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Elmiron Lawsuits – Increased Risk of Retinal Maculopathy

LK previously reported about a link between the prescription medication Elmiron and retinal maculopathy. The American Academy of Ophthalmology found that patients taking Elmiron, which is prescribed to treat interstitial cystitis or “bladder pain syndrome,” developed a variety of pathological disorders of the central part of the retina. Recent studies provide further evidence that Elmiron may lead to an increased risk of retinal maculopathy, a progressive eye disease often diagnosed as retinal pigmentary maculopathy, pattern dystrophy, or age-related macular degeneration.

Elmiron Lawyers are Ready to Help

Contact our Elmiron Lawyers to review whether you or a family member may be entitled to financial compensation. Levy Konigsberg LLP is currently accepting Elmiron cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has suffered one or more of these complications, you may be entitled to a cash award and compensation for medical expenses. For a free confidential consultation with Elmiron Lawyers at our law firm, please call (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

What is Elmiron?

Elmiron is prescribed to treat interstitial cystitis, an ailment of the urinary tract system that causes pain in the abdomen, pelvic, and genital regions. Patients with chronic symptoms of interstitial cystitis may be prescribed Elmiron for extended periods of time.

What is Happening with Elmiron?

Retinal maculopathy was first seen in 2015 by ophthalmologists in Atlanta, Georgia. Retinal maculopathy produces a color change in the pigment cells of the eye’s retina and has damaging effects similar to age related macular degeneration. Researchers discovered that all six patients diagnosed with retinal maculopathy were being treated with Elmiron for interstitial cystitis. This finding was published in May 2018 in the Journal of Ophthalmology.

The presentation of eye damage associated with Elmiron is remarkably similar to age-related macular degeneration and macular/pattern dystrophy, suggesting the possibility that patients may not be aware that their eye condition is related to Elmiron. Another study at Kaiser in Oakland was launched to analyze the eye disease linked to Elmiron. Kaiser focused on a larger sample of 140 patients who had consistently taken Elmiron for five years or more, and examined 91 of the 140 patients for eye degeneration. Of the 91 patients, 24 percent showed Elmiron-associated retinal maculopathy and pigmentary damage, which presented as difficulty reading, blurred vision, dark spots, and trouble adapting to low light. In addition, of the 91 patients, 22 reported eye damage and vision disturbances.

These results were supported by the IC Network, an advocacy group for patients with interstitial cystitis, which reported that almost 54 percent of the 1,604 Elmiron patients in its survey had retinal disease. Following this survey, a Harvard ophthalmologist published a case report in the Journal of Ophthalmic Surgery Lasers and Imaging Retina concerning an 81-year-old patient showing progressive retinal damage and maculopathy over several years. Ruling out a toxic trigger or a genetic cause, the doctor questioned whether Elmiron was the cause of the increasing deterioration as the patient had taken Elmiron for many years. Surprisingly, the patient had stopped taking Elmiron many years before, but her retinal disease continued to progress significantly.

These findings suggest that Elmiron patients should be routinely screened by an ophthalmologist to check for retinal maculopathy. It is still uncertain how long these degenerative symptoms persist after discontinuing the drug. The exact mechanism by which Elmiron causes eye damage is also unknown. Despite these studies, the manufacturer of Elmiron has failed to take action, including reporting negative findings, providing a warning, or withdrawing the drug from the market.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29801663

https://www.ic-network.com/long-term-pentosan-elmiron-use-may-be-linked-to-retinal-disease/

https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/article/clinical-pearls-for-a-new-condition

Elmiron Side Effects and Complications

Common symptoms of eye damage associated with retinal maculopathy include:

  • Difficulty reading;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Dark spots;
  • Vision irregularities;
  • Vision changes in low light;
  • Retinal maculopathy;
  • Pigmentary maculopathy;
  • Macular degeneration;
  • Macular retinopathy;
  • Pattern dystrophy; and
  • Permanent vision loss.

Elmiron Lawyers are Ready to Help

Contact our Elmiron Lawyers to review whether you or a family member may be entitled to financial compensation. Levy Konigsberg LLP is currently accepting Elmiron cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has suffered one or more of these complications, you may be entitled to a cash award and compensation for medical expenses. For a free confidential consultation with Elmiron Lawyers at our law firm, please call (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.

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