Elmiron Lawsuits in North Carolina

Dangerous drugs

If you have experienced vision loss or eye damage after regularly taking Elmiron for treatment of bladder pain or osteoarthritis, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills from the manufacturer of Elmiron.

At Hardison & Cochran, our attorneys are reviewing potential legal claims involving Elmiron’s side effects. Many people who took this prescription drug have filed lawsuits against the maker of Elmiron since medical researchers reported a link between the common bladder medication and a vision-threatening eye condition. If you reside in North Carolina and have experienced harmful side effects after taking Elmiron, please call for a free review of your legal options.

We expect many additional Elmiron injury claims to be filed. Our attorneys at Hardison & Cochran view it as a privilege to apply our legal skills to help people who come to us for legal assistance. Patients who are injured by dangerous drugs should receive compensation for their medical bills and related expenses. Call to find out how we can help you.

What are Elmiron’s Side Effects?

Elmiron® is a medication prescribed to patients experiencing bladder and pelvic pain associated with the chronic condition, interstitial cystitis. As the only FDA-approved oral medication to treat interstitial cystitis, the drug was been prescribed since the 1990s to hundreds of thousands of people. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with interstitial cystitis and to be long-term users of Elmiron for pain relief. The drug is also prescribed for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

The drug is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Elmiron is the brand name for pentosane polysulfate sodium, the active ingredient in the medication.

The common side effects of Elmiron include nausea, diarrhea, stomach upset, and hair loss. Elmiron is a weak blood thinner, so it also may cause bleeding complications.

But recently published research has revealed another serious side effect. The research found that Elmiron (pentosane polysulfate sodium) is toxic to the retina and can be damaging to vision. The damage can be irreversible and lead to blindness.

Eye Damage and Vision Loss Linked to Elmiron

In 2018, researchers at the Emory Eye Center in Atlanta published medical research, documenting eye damage to six patients who had taken Elmiron for more than 10 years and developed unusual changes in the part of the retina that provides central vision.

The Journal of Ophthalmology published the research, entitled “Pigmentary Maculopathy Associated with Chronic Exposure to Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium,” in May 2018.

In 2019, doctors at Emory published additional research noting that patients with a history of interstitial cystitis who did not take Elmiron did not display the unique form of pigmented maculopathy that was observed in patients who took the drug. The study was published in the Journal of Urology.

Another group of researchers confirmed the findings of the initial research in a follow-up study. Three ophthalmologists at Kaiser Permanente examined 91 patients who had been using Elmiron for at least 15 years. They found that a quarter of the patients with significant exposure to Elmiron showed evidence of eye retina damage. Twenty-two patients showed clear signs of drug toxicity. The researchers noted that the damage could be mistaken for age-related macular degeneration. The research was presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Patients who have been prescribed Elmiron should have regular vision screenings to check for any changes in the retina.

Has Elmiron Been Recalled?

No recall of Elmiron has been requested or undertaken to date.

But the Food and Drug Administration announced in 2020 that a new warning was being added to the packaging of Elmiron because of the potential for irreversible vision changes among patients taking Elmiron. The warning states that pigment changes in the retina of the eye had been observed among patients who were long-time users of the medication.

The warning states that the potential adverse effects of taking Elmiron include pigmentary maculopathy, a progressive eye disease.

Most patients who experienced vision changes had been prescribed the medication for three years or longer, the FDA said. But the agency warned that some patients have experienced vision side effects after short-term use of Elmiron. The dosage of the medication taken by the patient may be a factor.

Who Qualifies for an Elmiron Lawsuit?

Patients who have regularly taken Elmiron and been diagnosed with an eye disorder or vision loss may qualify to file an Elmiron lawsuit.

Eye patients diagnosed with any of the following vision issues after taking Elmiron may be entitled to seek compensation:

  • central vision loss
  • loss of low light vision
  • dimming of vision
  • retinal maculopathy
  • pigmentation macular degeneration
  • dry macular degeneration
  • wither pigmentation maculopathy

Pharmaceutical companies have a legal responsibility to produce drugs that are safe and effective when used as directed and to warn of any known side effects. Janssen only added a warning to the drug label in 2020. Drugmakers should be held accountable when their products cause preventable harm to patients.

So far, more than 100 people who experienced retinal problems after taking Elmiron have filed product liability lawsuits against the drug manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The lawsuits claim that the manufacturer of Elmiron failed to adequately warn doctors and patients of the possible vision-related side effects caused by Elmiron. More lawsuits regarding retinal injuries associated with the use of Elmiron are expected.

Dangerous drug cases and other product liability cases in which many plaintiffs have similar claims against a drug manufacturer may be consolidated in multi-district litigation to handle the pre-trial stages of the cases more efficiently. Each case is still tried separately if the lawsuit goes to trial.

Since the Elmiron lawsuits involve common factual issues about the propensity of the bladder medication to cause eye disorders, a federal judicial panel in December 2020 transferred the Elmiron lawsuits filed throughout the U.S. to a federal court in New Jersey.

The lawsuits will be handled as part of the Elmiron (pentosane polysulfate sodium) multi-district litigation during the pre-trial phase of the case. This may lead to a quicker resolution and settlement of the cases.

Damages You Can Recover from an Elmiron Lawsuit

The loss of vision affects all aspects of a person’s life.

Patients harmed by taking Elmiron may seek compensation from the drug manufacturer for present and future medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering related to loss of vision. The damages that may be sought include:

  • Present and future medical expenses to treat your vision changes including mental health counseling
  • Past and future pain and suffering caused by the injuries
  • Lost income if you can no longer work due to vision changes
  • Other economic losses related to loss of vision
  • Punitive damages, if special circumstances.

The people who are have been harmed by Elmiron are seeking a sizable amount of damages from the drug manufacturer. You may be entitled to file a claim and seek compensation also.

How Can a North Carolina Elmiron Lawyer Help?

If you have taken Elmiron and have been diagnosed with vision changes or an eye disorder, you may have been harmed by Elmiron’s side effects. Pentosane polysulfate sodium, the active ingredient in Elmiron, is toxic to the retina and can cause irreversible vision loss. The vision changes may be mistaken for age-related vision changes such as macular degeneration.

An experienced attorney who handles defective drug litigation can evaluate whether you are eligible to make a legal claim against the manufacturer of Elmiron. We can discuss your legal options during a free case review.

The first step is to contact a North Carolina Elmiron injury attorney at Hardison & Cochran as soon as possible to evaluate the situation. You want to work with an established law firm that has the legal resources and knowledge to investigate complex product liability cases against drug manufacturers.

An attorney at Hardison & Cochran can gather your medical records regarding your retinal damage and vision loss and document when you started taking Elmiron. We may have a medical professional analyze the medical records and offer testimony on the connection between your vision loss and exposure to Elmiron.

Hardison & Cochran, Attorneys at Law, has provided legal representation to injured people in North Carolina for more than 30 years. Our commitment is to stand up for people harmed by the negligence of others, including those injured by drugs with harmful side effects such as Elmiron.

If we believe that you have a valid Elmiron eye damage lawsuit after reviewing your medical diagnosis, we will offer to handle your claim on a contingency fee basis. You will not have any out-of-pocket expenses to pursue an Elmiron lawsuit. Our attorneys only receive a legal fee if we are successful in securing compensation for you through an Elmiron settlement or a court award.

Hardison & Cochran has offices in Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Dunn, Southern Pines, and Wilmington. We are available for a free consultation regarding Elmiron-related vision loss and we take pride in our responsiveness. If you call us, we will respond within 24 hours.