Elmiron® lawsuits claim the drug causes an eye disorder called maculopathy and other disorders of the retina that may lead to blindness!
What Is Elmiron®?
This medication is used to treat pain/discomfort from a certain bladder disorder (interstitial cystitis). It may work by forming a layer on the bladder wall and protecting it from harmful/irritating substances in the urine. It is also a weak “blood thinner” and therefore may increase the risk of bruising/bleeding (e.g., bleeding from the nose/gums).
Elmiron’s current prescribing information provided by Janssen Pharmaceuticals lists the drug’s side effects and warnings but has no information about the risks of maculopathy, a type of disease that affects the macula, or other visual changes or conditions.
The macula is the backside of the retina. The retina senses light and sends a signal to the brain, allowing people to see. Retina damage affects a person’s vision. In the Western world, maculopathy is the most common cause of blindness.
The type of maculopathy linked to Elmiron is called pigmentary maculopathy. According to studies, this type of maculopathy seems to be unique to Elmiron users.
If caught in its early stages, the damage may stop after taking medication. But in late stages, the disease can lead to permanent vision loss. So far, researchers have reported on one patient whose eye damage continued for years even after stopping Elmiron.
The most common visual symptoms reported in studies were difficulty reading and difficulty adapting to dim lighting.
CONDITIONS OR WARNING SIGNS OF MACULOPATHY
- Difficulty reading,
- Taking a long time to adjust to the dark,
- Difficulty seeing close objects,
- Dimming vision, and/or,
- Paracentral scotoma (a spot of vision loss in the field of vision).