Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary have been hit with a number of lawsuits alleging that extended use of the interstitial cystitis drug causes pigmentary maculopathy. Lawsuits filed this year will join hundreds of other Elmiron claims that have been centralized in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court, each involving similar allegations that Elmiron caused users to suffer irreversible retinal damage and vision issues. If you or someone you know took Elmiron for an extended period of time and subsequently suffered vision problems like distorted vision, blurry vision, difficulty reading or adjusting to dim lighting, or vision loss, don’t wait to speak to an Elmiron injury attorney about your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, which you can pursue by filing an Elmiron lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.
Pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), sold under the brand name Elmiron, is a prescription medication commonly used to relieve bladder pain or discomfort associated with an incurable bladder condition called interstitial cystitis (IC). In fact, Elmiron is the only oral medication approved by the FDA to treat IC, and it is estimated that the drug has been prescribed to hundreds of thousands of patients with interstitial cystitis over the past several decades. Unfortunately, Elmiron users are just now discovering that prolonged use of the drug may cause devastating pigmentary maculopathy side effects, which can lead to long-term vision impairment or blindness.
Already, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and hundreds, if not thousands, more are expected to be filed in the coming months and years. These lawsuits arise from claims that the manufacturer became aware of reports linking Elmiron to vision problems shortly after the drug first entered the market in 1996. It wasn’t until 2018 that the first publicly reported cases of Elmiron users experiencing a new eye disease emerged. And in the years since, a growing number of studies have found compelling evidence supporting the connection between long-term use of pentosan polysulfate sodium, or PPS, and this novel eye disease, now known as pigmentary maculopathy. An article published in the medical journal Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and Imaging Retina in December 2020 noted that “a novel maculopathy has emerged that has been linked to chronic exposure to pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron).”
Before researchers discovered the link between Elmiron and pigmentary maculopathy, most cases of Elmiron-related maculopathy were misdiagnosed as atypical age-related macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy. However, amid escalating reports of a rare macular disease afflicting Elmiron patients, the interstitial cystitis medication finally received a warning label in June 2020, which highlighted “Pigmentary changes in the retina, reported in the literature as pigmentary maculopathy.” The updated warning connects the retina problems to long-term Elmiron use, noting that while “most of these cases occurred after 3 years of use or longer, cases have been seen with a shorter duration of use.” It also states that “While the etiology [of these retina problems] is unclear, cumulative dose appears to be a risk factor.”
With the first Elmiron bellwether trial set to take place at the end of this month, claims against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals continue to pour in. Plaintiffs in the growing Elmiron litigation collectively claim that the vision issues they suffered while taking Elmiron were preventable, and seek to hold the drug makers accountable for:
Based on findings in the medical literature, it is estimated that up to 25% of patients taking Elmiron may develop pigmentary maculopathy. If you have been diagnosed with this eye disease or another serious eye disorder, and you believe chronic exposure to the interstitial cystitis drug Elmiron to be the cause, don’t hesitate to get legal help. In many cases, pigmentary maculopathy sufferers have continued experiencing retina damage even after stopping Elmiron treatment. Contact Consumer Safety Watch today to find out if your vision problems may qualify you for an Elmiron injury claim.