Elmiron Eye Lawsuit News

Patients Must Establish an Eyesight Baseline To Compare With Vision Damages Allegedly Caused By Elmiron

The makers of Elmiron admit the drug causes night blindness, and that a vision test is necessary before receiving the drug

Monday, April 19, 2021 - I wrote earlier in the month urging long-term Elmiron patients to see an ophthalmologist to see if they are suffering from maculopathy. Also, doctors that prescribe Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) should first send their patients to an ophthalmologist for a battery of vision tests to serve as a baseline for future eyesight test comparisons. Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson agree that their anti bladder pain drug can cause macular degeneration and maculopathy, both of which may lead to permanent, irreversible night blindness. The makers of Elmiron urge doctors to make vision screening a regular part of their Elmiron therapy. "Throughout your treatment, regular eye examinations that include retinal examinations are suggested for early detection of retinal/macular changes," OrthoElmiron.com warns potential users. Janssen is particularly concerned that Elmiron night blindness is identified as soon as possible with regular, ongoing vision testing because of the severity of the side effect. "Your doctor will discuss with you when to get your first eye examination and follow-up exams, and whether the treatment should be continued since these changes may be irreversible and may progress even after stopping treatment," is part of the Elmiron warning. Doctors prescribing Elmiron should ask the patient whether there is any history of eyesight problems in their family. Patients should report any eyesight damage immediately to their physician.

AboutLawsuits.com reports that more than 200 women with the condition have come forward to file lawsuits against the companies and experts think that thousands more may be forthcoming in the months and years to come. The number of lawsuits could be as high as a fifth of the approximately 20 million women who are regularly taking the drug. So many women may have had their eyesight damaged allegedly by taking Elmiron that a Federal judge recently ruled that plaintiffs may file their lawsuits directly into multidistrict litigation to further streamline the court proceedings. U.S. District Courts nationwide Judge Brian R. Martinotti will preside over the MDL centralized in the District of New Jersey. Elmiron-induced maculopathy leaves its distinct signature on the retina linking the drug with the disease according to the journal Clinical Ophthalmology. Janssen and JNJ failed to update Elmiron's warning label to include night blindness until June of 2020. The company represented the drug as safe and pure to millions of women for over 20 years before being forced to admit the vision damage the drug caused.

Elmiron's effectiveness in treating painful bladder syndrome is questionable as studies indicate less than one-third of those taking the drug reporting that it has relieved their pain. In addition to allegedly causing night blindness, Elmiron also carries the side effects of 'hair loss, diarrhea, nausea, blood in the stool, headache, rash, upset stomach, abnormal liver function tests, dizziness, and bruising" according to the website. OrthoElmiron.com also admits that they have no idea how the drug works other than it is different from aspirin or another painkiller and thus must be taken daily forever. Doctors know that Elmiron night blindness may persist or progress despite stopping taking the drug.

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