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Elmiron Lawsuit – Legal Claims for Vision Loss

elmiron can cause vision loss

Elmiron Vision Problems May Lead to Lawsuit

Have you or a loved one started a new medication to treat pain associated with interstitial cystitis (IC) and noticed problems with your vision? 

Pentosan, more commonly known as Elmiron, is an FDA-approved drug prescribed to patients with painful bladder syndrome.

This past August of 2020, two women filed lawsuits against the manufacturers Elmiron. Users of the drug have claimed the medication causes long-term side effects including blurred and distorted vision, in addition to retinal damage. 

One Nevada woman had been taking the drug for six years and claimed it caused her to develop the retinal disease maculopathy.

If you or someone you know has been prescribed Elmiron and complains of these symptoms, you may be entitled to compensation for damages and suffering. 

Recognized as one of the Nation’s leading accident injury law firms, the expert attorneys at Kirkendall Dwyer, LLP have studied up on the Elmiron matter and are ready to help you get the answers you need.

What Is Elmiron?

Elmiron is the only FDA-approved oral drug used to help combat discomfort and pain in the bladder that is associated with interstitial cystitis (IC). 

The drug was approved back in 1996 for the treatment of IC and has earned over $150 million dollars in sales a year.

The medication in Elmiron, known as pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), works to protect the bladder by creating a thin layer in its wall to protect it against any discomforting and possibly harmful bacteria present in the urine.

Elmiron falls under a class of drugs known for relieving pain and is also a weak anticoagulant or type of blood thinner.

Can Elmiron Eliminate (IC) Disorder?

Elmiron is not a cure for interstitial cystitis. The drug is known to relieve symptoms associated with bladder pain syndrome, but it does not eliminate the ailment. 

There are many therapies that can be used to relieve some pain and pressure, but for most patients, IC will naturally go away.  

Is there a substitute for Elmiron?

Elmiron is currently the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of IC

Do People Who Take Elmiron Experience Vision Problems?

Yes. Most individuals who have experienced side effects with Elmiron have reported blurred and distorted vision. In fact, no proof yet exists to support the claim that Elmiron even helps treat painful bladder syndrome. An FDA reviewer stated, “the evidence of efficacy of Elmiron for the treatment of interstitial cystitis is very weak.”

In a recent 2019 study conducted by Emory Eye Center, ten patients who used Elmiron to treat their IC primarily complained of:

  • Low light vision
  • Dimming of vision
  • General farsightedness 
  • Difficulty reading


Many patients who have taken Elmiron have been diagnosed with maculopathy–a progressive disease that leads to vision loss, often in both eyes. So far researchers have concluded that Elmiron does cause structural changes to the retina; however, it is not yet certain whether discontinuing the drug will change the course of the disease.

While these findings may sound daunting, it should be noted that it is rare to experience complete blindness from maculopathy–bilateral vision is usually preserved.

Are There Other Side Effects To Taking Elmiron?

In addition to vision loss, individuals taking Elmiron have reported one or more side effects, including: 

  • hair loss
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • blood in the stool
  • headache
  • rash
  • upset stomach
  • abnormal liver functions
  • dizziness
  • bruising
  • weight gain
  • swelling


While the aforementioned side effects were listed by Jannsen Pharmaceuticals, the drug’s manufacturers, the following additional warnings remained undisclosed:

  • drug toxicity
  • vision loss
  • unfocused vision and difficulty reading
  • macula or retinal damage (maculopathy)
  • trouble adjusting to dim or dark lighting

I’m Taking Elmiron and Have Experienced Deteriorating Vision––
What Can I Do?

If you’ve taken Elmiron and have experienced any sort of vision problems, our Elmiron lawyers can help. Some of the symptoms include but aren’t limited to:

  • maculopathy (macular degeneration)
  • vision impairment or loss
  • unilateral or bilateral blindness
  • reduced nighttime vision 
  • macular dystrophy
  • retinopathy


In a 2019 study, 91 Elmiron patients who had been taking the drug for more than 15 years had been tested for vision loss. Of these 91 patients, 22 were diagnosed with retinal damage related to macular degeneration. 

If you think this might be you, be sure to get legal advice right away.

Symptoms of Maculopathy

Symptoms of Maculopahty are painless, and many patients are unaware of what signs to look out for. 

Issues can include; vision distortion where objects can look deformed, difficulty in vision adjusting to dim lighting, problems with focusing eyesight, or spots where patients cannot see. 

It is critical to have a Doctor check on any gradual loss of vision.

Can Elmiron Cause Permanent Vision Loss?

In numerous recent studies, clinical researchers found that patients who have taken a significant amount of Elmiron showed definite signs of eye damage. 

Research showed that the effects of this medication can masquerade as other known retinal problems, such as age-related macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy. 

Macular degeneration is known to lead to permanent vision loss over time.

Elmiron Lawsuits

Elmiron risks were widely unknown until 2015 when Atlanta’s Emory Eye Center saw multiple women with the same eye condition who had all been taking Elmiron for years.

Current lawsuits across the United States include a Nevada woman who had been using Elmiron since 2012 and developed maculopathy. 

Maculopathy is a condition of the macula, an area of the retina associated with accurate vision.

Am I Eligible to File An Elmiron Lawsuit?

The Elmiron lawsuit alleges that Janssen Pharmaceuticals knowingly failed to disclose the link between using the medication and serious vision damage. 

Individuals suffering from Elmiron-related eye damage may be eligible to file a lawsuit and potentially receive compensation. 

If you were prescribed Elmiron and suspect you are suffering from eye damage or some other sort of eye problems, then you could qualify for a lawsuit.

How Can An Elmiron Attorney Help Me?

If you have taken Elmiron in the past and experienced any of these side effects mentioned, we encourage you to book an appointment with one of our expert Elmiron attorneys. At Kirkendall Dwyer LLP, we are committed to ensuring big pharma companies and manufacturers are held accountable for their unethical actions.

Our attorneys will seek compensation for clients affected by Pentosan in the form of:

  • medical expenses (past and future)
  • pain and suffering (past and future) for both physical and mental injuries
  • any loss of wages
  • any punitive damages

Our Goal

Our goal at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP is to bring our clients the best results with personal, compassionate services. Personal injuries can take a devastating toll on your life. We understand this and are here for you to help you get back on your feet. 

We understand how difficult medical issues can become, that is why we offer free case reviews during such tough times. 

We believe each and every person deserves to get the answers to their questions right away.   

If you find yourself in a personal injury situation due to taking Elmiron please contact us and begin the process of recovery today.  

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