Coronavirus Update: To New & Existing Clients Learn More ›

Super Lawyers
Illinois State Bar Association
Justia Lawyer Rating
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo Rating
BBB Accredited Business

Elmiron Vision Loss Lawsuit

File An Elmiron Lawsuit For Your Vision Loss Problems

Many people have arthritis and interstitial cystitis (IC), which is also referred to as “painful bladder syndrome.” These are severe conditions that cause lots of pain and suffering.

To alleviate these problems for adult patients, doctors have prescribed an IC drug called Elmiron, which is a prescription medication used to treat interstitial cystitis and bladder pain.

Alleged Eye Injury from Elmiron

However, patients have experienced several adverse reactions from the dangerous Johnson & Johnson drug and developed serious eye problems that could be permanent as a result of exposure to pentosan polysulfate used to treat bladder pain.

This is the active ingredient of the drug and the supposed link between Elmiron and serious eye injury.

Elmiron Lawsuit attorney

Complications from Elmiron Use

Because of chronic exposure to pentosan, some patients lose their field of vision not associated with age-related macular degeneration or retinal disease. This is what causes vision problems and the difficulty reading.

Other victims experienced significant hair loss in one single area, where the condition sometimes reversed after stopping medication use, allowing the hair to grow back.

The vision damage associated with the drug led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recall the drug.

Patients reported the need to adapt to dim lighting when reading or looking at objects. The dimming of natural or artificial light could restrict the ability to see anything except up close.

Some patients who experienced permanent eye damage or vision problems (paracentral scotoma) after taking Elmiron have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, Janssen (a subsidiary of Johnson Johnson).

Attorneys Committed to Protecting People With Vision Problems After Elmiron Use

The good news is that you or a loved one may be eligible for financial compensation via a civil lawsuit against J & J.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC works with victims of prescription malpractice, including prescription drug Elmiron patients with eye problems like retinal maculopathy and pigmentary maculopathy.

Our legal team helps them file Elmiron lawsuits for financial compensation if they have been harmed due to negligent medication advice.

The following sections review recent developments regarding an Elmiron lawsuit, including the harm it has caused and the help some patients have obtained.

If you have been harmed by this drug, call our law office today. Our phone number is (888) 424-5757. You could also go online and fill out a contact form. We can offer a free case review to a potential client before forming an attorney-client relationship.

Hear about how Elmiron lawyers can assist you with getting compensation with an Elmiron lawsuit for your vision problems, retinal damage, pattern dystrophy, retinal pigmentary maculopathy, retinopathy, or other permanent vision damage. In some cases, part of the retina was destroyed, leading to permanent loss of vision.

What is Elmiron, and How is It Used?

Elmiron is a semi-synthetic polysulfated xylan medication. The specific medicinal name for the drug is pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), and that identifies its chemical makeup.

For a time, doctors prescribed this prescription for blood-thinning purposes. However, recent studies show that the medication was not remarkably successful as an anticoagulant but did cause excessive bruising in some users.

What it was more commonly used for was addressing arthritis and interstitial cystitis.

Arthritis happens when the cartilage around bones breaks down over a period. Interstitial cystitis is a chronic problem causing bladder pain. When IC occurs, the bladder undergoes increased pain and pressure.

It also triggers pain in the surrounding area of the body-- sometimes referred to as bladder pain syndrome.

Elmiron Lawsuit lawyer

What Damage Does Elmiron Cause and What Symptoms Does it Show?

The prescription and use of Elmiron has led to several troubling complications for people across the country. As mentioned above, numerous patients have experienced pain in their head, stomach, and other parts of their body while on the drug.

However, the most severe effect reportedly linked to taking Elmiron has been pigmentary maculopathy resulting in an eye condition and blindness. Maculopathy is a term that refers to general pathological issues with the macula.

Elmiron Vision Loss Blindness Symptoms Attorneys

The macula is the area in the middle of the retina. It controls acuity and sensitivity. An ophthalmologist can determine any macular degeneration that has occurred.

