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Elmiron and Macular Degeneration | Eye Damage Risk

Recent studies have found that patients treated with the interstitial cystitis drug Elmiron for an extended period of time may face an increased risk of developing severe eye problems including retinal damage, vision loss, and even blindness. According to one study, 25% of patients treated with Elmiron for 5 years or more developed vision problems as a result of using the medication.
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If you or a loved one suffered vision impairment or macular degeneration after using Elmiron, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

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Does Elmiron Cause Macular Degeneration?

According to a 2019 study presented by the American Academy of Ophthalmology [1], Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) is toxic to the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eyeball that allows us to see. After a prior report that linked Elmiron to retinal damage, 3 ophthalmologists conducted a review of patients at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California.

They found that approximately 25% of patients with significant exposure to Elmiron showed definite signs of eye damage and that the condition could easily be misdiagnosed as other known retinal conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy.

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How Long Does it Take for Elmiron to Cause Retina Damage?

The median duration of Elmiron use was about 14.5 years among patients, according to the National Eye Institute. However, symptoms of retinal damage may occur as soon as 3 years after beginning treatment with Elmiron.

How Do You Know if Your Retina is Damaged?

Signs and symptoms of retina problems include:

  • Seeing floating specks or cobwebs
  • Blurred or distorted (straight lines look wavy) vision
  • Defects in the side vision
  • Lost vision

What Happens if I Stop Taking Elmiron?

Unfortunately, retinal and vision changes can continue to worsen even if the patient stops taking Elmiron. Patients may develop progressive eye diseases such as loss of nighttime vision, dark spots, loss of detailed vision, blurry vision, and even total blindness.

Do Doctors Still Prescribe Elmiron?

Elmiron remains the only oral medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for the treatment of interstitial cystitis. For this reason, many doctors prescribe Elmiron before trying other drugs or treatment options.

Are There Alternatives to Elmiron?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a number of other therapies may potentially be used as alternatives to Elmiron. These include nerve stimulation (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or sacral nerve stimulation) and bladder distention (stretching performed during a surgical procedure called cystoscopy).

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Again, if you or a loved one suffered eye damage after taking Elmiron, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and our lawyer can help.

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