Elmiron is a prescription medication used to treat a unique and chronic bladder condition that causes painful and uncomfortable symptoms for sufferers. While the drug has been prescribed for decades and is the only oral medication used to treat the condition, recently released studies suggest that the drug can cause serious eye problems and vision loss.
Were you ever warned of the possibility that Elmiron could damage your vision? Were you ever told you would need regular eye exams for complications? If not, the drug manufacturer never warned patients about the drug’s serious risk to the eye. If this happened to you, you need an experienced Dallas drug injury attorney to fight for justice.
The manufacturer of Elmiron failed. They neglected their duty to the consumer and didn’t warn patients about the potential risks of taking the drug, and yet they still reaped the financial windfall that this expensive drug provided for them. At The Benton Law Firm, we believe that is unconscionable.
If you have taken Elmiron for an extended period of time and now suffer from vision problems, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact the legal team at The Benton Law Firm to discuss your case and legal options. The makers of Elmiron deserve to be held accountable, and you deserve compensation. At The Benton Law Firm, we aren’t afraid to tackle pharmaceutical giants. We want to work with you to get you the justice you deserve. Call (214) 777-7777 today.
What Is Elmiron Used For?
Elmiron is a medication also known as pentosan polysulfate sodium. It is a prescription drug that is primarily used to treat the pain and discomfort associated with interstitial cystitis, or IC. IC is a chronic medical condition that causes serious pain and pressure in the bladder.
While researchers don’t understand the exact mechanism of how Elmiron works to treat the symptoms of IC, it is thought that the drug protects the bladder from irritants in urine by improving the lining or barrier of the bladder wall itself. In patients with IC, the bladder wall may be thin or damaged. Elmiron is thought to help rebuild that wall. Some of the pain and pressure caused by IC can be relieved by rebuilding or strengthening this barrier.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for IC, but Elmiron does help mitigate the symptoms. Elmiron is currently the only oral drug approved to treat the pain and symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis, and there is no generic equivalent, making this treatment expensive. It also has side effects, including dizziness, hair loss, headache, and nausea. It is a mild blood thinner and can cause patients to bruise more easily.
The Problems With Elmiron
For people suffering from the chronic condition of interstitial cystitis, the introduction of Elmiron in the mid-1990s seemed like a miracle. With no other oral medication on the market to combat the often painful and uncomfortable symptoms of IC, Elmiron has given many people their life back, but at what cost? Unfortunately, new medical research and complaints to the FDA have uncovered the medication’s previously undisclosed side effects.
This research has found that the drug Elmiron appears toxic to the retina. The retina is a thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye near the optic nerve. It receives light that the eye’s lens has focused on and converts it into neural signals sent to the brain. The retina is vital to a person’s vision, and once damaged, it can cause serious visual impairments and even blindness.
IC is a chronic condition, meaning people looking to manage their symptoms will typically take Elmiron for a long or extended period. Studies have now begun to link the prolonged use of Elmiron with serious conditions impacting the retina, including pigmentary maculopathy and macular retinopathy. Pigmentary maculopathy can cause a gradual loss of central vision in its earlier stages. It is relatively painless, and a victim may not even realize there is a problem until the late stages of the condition. Pigmentary maculopathy can result in blindness.
Damage Caused by Elmiron
The damaging effects of Elmiron may not be readily apparent. Not many people think that the medication they take for the bladder would impact their vision. This is especially true since the drug manufacturer has never listed vision problems or toxicity as a possible side effect of taking the medication.
Studies published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology also point to the fact that damage caused by Elmiron can easily be misdiagnosed as other eye conditions or age-related macular degeneration. It’s suggested that at least one-fourth of patients who took the drug Elmiron are now suffering some form of pigmentary maculopathy or serious eye-related conditions. Some of the most common symptoms associated with the condition can include:
- Gradual loss of vision
- A dark spot when looking straight ahead that may expand over time
- Light sensitivity or difficulty adjusting from bright to dim lighting
- Vision distortion
- Blurred vision
- Loss of color contrast
- Difficulty reading
Do You Need an Attorney?
The short answer is yes. If you have been prescribed Elmiron, it is because you have a painful and uncomfortable chronic bladder condition. Just when you think you have found a solution, however, you realize that the drug company has failed to disclose that your eyesight may be the cost you ultimately pay.
Don’t let a giant pharmaceutical company get away with putting your health and safety at risk for their enormous profits. Elmiron is the only oral medication of its kind approved for the treatment of IC symptoms. That makes it unique and expensive. It also means that the drug company has the market cornered, sufferers of the condition have few other options, and the company can reap the financial benefits.
Now, it has come to light that the drug can cause serious side effects and damage to the eye, side effects that were never disclosed to patients by the manufacturer. Patients deserve justice and the chance to hold this company accountable for their negligent behavior and failure to warn patients. The legal team at The Benton Law Firm can help you go after that justice and recover compensation for your injuries.
Have You Taken Elmiron? Contact The Benton Law Firm for Advice
You may feel like you’ve been victimized twice. First, a chronic condition can cause almost constant pain and pressure. Then a second time, by a giant pharmaceutical company that has put profit above marketing a safe and reliable drug. Before taking any medication, you should know all potential risks and side effects. That way, you can make an informed decision about your health and medical care. The makers of Elmiron have taken that away from you, and you deserve justice.
If you suffer from vision problems after taking Elmiron for a prolonged period, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. Contact the experienced team at The Benton Law Firm at (214) 777-7777 to discuss your situation and learn more about your legal options.