Medicine & the Law - LawCall


The drug Elmiron is a medication prescribed to treat the pain and discomfort associated with a bladder condition known as interstitial cystitis. The drug has been prescribed for decades, but recent studies show that it may cause retinal damage, vision loss and blindness if used long-term.

Now a group of patients is filing a class action lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Elmiron. The patients filing suit have accused the company of failing to warn the public about the risks of ocular toxicity and potential permanent vision loss and blindness.

Elmiron is an FDA-approved daily oral medication prescribed to treat bladder discomfort. However, in some patients who have taken the drug for a long time, vision problems have been reported. And in 2019, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reported findings that show links between the drug and vision-threatening eye conditions in the macula – the central area of the retina.

Common side effects of the drugs, such as hair loss, diarrhea, blood in the stool and many others were listed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. However, the company did not list those that may affect vision, such as:

  • Vision loss
  • Problems with vision focus and reading
  • Macula/retinal damage (Maculopathy)
  • Difficulty adjusting to dim or dark lighting

The study presented by the AAO linked Elmiron to the eye disease and found that its use led to retinal damage in close to 25 percent of patients. Maculopathy causes progressive loss of central vision (in some cases bilateral) and is one of the most common causes of blindness in the Western world.

If you or a loved one has taken the drug Elmiron and are experiencing vision problems, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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