Friday, July 30, 2021 - Maculopathy and Macular degeneration are the adverse side effects being reported by women that have taken Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) to treat interstitial cystitis (IC) also known as painful bladder syndrome. The macula is the area at the center of the retina and is responsible for accurate vision. When the macula degenerates spots form. Macular degeneration was once thought to be age-related but now is associated with taking bladder pain medicine. Hundreds of women with vision damage have filed Elmiron Vision damage lawsuits alleging Jansen Pharmaceuticals knew of the problem decades ago and failed to warn them. Plaintiffs say had they known about Elmiron causing eyesight damage they would not have taken the drug. An interesting point is that women are more than five times as likely to develop IC than men, according to Wisconsin Urology.
One woman who filed suit complains her eyesight damage is leading to total blindness. She may be right since studies show that Elmiron‘s vision damage continues to get progressively worse despite stopping taking the medication. It does not take long for Elmiron vision damage to occur. The woman from Texas claims she experienced blurred vision and trouble adjusting to dim lighting conditions just two years after starting on Elmiron. When she was alerted that Elmiron could be causing her vision damage, she stopped taking the drug, but her vision damage continued to worsen. Lawyers told MedNews 365.com, "Unfortunately, in 2010, doctors determined the patient was legally blind from macular degeneration, and in 2013, she was further diagnosed with the eye disease pigmentary retina dystrophy, which is typically characterized by colored spots on the retina."
The central issue in most Elmiron lawsuits is that Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson failed to warn the public of the dangers of Elmiron until it was too late for thousands of women. Most say that they would not have taken the drug if the threat of vision damage had been explained. When the Elmiron warning came, it was published in Europe and Canada but not in the United States until the company updated its website two years later. Women seeking medical attention for painful bladder syndrome are prescribed Elmiron as it is the only treatment available. For nearly three decades, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson have enjoyed a monopoly and did what needed to be done to keep their cash cow alive. Interstitial Cystitis (IC) can cause embarrassing urinary incontinence in women as young as 30 years old. Elmiron is not a painkiller but is an antiviral medicine that takes up to three months to build up in the blood before pain relief occurs. Insider.com writes, "Interstitial cystitis (IC), sometimes referred to as painful bladder syndrome (PBS), bladder pain syndrome (BPS), or hypersensitive bladder, is a chronic bladder condition that causes bladder pressure, bladder pain, pelvic pain, and urinary urgency or frequency. "