severe eye and vision issues, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and the FDA have not alerted consumers to the risks they may face if prescribed Elmiron®️. 

Although Elmiron®️ is the only prescription medication treatment for painful bladder syndrome, the side effects to patients who take it could have prompted recall action to be taken by either the manufacturer or the FDA. Patients who have suffered from blindness or other painful eye conditions directly related to ElmironⓇ deserve compensation for their injuries and should consult experienced product liability attorneys to evaluate and handle their case.

How an Elmiron®️ Lawsuit Attorney in St. Louis, MO, Can Help 

If you’ve been diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy or another vision-threatening condition after taking Elmiron®️, contact an experienced attorney right away. Elmiron®️ lawsuit attorneys manage the entire legal process for you, bringing each claim separately, so you can focus on vision treatments and handling your new reality. Most Elmiron®️ lawsuits have joined multidistrict litigation (MDL) in an effort to expedite the process and recover the damages that victims deserve.

When you seek the legal representation of an experienced Elmiron®️ lawsuit attorney in St. Louis, MO, all relevant evidence will be collected to strengthen your claim, such as optometrist records, photos or videos, and witness statements. It’s the goal of a compassionate lawyer to not only recover the maximum amount of compensation possible in a timely manner, but also to ensure Janssen Pharmaceuticals is held accountable for their actions.

Contact the St. Louis, MO, Elmiron®️ Lawsuit Attorneys at Carey Danis & Lowe for a Free Case Evaluation

If you or a loved one has sustained vision-threatening injuries as a result of taking Elmiron®️ for painful bladder syndrome, the experienced attorneys at Carey Danis & Lowe can help. We are happy to provide you with a free case evaluation and determine if you might be eligible to fight for compensation, including coverage of medical expenses related to Elmiron®️, pain and suffering, and punitive damages against the manufacturer. Be sure to contact our experienced Elmiron®️ attorneys in St. Louis, MO, today to discuss your case, as statutes of limitations restrict your timeframe.

(1.)  Jain N, Li AL, Yu Y, et al. Br J Ophthalmol/Epub doi:10.1136/bjophthalmol-2019-314765

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