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August 26, 2020

Elmiron Bladder Medication Caused Woman to Become Legally Blind, Lawsuit Claims

A new product liability lawsuit claims Elmiron bladder medication caused a woman to steadily lose her vision, causing her to be diagnosed as legally blind. This lawsuit joins numerous others from across the U.S., each raising similar allegations that Elmiron’s toxic side effects caused vision injuries including vision loss and blindness.

Teresa Townsend, a Wisconsin woman, filed her complaint August 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. She claims she is likely only one of “countless” Elmiron patients across the country who suffered from vision injuries due to the bladder medication’s dangerous side effects.

According to Townsend’s complaint, she was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis in 1998, which resulted in her being prescribed Elmiron. Elmiron is the only approved oral medication for interstitial cystitis, otherwise known as “painful bladder syndrome.”

However, following her use Elmiron for over 20 years, Townsend began experiencing vision problems including double vision, dark spots, loss of night vision, and blurred vision. In the lawsuit, Townsend says she was unaware that her Elmiron use could damage her retina and vision. She was declared legally blind in 2020.

Townsend names Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, and Teva Pharmaceuticals as Defendants, claiming these Elmiron manufacturers knew for decades that the medication could cause retinal damage and failed to warn the public.

“Defendants have had actual knowledge for years that Elmiron® is unsafe for its intended use and that it failed to warn or otherwise disclose to patients, including Plaintiff, that testing of the drug established that it can cause – and, indeed, has caused – significant ophthalmological side effects, including pigmentary maculopathy and other eye and vision problems,” Townsend’s lawsuit states.

Elmiron Bladder Medication Lawsuits

Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) was first approved for the treatment of interstitial cystitis in 1996. It is the only oral medication on the market approved by the FDA to treat the painful bladder condition and has since become a blockbuster drug.

However, in late 2019 researchers found evidence linking Elmiron to vision loss and even blindness. According to health officials, Elmiron can be toxic to the retina of the eye, leading to injuries like vision loss, yellow lesions, blurry vision, and even blindness. In fact, a study released in 2019 found that 25% of patients who took large quantities of Elmiron over the years displayed signs of maculopathy, a type of eye damage that impacts the retina.

Elmiron vision warnings were finally added to the U.S. drug label in June 2020, but thousands of users could be at risk of retina damage from toxic medication. Experts anticipate that increasing Elmiron eye damage lawsuits will be filed in the upcoming months and years as users discover their eye damage was caused by toxic interstitial cystitis medication.

If you developed eye damage after taking Elmiron, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For a free case evaluation, reach out to us today at 1.800.777.4141; we have legal professionals standing by 24/7 to answer your questions and concerns.

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