When you use medication prescribed by your doctor or a trusted healthcare provider, you’ve put your trust in a system that is meant to help people get better. Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies are more interested in revenue than they are in the negative side effects of their products. In the case of Elmiron, a medication used to treat bladder pain, many users have suffered serious side effects such as maculopathy, an eye disorder affecting the macula (central part of the retina) and a major cause of blindness. At The Holman Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients who have suffered at the hands of big pharmaceutical companies and advocating on your behalf in a court of law. If you have used Elmiron in the past and have suffered adverse side effects related to your vision, read below to learn more and call the Holman Law Firm at 850-435-6909 to schedule a consultation.
What is Elmiron?
Elmiron is the market name for a medication called pentosane polysulfate sodium, which is used as a treatment for interstitial cystitis (IC), but is also commonly referred to as bladder pain syndrome). Unfortunately, interstitial cystitis is not a very well understood medical condition, but what is known is that common symptoms of this condition include painful intercourse, repeated pain in your bladder, and frequently urinating.
What Are the Known Negative Side Effects of Using Elmiron?
The first reported incident of negative side effects in Elmiron users was between 2015 and 2017, when patients entered the Emory Eye Center experiencing symptoms of pigmentary maculopathy. Again in 2019, there were an additional ten patients seen at the Emory Eye Center who received the same diagnosis after taking Elmiron for a prolonged period of time. When these patients came to the eye center, they complained of dimmed vision, hard time reading, near-sight visual challenges, and losing vision in low light. In fact, there have been numerous scientific studies published in peer-reviewed journals that link individuals’ use of Elmiron to pigmentary maculopathy.
Elmiron Recalls and Troubled History
Additionally, one of the most important factors to note is that Elmiron is not actually an effective medication to treat interstitial cystitis. The clinical trials conducted for Elmiron in the 1990’s showed that there was doubtful efficacy for the treatment of interstitial cystitis. In 1993, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent the manufacturers of Elmiron their first non-approval letter. This letter cited problems both with the results of the clinical trials conducted for Elmiron and the investigators themselves who conducted these trials. The FDA then requested that additional clinical trials be conducted on the medication to determine the efficacy, however the manufacturer of Elmiron refused. After this, the FDA sent their second non-approval letter to the manufacturers of Elmiron in which they requested for a second time that the manufacturer execute another clinical trial. Again, the manufacturer refused. Finally, new clinical trials were conducted after pressure from the FDA, and the results showed that the data and conclusions were essentially unproven.
What Is Pigmentary Maculopathy?
Pigmentary maculopathy is the specific eye condition that has been previously linked to continued use of Elmiron. This condition is a sign of damage to a part of your eye called the macula, which is the part of your retina that plays a key role in the perception and detection of light. When your macula is damaged, this causes numerous issues with your vision because with a damaged ability to sense light, your brain has a difficult time translating the light you perceive into visual images. This results in general symptoms like image distortion, black spots in your vision, blurry spots in your vision, dimmed vision, and overall poor vision.
What Damages Could You Receive for Joining in the Elmiron Lawsuit?
If you have suffered from poor vision or serious eye damage as a result of long-term use of Elmiron, you could be legally entitled to damages from Elmiron’s manufacturer. Below, we’ve listed some of the damages you could receive if you join a lawsuit against Elmiron:
- Any medical expenses you have incurred as a result of your condition
- Any future medical expenses that you may incur as a result of your condition
- Loss of wages or salary if this applies
- Compensation for pain and suffering (both mental and physical) that was a direct result of your condition
- Any other expenses or financial losses that were a direct result of your condition
- Punitive damages if this applies
If the symptoms described in this article sound familiar and you have been a long time user of Elmiron to treat your interstitial cystitis, consider speaking with an experienced attorney who can assist with your next steps. Please don’t hesitate to call the Holman Law Firm at 850-435-6909 to schedule a consultation.