Elmiron Vision Impairment Lawsuit Update: May 2023

Up-to-date information on the status of Elmiron lawsuits for patients who suffered vision problems after taking the interstitial cystitis medication.

Thousands of former Elmiron users have filed lawsuits against manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals, alleging that exposure to the medication, prescribed to treat interstitial cystitis, caused irreversible damage to their retina, leading to serious vision problems. If you or someone you love took Elmiron and subsequently experienced blurred vision, distorted vision, difficulty reading, dark spots in your vision, vision loss, or other eye problems indicative of pigmentary maculopathy, do not hesitate to speak to an Elmiron injury attorney about your legal options. With an experienced attorney on your side, you may be able to recover the financial compensation you deserve for any medical bills you incurred or other losses related to your injuries. Call Consumer Safety Watch today for help.

Why are Elmiron Lawsuits Being Filed?

Elmiron is the brand name of a pharmaceutical drug manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 for the treatment of interstitial cystitis (IC), a painful, incurable condition affecting the bladder. Elmiron is the first and only FDA-approved oral treatment for IC, but concerns have been raised in recent years about the medication’s potential side effects, including a novel eye disease known as pigmentary maculopathy. Thousands of former Elmiron users who have suffered vision loss and other debilitating vision problems are now pursuing legal claims against Janssen, claiming that their eye issues were the direct result of exposure to Elmiron’s active ingredient. In fact, chronic exposure to pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron) has been identified as the sole cause of pigmentary maculopathy.

Vision Problems Linked to Long-Term Elmiron Use

Pigmentary maculopathy is a novel eye condition affecting the central part of the retina called the macula. The disorder is characterized by a progressive loss of central vision, the straight-ahead vision you use to see fine detail, which is necessary to read, drive, and recognize faces. The unique eye disease was first identified by doctors at the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta, who in the November 2018 issue of Ophthalmology, described a “novel and possibly avoidable maculopathy associated with chronic exposure to PPS.” Additional evidence presented at the meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in October 2019 supported the finding that the popular bladder medication could cause a “vision-threatening” eye condition. According to the 2019 report, as many as 25% of patients who had “significant exposure” to Elmiron developed signs of retina damage. 

In January 2020, the very first Elmiron lawsuit was filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals by plaintiffs who alleged that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the risk of permanent vision impairment from Elmiron use and failed to disclose this information to the public or the FDA. In 2023, Elmiron lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system have been centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). 

Elmiron-Related Eye Symptoms to Watch Out For

Until recently, there has been little information available about the potential link between long-term Elmiron use and vision impairment. Because of this, Elmiron-related maculopathy is sometimes misdiagnosed as age-related macular degeneration or other more well-known eye diseases. The following are some examples of symptoms you may experience if your vision has been damaged by chronic exposure to Elmiron: 

  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Difficulty adjusting to darkness
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Muted colors
  • Difficulty reading
  • Dark spots in your vision
  • Blind spots in your vision
  • Straight lines appearing curvy
  • Vision loss

The Elmiron litigation has not yet been resolved, but a settlement is expected to occur sometime this year. If you believe that Elmiron adversely impacted your vision, you should consult a knowledgeable Elmiron injury attorney right away to determine whether you are eligible to pursue a claim and what amount of compensation may be available to you.

Find Out if You Qualify to File an Elmiron Lawsuit

Research suggests that long-term exposure to Elmiron may be toxic to the eye and could potentially lead to permanent damage to the retina resulting in irreversible vision impairment. If you have been diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy, macular degeneration, or another similar eye condition, and you took Elmiron long-term to treat interstitial cystitis, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The types of damages you may be eligible for in an Elmiron vision impairment case include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional distress, in addition to punitive damages, which may be awarded by the court in cases where the defendant’s actions are found to be especially damaging. Contact Consumer Safety Watch as soon as possible to find out whether you qualify to file an Elmiron lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. There may be a limit on the amount of time you have to file a legal claim, so don’t wait to call.

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