As information continues to emerge about the potential risk of retinal damage and vision loss associated with the interstitial cystitis drug Elmiron, the Elmiron multidistrict litigation (MDL) has grown to more than 1,300 lawsuits. With an increasing number of studies delving into the potential adverse effects of Elmiron, the abundance of compelling evidence linking the interstitial cystitis medication to serious retinal damage continues to grow. It is ultimately expected that several thousand Elmiron lawsuits will be included in the litigation. If you or someone you love has experienced serious vision problems or retinal changes, and you believe Elmiron to be the cause, do not hesitate to seek legal help. You may have grounds to file an Elmiron lawsuit against the manufacturer and pursue the compensation you deserve for your alleged Elmiron-related injuries.
Serious, potentially irreversible vision problems have been linked to Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium), a medication commonly prescribed to manage the symptoms of interstitial cystitis (IC). People with IC, also known as painful bladder syndrome, typically experience bladder pain, bladder pressure, and sometimes pelvic pain, and Elmiron is thought to help relieve the symptoms of this condition by restoring a thin, damaged, or “leaky” bladder surface. However, more and more former Elmiron users are reporting symptoms of retinal maculopathy or pigmentary maculopathy, a novel and progressive eye disease affecting the back of the retina, called the macula. The macula is responsible for controlling the ability to read, recognize colors and faces, and see fine detail in objects. These vision problems tied to Elmiron may worsen over time and cause permanent injury to the retina, possibly leading to blindness, usually in both eyes. And because there is no cure for IC, users often take Elmiron for years, unaware of the drug’s potentially toxic effect on the retina.
According to a growing body of scientific research, people who take Elmiron long-term may be at risk for a host of potentially irreversible vision problems, such as blurred vision, difficulty reading, dark spots in the field of vision, distorted vision, and more. In some cases, patients may experience vision loss or possibly even complete blindness after taking Elmiron. These vision problems are so distinctive and have been so closely linked to Elmiron use that they are collectively being referred to by researchers and experts as “pentosan polysulfate sodium-associated maculopathy.” It is important to note while most cases of Elmiron-related maculopathy have occurred after three years of use or longer, cases have also been seen with a shorter duration of use. Sadly, due to a general lack of information about the risk of Elmiron toxicity provided by manufacturers, many patients experiencing vision problems allegedly caused by Elmiron have been misdiagnosed and have continued taking the medication.
More than 1,300 former Elmiron users have filed claims in federal court alleging that long-term Elmiron use caused them to suffer retinal damage. Each Elmiron lawsuit involves similar allegations that Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, knew for years that Elmiron could cause serious vision problems in users and deliberately withheld this crucial information from the public. It wasn’t until June 2020, more than two decades after Elmiron entered the U.S. market, that a warning about “pigmentary changes in the retina, reported in the literature as pigmentary maculopathy” was finally added to the Elmiron label. According to mounting legal complaints, Elmiron users could have avoided these devastating vision problems had the drug makers simply provided adequate warnings about the importance of vision monitoring during Elmiron treatment.
Given common questions of fact and law, Elmiron vision loss lawsuits filed in the federal court system have been centralized in New Jersey before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti. In a Case Management Order issued on June 30, 2022, Judge Martinotti revealed that there were 1,041 cases alleging injuries from Elmiron – 915 federal cases and 126 cases filed in state courts. Now, less than two weeks later, the federal Elmiron MDL has grown to at least 1,360 lawsuits. The first Elmiron bellwether case is scheduled for trial early next year, and while the outcome of this trial is not binding on other cases, a win for the plaintiff could prompt Janssen and Johnson & Johnson to consider Elmiron settlement negotiations. For more information about the Elmiron MDL, or to find out whether you may qualify for an Elmiron maculopathy lawsuit, contact Consumer Safety Watch today. We know how difficult it can be to deal with a drug-related injury on your own, especially one that can lead to vision loss or blindness, and we are here to help.