Macular degeneration (like retinal maculopathy) caused by Elmiron has been labeled “pigmentary” but does not have known etiological sources. The diseases can manifest in many different forms for patients taking the medication. You can have vision difficulty reading at work or for leisure.

Yet, there are some frequent symptoms that evidence maculopathy due to Elmiron.

Eye Symptoms from Elmiron

Here are some of those symptoms:

  • Vessel and capillary swelling, damage, and abnormality around the retina and eye generally.
  • Yellow lesions beneath the macula. Note, some doctors refer to this condition as adult pattern macular dystrophy.
  • Atrophy within the retina and around the macula.
  • Dark pigmentation within the retina.
  • Blurred vision and reading problems
  • Permanent vision loss

If you have taken Elmiron and experienced side effects, you are likely concerned about other side effects and damage the medicine could cause.

Below, we have answered some of the common questions involving Elmiron that include:

Elmiron eye injury lawsuit lawyer

Can Elmiron (Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium) Cause Blindness?

The National Center for biotechnology information published by the National Library of Medicine released information in November 2018 on the visual disturbance associated with cumulative exposure to the active ingredient in Elmiron, pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS).

The case study involved six adult patients exposed to PPS. In one case, “For Isaac to patients showed paracentral RPE atrophy, which is the death of retinal pigment epithelial cells.

The atrophy typically occurs in a geographical area that affects vision where a patch of the retina and its functions are lost.

What Are the Side Effects of Elmiron

Physicians typically prescribe Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) as a bladder protectant to control bladder discomfort and pain due to irritation or inflammation (cystitis).

However, the medication is also a week anticoagulant with serious side effects that include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Stomach pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Partner
  • Mood/mental changes
  • Unusual bleeding (blood in the stool)
  • Unusual bruising
  • Swallowing discomfort

Many doctors prescribe Elmiron to restore leaky, thin or damaged bladder surfaces (GAG – glycosaminoglycans). The bladder surface is a mucous coating that protects the bladder wall and guards against irritation and bacteria.

Doctors often prescribe a typical dose of 100 mg of the medication taken orally three times a day, with symptoms diminishing in approximately a month.

Usually, the dosage is taken for approximately six months before the treatment is discontinued.

Sometimes, the doctor will prescribe other medications to be taken concomitantly with Elmiron, including antihistamines and antidepressants in low doses.

However, the liver must metabolize the drug’s active ingredient pentosan polysulfate sodium. Because of that, doctors often perform a periodic liver function test to ensure no damage has occurred to the organ.

Can the Bladder Lining Heal Itself?

The bladder can regenerate, and self-repair damaged areas that were harmed through injury or infection.

The body’s progenitor cells that developed in the early stages of development are highly effective at repairing injuries to the bladder lining.

Can Elmiron Cause Liver Damage?

Because the medication must be metabolized in the liver and spleen, there is a potential that pentosan polysulfate sodium, the active ingredient in Elmiron, can lead to liver damage.

There is the potential of saturation of pentosan polysulfate sodium with continued dosing that could cause health problems.

It is essential to tell your doctor that you are taking any blood thinners that might have a drug to drug interaction due to commonly experienced anticoagulant effects.

History of Elmiron Problems and Government Response

In recent years, problems surrounding Elmiron prescription and macular degeneration have surfaced in the medical community. They have mostly emanated out of academia, but some studies have emerged out of the private sector as well.

A simple review will offer great insight into the breaking timeline and rapid development of this medical issue of great concern.

Spring 2018

Physicians working at the Emory Eye Center at the Emory School of Medicine published a study demonstrating that six patients developed special pigmentary retinal maculopathy after chronic exposure to Elmiron. They note particular harm to the retinal pigment epithelium.

Spring 2019

The same doctors at the Emory Eye Center release another study with the American Academy of Ophthalmology demonstrate that patients with a medical history of interstitial cystitis but no exposure to Elmiron did not have the same vision problems, pigmentary maculopathy, macular degeneration or eye condition as those who did take the drug. The report also encourages patients to discontinue the prescription if they have symptoms of maculopathy or eye disease.

Fall 2019

Kaiser Permanente discloses the findings of its study regarding Elmiron. It finds high levels of toxicity, especially in those patients with higher dosage levels.

