Prescribed to millions since 1996, Elmiron—a drug once thought safe and low-risk—may be causing a devastating eye condition. Patients across the country are filing lawsuits demanding accountability from the manufacturer and compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Elmiron is one of the very few treatment options available to those suffering from Interstitial Cystitis, also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome. This condition causes chronic pain and pressure in the bladder, as well as the frequent urge to urinate. Elmiron is thought to help relieve symptoms by providing a protective coating to the damaged bladder wall. It is also thought to come along with, infrequent, and mild side effects.
But beginning in 2015, evidence has emerged that taking Elmiron may cause a toxic buildup inside the retina, thereby causing serious vision impairment. There is also evidence that the manufacturer knew of this link, yet failed to warn the public. For victims of this negligence, this may represent grounds for legal action that leads to compensation for the health damage suffered.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals has not responded to the mounting evidence, nor issued any recalls or updated guidance to doctors. They haven’t even added vision damage to the list of possible side effects.
If you or a loved one took Elmiron and has since been diagnosed with Retinal Maculopathy or is experiencing vision impairment symptoms, you may be eligible for compensation. Give us a call, and have our legal team review your case for free.
WHAT’S THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE LAWSUIT?
Around the United States, lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits claim that the manufacturer should have known that the drug had a risk of vision damage and should, therefore, have provided a warning.
On December 15, 2020, a court ruled that all federally filed Elmiron lawsuits could be consolidated into what is termed a Multi-District Litigation (MDL). An MDL is a judicial procedure designed to speed up the process of litigating a large number of similar cases.
For the Elmiron MDL, Morgan & Morgan attorney Paul Pennock was appointed co-lead counsel of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, along with Virginia E. Anello of Douglas & London PC and Parvin Aminolroaya of Seeger Weiss LLP.
Pennock, who is revered as one of the most experienced MDL litigators in the country, has a proven track record of successfully resolving mass tort litigations in product liability and pharmaceuticals.
HOW WAS THIS RISK DISCOVERED?
In 2015, doctors at Atlanta’s Emory Eye Center started seeing an eye condition that they couldn’t explain. It was some form of Retinal Maculopathy, but they couldn’t figure out the cause. After ruling out a host of other factors, the doctors discovered that all six of the patients were also taking Elmiron. This connection was borne out over the years with additional patients, and in 2018, the doctors published their findings, laying out a possible connection between Elmiron and a new and dangerous form of Retinal Maculopathy.
This finding launched further investigation across the country, and in 2019, two new studies corroborated these findings. A study of 91 people taking Elmiron by Kaiser Oakland found that around a quarter of them had some form of eye damage, and a study by Dr. Rachel Huckfeldt of Harvard Medical School found that a patient who had stopped taking Elmiron years ago was still suffering from toxicity in the retinas.
A 2020 study published in the scientific journal Retina found that long-term exposure to Elmiron could increase one’s risk for vision problems. This study concluded that those with the highest exposure to Elmiron were more likely to report difficulty with reading small print and to have a diagnosis of macular degeneration and/or pigmentary maculopathy.
The current understanding of the Elmiron-Retinal Maculopathy link is that Elmiron causes a toxic buildup in the retinas that lasts an extended period of time, and that as the dose of Elmiron increases, so does the toxicity and the vision damage.
This matters because due to Elmiron’s reputation as a safe, almost risk-free drug, doctors have always felt comfortable increasing the doses of their patients. The standard starting dose of Elmiron is 300mg, but doctors have been known to prescribe up to 1500mg.
There is also reason to believe that Janssen Pharmaceuticals knew of a potential link between Elmiron and eye damage. Researchers at Emory Eye Center were able to find a 2,400 person clinical trial conducted by the manufacturer, which came back with reports of subjects developing eye conditions like Optic Neuritis and Retinal Hemorrhage.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ELMIRON-RELATED RETINAL MACULOPATHY?
This is a newly discovered condition, and it is unknown at this time how many symptoms there actually are, or how serious this can end up being for those suffering from it.
The currently known symptoms associated with this eye condition include:
- A change in the color of the retina itself
- Dark spots in visions
- Straight lines turned curved or squiggly
- Muted, less vivid colors
- Trouble reading
- Blurred vision, including in the center of the field of view
- A hard time adjusting to dimmer lighting
SHOULD I STOP TAKING ELMIRON?
If you’re taking Elmiron, talk to your doctor about your options. However, it’s important to note that awareness of the danger posed by Elmiron has not fully spread throughout the medical community. This means that your doctor may not know about this yet. So if it seems like your doctor is unaware of the connection between Elmiron and Retinal Maculopathy, ask them to fully research the matter before making any final recommendations.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AN ELMIRON LAWSUIT?
Anybody who took Elmiron for at least a year and is now suffering from vision impairment may qualify for an Elmiron lawsuit. If successful, you could win compensation for your medical costs and any other associated financial losses, as well as damages for your pain and suffering.
INJURED BY ELMIRON? WE CAN HELP
If you or a loved one is suffering from vision impairment after taking Elmiron, you may be eligible for compensation. Our legal team is standing by ready to review your case for free, and if we take your case, you won’t pay a dime unless we win for you either. Call today.
We’re the largest personal injury firm in the country, and we have the experience and resources it takes to take on the world’s biggest corporations. Like Johnson & Johnson – which owns Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Elmiron – and which is worth almost $400 billion.
We don’t shy away from the fight. We’ve recovered $7 billion for our clients to date, and we’re ready to fight for you too.
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