Bladder Medication Elmiron Linked to Vision Problems

Elmiron is a drug that is meant to treat interstitial cystitis, a bladder disorder that causes severe chronic pain in the bladder and sometimes the pelvis. In addition to the pain, you may experience an increased need to relieve yourself, more than the average number of times you typically go or need to go again immediately after. Not much is known about the disease and it is often hard to both diagnose and treat. Treatments for interstitial cystitis can include medications, physical therapy, and biofeedback.

One of the most common ways to treat the illness through a drug called Elmiron. It is the only oral medication for this illness that is approved by the FDA. Unfortunately, the drug has fallen under scrutiny recently for being linked to an eye disease.

In 2018, there was a study conducted by William A. Pearce, MD, Rui Chen, PhD, and Nieraj Jain, MD that links Elmiron with Pigmentary Maculopathy. In 2020, another study was conducted that confirmed the findings of the initial report by Robin A. Vora, MD, Amar P. Patel, MD, and Ronald Melles, MD. It is unclear how long one has to take the drug for the disease to show, but in the latter study, it was suggested that those still on Elmiron who do not show symptoms should be screened every year.

What is Pigmentary Maculopathy?

Pigmentary Maculopathy is a condition that affects the pigments in the macula. The macula is the central area in the retina, the part of the eye that senses light. It allows us to see details and complete tasks such as reading. If it loses function, the person will begin to lose their sight, the speed of which is dependent on the speed of the deterioration of the macula. You won’t lose your vision entirely, but you will have trouble seeing colors of objects or focusing on what is in front of you.

Are there treatments for it?

For early diagnosis, there is not much to do but monitor the condition. There may be ways to slow the degeneration. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, talk to your doctor as soon as possible to talk about treatments and the next steps.

The company that produces the drug, Johnson & Johnson, was recently the subject of a lawsuit related to Elmiron and Pigmentary Maculopathy. The lawsuit was filed by a woman who had taken Elmiron for about 8 years. After 6 years on the drug, her vision rapidly declined, and about a year later she was diagnosed with Pigmentary Maculopathy. She alleges that the company knew of the risks before releasing the drug and failed to inform the public and the medical community.

Contact Kwartler Manus Today

If you think that you have been negatively affected by Elmiron after long-term use and would like to talk to an attorney about what your next steps may be, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You can either contact us online at or call our office at 267-457-5570 and schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney.

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