For decades a drug called Elmiron has been the go-to treatment for people who suffer a painful bladder condition called interstitial cystitis (“IC”). In fact, Elmiron is the only FDA-approved drug to treat IC, despite a lack of scientific knowledge regarding Elimron’s actual mechanism for relieving symptoms of these conditions. But recent studies have revealed a potentially disturbing connection between taking Elmiron and the development of a “novel and possibly avoidable maculopathy” involving a likely retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) injury that causes the central portion of the retina to develop excessive capillaries that impact central vision.
A 2019 study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology revealed that upwards of 25 percent of those who had significant exposure to Elmiron “showed definite signs of eye damage.” Moreover, a troubling finding from that study indicated the problems from Elmiron toxicity can mimic related macular degeneration and other retinal conditions.
With over a million U.S. patients being diagnosed with IC, and Elmiron being the only approved treatment for it, Elmiron use is believed to be widespread in the U.S. and upwards of hundreds of thousands of patients are estimated to have been exposed to Elmiron. In fact, the problem has reached the point where, in June 2020, drug manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals modified its label for Elmiron, warning users that the drug could cause vision problems.
Former and current Elmiron patients might consider annual vision screenings for retina damage. And if you are currently experiencing vision problems you believe may be related to taking Elmiron, you should contact an experienced law firm right away to explore the possibility of filing a legal claim.