Winter 2019

A study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology determines that users that took Elmiron had a higher rate of vision problems such as macular degeneration and retinal maculopathy seven years into their prescription use.

January 2020

An article published by the National Institute of Health followed the Canadian Urological Association Journal and published information on the FDA-approved oral medication Elmiron.

The article reveals alarming findings and asks doctors to disclose “the emergence of this potential toxicity to expose patients” taking the medication.

Researchers also suggest that “ophthalmic screening in any PPS [pentosan polysulfate sodium]-exposed patient with any visual complaints for evidence of this maculopathy.” Pentosan polysulfate sodium is marketed as Elmiron, a “synthetic polysaccharide that binds to the urothelium, providing a protective layer that may help prevent painful irritation from components of the urine.”

Will Elmiron Be Recalled By the FDA?

Despite these findings, the United States government (FDA) and the medical community at large have failed to take action to prevent the long-term use of Elmiron.

It could issue a recall to halt the use of this drug, but it has not yet done so. In the wake of these findings, some people have filed Elmiron lawsuits against the makers of this medication. The substantive merits of those claims and possible benefits are examined next.

Experts expect thousands of people to file Elmiron lawsuits throughout the United States.

Currently, there are about 130 lawsuits from patients who took Elmiron. These Elmiron lawsuits were just granted Multi District status in federal court in New Jersey in front of Judge Brian Martinotti. Johnson & Johnson is the defendant in numerous class actions and product liability lawsuits.

Elmiron Macular Degeneration and Personal Injury Claims Against Janssen

In recent years, patients have begun filing claims for financial compensation against the manufacturers of Elmiron (i.e., Janssen Pharmaceuticals) related to severe eye disease.

Their claims suggest that long-term use and exposure have caused severe medical problems, including retinal maculopathy, pigmentary maculopathy, general eye disorder, and other issues.

The complaints offer that the pharmaceutical companies had a duty to warn the consumers of such risks or make and distribute products that did present such problems.

Yet, these suits have been brought individually in the United States District Court by plaintiffs who were taking the medication for interstitial cystitis or other bladder condition.

They have not been filed in a class-action capacity, but that option has not been ruled out. Class action lawsuits allow plaintiffs to bring claims on behalf of groups of similarly affected victims.

Elmiron Vision Complication Claim Compensation

Claims for prescription malpractice, including Elmiron lawsuits, implicate several forms of compensation for plaintiffs. They may pursue relief for their increased costs, including medical bills, lost wages, and similar losses.

By filing an Elmiron lawsuit, you also seek to recover for pain, disability, vision loss, suffering, reduced quality of life, and other intangible harms.

Generally, prescription oral medication lawsuits action enables plaintiffs to make up for the damage done by the defendants.

Victims of Elmiron defects may estimate how their injuries stack up when analyzing the value of their cases. Of course, an experienced Elmiron vision loss law firm could assist you in that process.

Hire an Elmiron Vision Loss Attorney Today for a Product Liability Lawsuit

Every medical malpractice case requires a substantial amount of factual investigation, legal analysis, and communications work. The process of building a successful case against Janssen Pharmaceuticals for vision problems takes not only time but also money and skill.

Even under the best of circumstances, it isn’t easy. When you factor in that Illinois puts tight deadlines on cases (through statutes of limitations), it becomes incredibly harder.

Hiring experienced product liability and Elmiron malpractice lawyers could help make sure you or a loved one can get back on track to improve their health and heal from severe side effects.

The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers law firm handles each Elmiron lawsuit on contingency so you can focus on your health, and we can successfully resolve your case.

It will not cost you anything upfront, and you can schedule a free consultation today to learn about what help awaits you.

Contact us anytime at (888) 424-5757 to discuss your legal options for filing an Elmiron lawsuit during your free case evaluation.
We look forward to working with you and to create an attorney client relationship!

250M + Recovered for Our Clients
No Fee Guarantee We Never Charge a Fee Unless We Win
Available 24/7 Available 24-Hours per Day When You Need Us
Client Reviews
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa