Treating Bladder Pain Syndrome: Side Effects of Elmiron

Since 1996, many have taken the prescription drug Elmiron to help alleviate severe bladder pain, or interstitial cystitis. This condition often feels like a urinary tract infection, but it is a permanent condition. It tends to affect women more than men, but both may suffer from it. Symptoms of interstitial cystitis include:

  • Pain in the pelvic area
  • Feeling like you need to urinate constantly
  • Urinating often throughout the day, usually in very small amounts
  • Pain in the bladder as it fills with urine and instant relief upon going to the bathroom
  • Experiencing pain during intercourse

Several forms of treatment do exist, but the main prescription drug used to treat this bladder condition is Elmiron, which has been shown to exhibit harmful side effects for those who take it long term. If you experience detrimental side effects like an eye disorder from taking this drug, you may want to consult an Elmiron lawyer to find out if you are eligible for any type of compensation.

The Side Effects of Elmiron

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Currently, the drug Elmiron, or pentosan polysulfate sodium, is still FDA approved for use in treating interstitial cystitis. Other countries, like Canada, have required the manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, to make updates to their drug information to show potentially life-altering side effects that were not mentioned in their original information. One severe side effect that was not included is pigmentary maculopathy. A recent study by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that the drug can cause the macula, which is the center part of your retina, to degenerate if it is taken long-term. According to Science Daily, about 25 percent of patients with this painful bladder condition who take Elmiron have some form of macular degeneration.

Retinal maculopathy can cause vision loss or vision problems depending on its severity. The macula is the central part of the retina that allows us to see tiny details and have sharp vision. When it begins to degenerate, called retinal maculopathy, you begin to lose that ability and can even lose vision entirely. There are naturally occurring types of maculopathy and those may happen as you age, but for patients on Elmiron, the drug can cause it. Signs of maculopathy include small blood vessels in the area, yellow lesions under the retina, or black lesions that form.

There are other side effects of Elmiron as well that may affect your day-to-day life, including:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • Rash
  • Hair loss

Reasons to Consult an Elmiron Lawyer

If you believe your eye problems may be due to the long-term use of Elmiron, it is possible that you could be entitled to compensation under product liability laws. Consulting with a lawyer may prove to be extremely beneficial for you, as a lawyer well-versed in medical law and product liability will be able to hear your case and advise you on your legal options. Their legal advice will help you decide on whether or not you wish to pursue your claim against the drug manufacturer.

An attorney will also help you determine what kind of damages you might be able to receive. Medical bills, future medical costs, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more may be types of compensation that you can get. Your lawyer will work with you to get your medical records, speak with your doctor, and assemble the case for you so that you do not have to worry about any of it. Let your lawyer handle the drug companies while you focus on maintaining your quality of life and work on recovering from the eye damage that the drug Elmiron caused you.

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