Elmiron Dangers

Woman having eyes tested for Elmiron damage

Did you experience eye problems after taking Elmiron to treat a bladder condition? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Here’s why.

Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium)

Elmiron contains the active ingredient pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS). The drug, now manufactured by Janssen, a pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson, is a common first-line therapy prescribed by urologists to patients who suffer from interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome. Elmiron is designed to provide a coating to the bladder to help protect against bladder irritation and discomfort.

Elmiron linked to macular degeneration

Recent medical literature has found a significant link between Elmiron and a particular eye disease. Specifically, the condition is known as macular degeneration or maculopathy – a disease that affects the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for producing accurate and highly sensitive vision. In a study conducted by Emory University, researchers discovered that retinal maculopathy developed at a dangerously high rate for those being treated for painful bladder syndrome. In Emory’s study, using advanced retinal imaging, scientists discovered that all of the affected patients were women.

Additional studies conducted by Kaiser health care and by researchers at UCLA came to the same conclusion: there was a dangerously high prevalence of maculopathy in patients taking Elmiron. Studies also revealed that the longer you used Elmiron, the higher the chance of a patient developing eye disease.

Before these studies were published, scientists believe that many doctors were mistakenly diagnosing patients on Elmiron with age-related macular degeneration and macular/pattern dystrophy. Following the publication of this research, however, we now know that it’s actually a unique retinal injury likely caused by Elmiron.

What should patients look for?

Here is a photograph of a person suffering from dark spots in the center of her vision:

Normal vision vs Macular Degeneration

Patients suffering from the condition suffer from a host of eye problems, including:

  • Difficulty reading
  • Difficulty adapting to dim lighting
  • Blurred vision (often centrally in the patient’s field of vision)
  • Dark spots in center of vision
  • Straight lines appearing curved or squiggly
  • Muted, less vivid colors

Patients who suffer from macular degeneration often suffer from prolonged light to dark adaptation, that is, it takes a long time for a person to adjust from being in the light to being in the dark. The condition is also called Metamorphopsia, a type of distorted vision in which a grid of straight lines appears wavy and parts of the grid may appear blank.

Most states recognize a claim for what is called Loss of Consortium. This is a term used in personal injury lawsuits that refers to the damage to a marital relationship caused by another’s misconduct. In those states that recognize this claim, your spouse will have the option of joining the lawsuit. In cases involving vision loss to a spouse, a loss of consortium claim can be significant.

Elmiron Lawsuits Underway for Injured Patients

Lawsuits filed in several state and federal courts allege that the drug manufacturer knowingly injured patients by keeping data from the FDA about the true risks of Elmiron. Further, these suits allege that after knowing about the risk, the drugmakers didn’t warn about the risk of macular degeneration. The lawsuits claim that the motive behind their conduct was to maximize profits from Elmiron sales.

Urgent Action Required

Putting profits before the wellbeing of patients is immoral as well as illegal. If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, or suffer from significant eye disease following the use of Elmiron, contact The Joel Bieber Firm as soon as possible about your rights under the law. Consultations are always free of charge and may lead to your being compensated by Janssen Pharmaceuticals for related medical and other expenses. Spouses of patients who may have suffered as a result of these complications also may be eligible for compensation. Don’t delay. Call us now for a free legal consultation.

Side effects can vary from as little as headaches, diarrhea, and rashes, to as large as hair loss, bloody stool, and vision loss.

Ultimately, yes, vision loss usually continues happening even after stopping the medication. However, if caught early enough, the damage may stop progressing. 

3-6 months.

Yes. Heparin, OTC Supplements, and CystoProtek are the most common.


    Contact an experienced Injury Claims Lawyer at The Joel Bieber Firm today for your free initial consultation.