The Dangers Associated with Elmiron
If you or someone you know took the drug Elmiron or any of its generic counterparts for urinary pain caused by interstitial cystitis and later developed either maculopathy or serious vision problems, you should know that you might qualify for compensation by filing an Elmiron lawsuit. Elmiron is the only drug that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat the painful bladder condition of interstitial cystitis, but it has been causing serious injury in its users. In the hopes of providing people who have taken this medication with some critical information and assistance, the following are some important details about the dangers of taking the drug Elmiron.
The History of Elmiron
First approved in 1985, Elmiron was long considered an “orphan drug,” or one that the pharmaceutical industry had little interest in developing and marketing because only a small number of patients are afflicted with the condition that necessitates its use. In reality, interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition now believed to impact as many as 1 million individuals in the United States, primarily women.
In 2015, physicians at Atlanta’s Emory Eye Center encountered an eye impairment that they had not previously seen in six different women. This type of maculopathy did not have a particular cause, although further investigation revealed that each of the six women had been taking Elmiron.
Researchers have since determined that long-term use of Elmiron can result in a degenerative eye disorder, pigmentary maculopathy, which can in turn result in blindness or substantial vision loss. Approximately 25% of long-term Elmiron users are reported to incur ocular damage. Making matters more complicated, many of these patients are first diagnosed with other vision disorders or believed to have incurred ocular difficulty as a result of a factor not related to Elmiron usage.
In 2018, these researchers began documenting vision difficulties that arose in Elmiron users. In 2019, the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that Elmiron use is linked to increased occurrence of macular damage in patients. Researchers who examined this problem found that as much as one quarter of patients taking long-term Elmiron between 2002 and 2016 showed signs of eye damage and ocular toxicity.
Currently, individuals who have taken Elmiron for more than six months and who have experienced eye problems like ocular damage or vision loss are likely eligible for compensation as part of an Elmiron defective drug lawsuit.
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Dangerous Side Effects Associated with Elmiron
Researchers have determined that some people who take Elmiron end up experience pigmentary maculopathy, which impacts the central part of the retina known as the macula. The impact of pigmentary maculopathy includes the development of abnormal capillaries as well as small blood vessels around the macula, the formation of lesions beneath the macula, and hyperpigmented spots on the retina. All of these factors contribute to long-term vision difficulty. Some of the side effects associated with pigmentary retinal maculopathy include:
- Blurry vision
- Dark spots
- Difficulty reading
- Loss of close vision
- Night blindness
- Visual dimming
Unfortunately, sometimes patients experience progressive vision damage even when they stop taking Elmiron. Some of the side effects associated with long term usage of Elmiron include eye pain, difficulty reading, and trouble seeing in low light.
The costs associated with pigmentary maculopathy are often extensive. Fortunately, personal injury claims for damages created by the Elmiron can cover these various medical expenses. If Elmiron use has caused you vision impairment and disrupted your life, you can pursue additional non-economic damages to compensate for the pain and suffering you have suffered.
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Establishing Negligence in Elmiron Cases
New York law allows injured parties to pursue the compensation they deserve from the manufacturers of dangerous and defective products. This applies to pharmaceutical companies who manufacture dangerous drugs or medication that results in undesirable side effects. Negligence in hazardous drug cases exists when the drug company does not warn users about the possible side effects associated with taking a drug.
As evidence has accumulated about the danger of Elmiron, details have emerged that Janssen Pharmaceuticals who manufactures Elmiron has failed to warn the public about the risks associated with the medication. As a result, due to inadequate warnings about the dangers associated with Elmiron, millions of users ended up taking a medication that could seriously disrupt their vision.
Janssen is a division of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. Despite the company’s longstanding presence in the medical industry and reputation as an industry leader, no warnings about macular damage, visual changes, or other eye conditions have ever been placed on any Elmiron prescription information.
While it can be overwhelming to discover that a drug you have been taking for an extended period is dangerous, medical professionals have recommended that individuals taking Elmiron who begin to notice vision changes should promptly receive an ophthalmic examination that involves retinal imaging. Also, users should understand that despite the substantial evidence suggesting that there is likely a link between vision difficulty and Elmiron usage, the medication remains approved in the United States by the FDA.
Do You Qualify for an Elmiron Lawsuit?
Defective drug attorneys in the United States are currently accepting Elmiron lawsuits. If you were prescribed Elmiron for at least two years and developed maculopathy symptoms or other vision difficulties while taking the drug, you could potentially qualify for an Elmiron lawsuit. Remember, some of the symptoms most commonly associated with Elmiron usage include bilateral or unilateral blindness and reduced nighttime and dark light vision. If you took Elmiron for more than six months and developed any of these injuries, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney.
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Speak With a Defective Drug Attorney Today About Filing an Elmiron Lawsuit
When medical professionals prescribe their patients medications, those patients expect to be made better by taking those medications. In unfortunate cases, however, taking medication results in additional medical problems and unforeseen consequences. If you find yourself in such a situation, remember the assistance of an experienced attorney can help you pursue the compensation that you deserve. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP today for assistance. As always, are consultations are free. Call us directly at 516-358-6900.