Blood Thinner Elmiron is Linked to Blindness
Big Pharma is no stranger to claims its drugs have serious side effects, resulting in multiple lawsuits brought by people who suffered serious illnesses and injuries. The blood thinner Elmiron has been linked to blindness in a raft of lawsuits filed in recent months.
People who claim Elmiron caused their vision problems accuse Janssen Pharmaceuticals of failing to properly warn them their eyes could sustain permanent damage from taking this drug that is used to treat cystitis and bladder pain.
Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) is a low-intensity blood thinner. Its common side effects include diarrhea, headaches, and nausea. However, in recent months, studies have pointed to a new and more alarming side effect not included in box warnings; vision problems.
Recent research links pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), to ocular toxicity and irreversible vision damage. A paper presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology last year by Drs. Amar P. Patel, Robin A. Vora, and Ronald Melles highlighted vision problems in patients taking Elmiron.
The 2019 study suggests Elmiron is toxic to the retina tissue that senses light at the back of the eye. The three ophthalmologists reviewed patients at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. They found that about one-quarter of patients with significant exposure to Elmiron showed clear signs of eye damage. The toxicity could masquerade as other known retinal conditions like age-related macular degeneration.
The study noted hundreds of thousands of people have been exposed to this drug as it is the only pill approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat interstitial cystitis.
Dr. Vora said in a release issued by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “It’s unfortunate. You have a patient with a chronic condition like interstitial cystitis, for which there is no cure and no effective treatment. They get put on these medications because it’s thought to have few side effects and few risks, and no one thinks about it again. And year after year, the number of pills they’re taking goes up and up.”
The research raises concerns that the drug potentially caused blindness in thousands of patients. Although Janssen Pharmaceuticals attributed side effects to the drug, it does not mention vision problems, giving a potential cause for lawsuits against the company.
Why Are Lawsuits Being Brought Against Janssen for Blindness?
Over the last 24 months, studies linked Elmiron to maculopathy. However, the manufacturer makes no reference to maculopathy, a type of disease that affects the macula, or any other visual changes or conditions on the warning lable. Maculopathy is the most common cause of blindness.
Since 2018, studies have documented the irreversible vision problems associated with the long-term use of Elmiron. Studies found the type of maculopathy linked to Elmiron is called pigmentary maculopathy, which is unique to these consumers.
The damage may stop after taking medication if the condition is identified at an early stage. However, in later stages, the disease often results in permanent vision loss. Researchers reported on one patient whose eye damage continued for years after stopping Elmiron.
Talk to an Injury Lawyer If You Suffered Vision Problems Due to Elmiron
The apparent link between a popular blood-thinning drug and serious vision problems is alarming. All too often big drug companies put their profits above patient safety and release hazardous drugs into the market. Detrimental effects associated with Elmiron include retinal disease, macular degeneration, retinal maculopathy, and other serious conditions.
The Janssen Pharmaceutical Company is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. This giant pharmaceutical company has been sued over many hazardous products including talcum powder which is linked to ovarian cancer. If you or a family member believe you suffered vision harm after taking this drug please contact our dangerous drug attorneys today.