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Although aware of the dangers of the painful bladder drug Elmiron and the toxicity to the retina, Janssen Pharmaceuticals hasn’t removed the dangerous drug from the U.S. market. Lawsuits have been filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals after they suffered vision problems, alleging that the company failed to warn consumers and doctors that Elmiron’s side effects included vision damage.
What is Elmiron?
Elmiron is the only drug approved by the Federal Drug Administration for the treatment of interstitial cystitis, a painful bladder condition that affects millions of women. It can take up to three months of taking Elmiron to determine if the medication was successful in treating interstitial cystitis for a patient. If not, the patient’s doctor typically stops prescribing it after six months. Patients for whom the medication successfully treated them may end up taking the drug for a long period of time, if not perpetually. Unfortunately, recent studies have suggested that Elmiron may cause a rare, potentially permanent eye disease known as pigmentary maculopathy.
Misdiagnosis of Macular Degeneration and Elmiron
Studies have shown that people who take the interstitial cystitis drug Elmiron for an extended period have an increased risk of developing pigmentary maculopathy, a type of eye damage that may be misdiagnosed as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Macular degeneration is most frequently common among individuals over the age of 50 and is an eye disease that can blur your central visions. Although AMD is a common condition, it doesn’t cause complete blindness, but it can make it harder to see faces read, drive or do close-up work, such as cooking or fixing things around the house.
Anyone who has been on Elmiron for 1-year or longer should have their eyes examined for signs of damage to the retinas. As mentioned earlier, the eye damage linked to Elmiron is often misdiagnosed as macular degeneration, so it’s important to notify your doctor of your history of Elmiron use.
However, it is important to note how detrimental a misdiagnosis can affect a patient’s course of treatment. Currently, there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration, and doctors can only slow its progression. A doctor who may believe that symptoms are related to aging might not advise the patient to stop taking Elmiron. As the toxicity of Elmiron continues to build up, the condition may be getting worse, making the condition eventually untreatable. The patient might continue taking Elmiron while the symptoms unnecessarily progressed toward permanent vision loss.
How long does it take Elmiron to cause eye damage?
According to a study published in July 2019, the median duration of Elmiron affecting your eye was after the use was about 14.5 years among patients in the study. However, symptoms could occur as early as three years after starting Elmiron treatment and may differ between patients.
The eye problems caused by Elmiron can be halted by stopping the use of the drug, the doctors who conducted the study wrote. They advised that any patient taking Elmiron consult with their urologist or ob/gyn about stopping treatment.
What are the Symptoms of Vision Loss Associated with Elmiron?
Although Elmiron vision loss symptoms may vary, the most common symptoms victims experience include:
- Difficulty reading
- Eye pain
- Trouble seeing items near
- Difficulty adapting to dim light
- Vision Disturbances
Currently, there are Elmiron lawsuits being filed against Janssen Pharmaceutical after patients suffered vision problems that could lead to blindness, including maculopathy. This is because the company failed to warn doctors and consumers of the potential side effects, including vision damage. Janssen Pharmaceuticals only listed the following side effects:
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Skin rash
- Sleep disorders
- Gastroesophageal reflux
As of June 2020, Elmiron maker Janssen Pharmaceuticals updated the drug’s product labeling to warn of vision problems. The label now states Elmiron can change pigments in the retina, which may lead to blurred vision, reading problems, and sensitivity to low light. Although this warning may be helpful information for future Elmiron users, it comes too late for those who are already suffering from eye damage.
What do I need to do to File an Elmiron Lawsuit?
Lawyers are accepting cases from individuals who have taken Elmiron for at least two years and suffered vision problems, including those who were still using Elmiron from 2018 to present. Individuals who are interested in filing an Elmiron lawsuit are seeking potential compensation for:
- Medical bills, pain, and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of quality of life
- Future care
If you have suffered from maculopathy or any other vision problem after the use of Elmiron, contact our office to help you seek the compensation that you deserve. The following condition may qualify you for an Elmiron case:
- Pigmentation Macular Degeneration
- Pigmentation Maculitis
- Dry macular Degeneration
- Pigmentation Maculopathy
- Retinal Maculopathy
Since these lawsuits typically fall under an area of law known as mass tort, these claims may take years. However, one of our Eliron attorneys will be standing by your side every step of the way. When meeting for your free consultation, you will be asked what damages you have suffered and your experience with the drug. For your best interests, make sure you answer questions with as much detail as possible, and if possible, with evidence such as medical records.
How can The Carlson Law Firm Help?
If you or a loved one has suffered after using Elmiron, you may have legal options available to hold this company accountable for acting negligently. By choosing The Carlson Law Firm, you are choosing a skilled and compassionate team on your side to help you out with:
- Investigating your case to evaluate your qualification
- Collecting evidence that supports your case
- Filing your Elmiron lawsuit
- Pursuing a settlement offer without going to court
- Fighting on your behalf and holding this company accountable.
Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation and get the compensation that you deserve. We care and we can help.