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Elmiron® is a commonly prescribed weak blood thinner (anti-coagulant) that is used to treat bladder pain or discomfort caused by cystitis of the bladder. It contains the active ingredient pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS). Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996, pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron®) is the only FDA-approved oral medication designed to treat bladder pain and discomfort associated with interstitial cystitis (IC) - a condition that affects millions of Americans each year. IC is more prevalent in women, and many use Elmiron® long term to treat the disease. Elmiron® sales amount to at least $150 Million per year.
In November 2018, the American Academy of Ophthalmology released a study that found a connection between long-term use of Elmiron® and vision problems. Another Elmiron® study released in May 2019 concluded that Elmiron® resulted in “potentially avoidable retinal degeneration phenomenon associated with chronic [Elmiron®] exposure.” Then the American Academy of Ophthalmology published another study in October 2019, which found that Elmiron® (pentosan polysuflate sodium) “appears to be toxic to the retina” and that about one-quarter of Elmiron® users may suffer from a form of macular degeneration or “Maculopathy.” Maculopathy is any disease that impacts the macula, which is the central part of the retina that is responsible for all central vision, most color vision, and fine detail. The type of maculopathy linked to Elmiron® is called pigmentary maculopathy, which according to studies, seems to be unique to Elmiron® users. If caught in its early stages, the damage may stop after taking medication but in late stages, the disease can lead to permanent vision loss. So far researchers have reported on one patient whose eye damage continued for years even after stopping Elmiron®.
Because the studies linking Elmiron® to retinal related vision problems are so new, some doctors still may not know of the connection. The most common visual symptoms reported in studies were difficulty reading and difficulty adapting to dim lighting. Other symptoms associated with Elmiron® include, but are not limited to:
Hundreds of thousands of people may have taken Elmiron® and may have been exposed to the risk of potentially permanent vision damage.
Plaintiffs in Elmiron® lawsuits accuse Janssen Pharmaceuticals of failing to properly warn the public about the risk of vision problems. Recent studies linked the interstitial cystitis (IC) drug, also known as pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), to ocular toxicity and irreversible vision damage.
On March 26, 2020, Kimberly Pelczar filed a lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. and Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals because of vision loss she claims resulted from Elmiron®. In 2005, Pelczar began taking Elmiron® for IC and in 2015 she began to suffer eye problems. In 2019, medical providers diagnosed her with permanent retinal injury and vision loss because of Elmiron® toxicity. Another lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on May 19 by Becky Worden. Her claim that side effects of Elmiron® caused her to develop a form of macular degeneration joins a growing number of similar complaints brought by former users of the drug.
If you or a loved one have developed vision problems, or been diagnosed with any form of maculopathy, after taking Elmiron® you need to speak up! You might be eligible for financial compensation for your pain and suffering. Don’t suffer in silence. Fill out a no-cost claim review to see if you are eligible to receive compensation. – complete the free and easy claim review form today.