In May of this year, we revealed the strong possibility that the bladder drug Elmiron may cause serious eye damage, and we urged anyone reading the post who was a long-term user of the drug to get examined by their ophthalmologist. Today, Elmiron has joined the growing number of active drug lawsuits. Read on for more about this drug, the warning signs of eye damage, and the steps to take to get compensation.
Recent Studies Involving Elmiron and Eye Damage
Our previous post discussed the 2018 study by Kaiser Permanente, as well as another study conducted by the Emory University School of Medicine. They revealed clear signs of toxicity, as well as damage to the retinas of study participants.
There have been other studies, including one completed in October of 2019 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which revealed that approximately one-quarter of patients who had significant exposure to Elmiron showed signs of damage to their retinas.1
Also, in 2019, the British Journal of Ophthalmology revealed the results of their study, which followed Elmiron users for over a decade. The patients checked in at five and seven years, and the study revealed that the check-ins at seven years had the highest rate of new diagnoses of maculopathy, a serious disease of the macula region, which can be found inside the retina.2
What’s at the Center of the Pharmaceutical Lawsuits Against Elmiron?
So far, lawsuits have been filed against Teva Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. They all claim vision damage and are accusing these companies of failure to provide a proper warning that the drug can cause serious vision problems.
The Elmiron label contained no language to state that taking the drug would result in vision damage, even though the aforementioned studies all revealed clear and obvious toxic exposure had occurred as the result of ingesting Elmiron.
Unfortunately, changes to the drug’s label were not updated until June of this year. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the information refers only to the risk of developing pigmentary maculopathy and not the many other types of eye damage Elmiron has caused in long-term users. These changes also come too late for the many victims whose vision has already been irreversibly affected or completely lost.
What Kinds of Lawsuits Have Been Filed So Far?
Use of Elmiron has been found to affect women more often than men, and the recent filings of lawsuits reflect this.
Permanent Retinal Injury Resulting in Vision Loss
In March of this year, a lawsuit was filed against Teva Pharmaceuticals by a woman who started taking Elmiron in 2005. In 2015, she began to experience eye issues and would spend the next four years in the offices of medical providers to try to find a solution. In 2019, she was finally diagnosed with a permanent injury to her retina as well as vision loss.
Depleted Vision and Injury to Both Retinas
Just two months later, in May 2020, a complaint was filed against both Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals by a woman who stated that her vision decreased over the course of six years while taking Elmiron. She’d been diagnosed with a permanent injury to both retinas in 2019. Her claim is that Elmiron was designed, distributed, and marketed despite the awareness of significant risk.
A Range of Conditions and Severe Vision Loss
In June 2020, another female victim filed a personal injury lawsuit against Elmiron manufacturers. She had taken the drug for 17 years and now suffers from a range of serious eye conditions, including loss of night vision, changes in eye pigment, and severe vision loss. She participated in a study with five others, all who shared one thing in common: They had all taken Elmiron.
Are You Taking Elmiron and Experiencing Any of the Following?
There is a range of symptoms and side effects associated with the use of Elmiron. These include:
- Macular degeneration – Blurred or reduced central vision
- Retinal maculopathy – Affects focus central vision, causing the inability to see fine detail or read
- Pigmentary maculopathy – The development of pigmented spots or excess capillaries over the retina
Those who have been taking Elmiron for a period of time may also experience the following side effects:
- Distorted sight
- Visual disturbances
- Sensitivity when adjusting to darkness
- Eye pain
- Blurry vision
- Vision loss
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to be screened by your ophthalmologist as soon as possible and to stop taking Elmiron. The following are recent recommendations for you to give to your eye doctor or specialists who are performing a clinical examination:
- A detailed examination of the retina and macula
- Fundus photography with and without auto-fluorescence
- OCT (optical coherence) tomography
Important: You May Not Have Symptoms
One case has so far been reported of a person taking Elmiron who did not experience any of the above symptoms whatsoever. However, when examined, evidence of retinal damage was found. This presents yet another reason why it’s so important to have your eyes checked if you are taking Elmiron.
Do You Think Elmiron May Have Caused Your Vision Loss?
If you or someone you love has been taking Elmiron and noticed changes in vision, the next step after seeing your ophthalmologist is to talk to your doctor about taking an alternative to Elmiron like the supplement CystoProtek or Lidocaine instillations.
Do you know people on your social media contact lists who take Elmiron? If so, letting them know about what you discovered here today can help them take steps to get checked and seek damages.
Tips for Filing a Lawsuit Against Elmiron
Vision problems have now been established and linked to long-term exposure to Elmiron. If you have been taking this drug for several years, you may be entitled to compensation via the filing of an individual personal injury claim or as a participant in a class-action lawsuit.
When you call a legal professional, you may be asked to provided information, such as:
- Your symptoms
- The name of the doctor and facility who treated you for vision loss
- The diagnosis you received from the doctor
- Their opinion regarding your chances of improving or regaining your sight completely
It’s important to provide as much information as possible so that your individual case can be thoroughly assessed.
The Number of Cases Filed Against Elmiron Manufacturers Is Growing
More and more victims of retinal damage due to Elmiron continue to file lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies who make and distribute it. Just like you, they are feeling confused and scared about why they can no longer see what they’re reading, see clearly at night, or even see at all.
They trusted Elmiron to relieve their bladder pain, never expecting that the drug they were taking would ever cause them harm. Meanwhile, the manufacturers and distributors of Elmiron continued to earn trillions of dollars as their victims’ vision continued to decline.
You Don’t Have to Wait to Get Compensation
Elmiron manufacturers aren’t concerned about your vision loss or anyone else’s. They’re too busy avoiding responsibility and refusing to include proper warnings on their drugs to care about your lost quality of life. But the good news is that the experienced consumer justice attorneys at Saunders & Walker P.A. do care.
We have decades of experience with big corporations like Teva Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson. We know they’ll try just about anything to avoid paying for the suffering they’ve caused you; that’s why we fight to get you the highest possible amount of compensation. If you or someone you love has experienced vision loss as the result of taking Elmiron, call us today for your free case evaluation: (727) 579-4500.