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Lawyers for Elmiron Vision Loss Cases in Mississippi

The Drug, Approved for Patients with Interstitial Cystitis, May Damage Your Retinas

If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy after using the drug Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium, or PPS), there may be a connection between this medication and your declining vision. Patients in this cohort may be able to receive compensation for vision-related treatment needs and other damages.

Elmiron is the only approved oral medication for interstitial cystitis (IC), a painful condition that affects more than 1 million Americans. Thus, the drug is widely prescribed. An article in The Review of Ophthalmology suggests that it’s reached hundreds of thousands in search of relief from their chronic symptoms.

Elmiron was on the market for 22 years before scientists noticed its potential links to vision loss. In the last 2 years, multiple studies have confirmed retinal damage is associated with long-term use of the drug. For most IC patients, Elmiron is meant to offer a permanent solution; however, pharmaceutical companies only test drugs for a short period of time before seeking approval.

The (FDA) has not yet taken action to request a recall for Elmiron, but as evidence has arisen regarding risks of taking this drug, many consumers are choosing to stand up for themselves. Anyone who used Elmiron for an extended time and then developed visual problems (often misdiagnosed as macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy) likely has the right to pursue compensation. If you or a loved one is in this situation, speak to our attorneys today to learn what your legal rights are.

Call Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A. at (601) 869-0696 or send us a message online if you think you have a valid claim. With 3 offices in Mississippi, our team can connect with you.

What Symptoms Can Elmiron Cause?

The types of vision loss experienced by long-time Elmiron users vary. Some retain perfect acuity, while some see their vision rapidly deteriorate. Among the warning signs are:

  • Blurred vision, especially while reading
  • Slower adaptation to dark environments
  • Metamorphopsia (distorted vision)
  • Visual glare
  • Blind spots
  • Vision loss resulting in legal blindness

Because advanced cases of Elmiron-caused damage have symptoms similar to dry (atrophic) age-related macular degeneration, many patients were incorrectly diagnosed with this condition. If this sounds like it might apply to you, or if you’re experiencing the symptoms listed above, you should ask your eye doctor for a test to determine whether your long-term use of Elmiron has caused retinal damage.

Determining Your Risk from Elmiron

Unfortunately, among patients who have used Elmiron for many years, the risk of developing vision loss seems relatively high. Though scientists note the sample sizes in existing studies may be insufficient in reflect average patients’ experiences, a survey of almost 100 Elmiron users found 1 in 4 had experienced retinal damage. To put a name to this specific form of vision loss, researchers have coined the term “PPS maculopathy.”

Specific Risk Factors

Scientists are still trying to understand how Elmiron kills retinal cells, so they are not sure whether genetic or situational factors affect patients’ chances of experiencing vision loss. Current studies suggest a patient becomes more likely to develop PPS maculopathy if they:

  • Have a cumulative dosage greater than 1,000 g
  • Take the drug for 7 or more years

Keep in mind patients who have not yet reached one or both of these thresholds can still develop PPS maculopathy. If you think you have been affected, we urge you to schedule a test with your doctor.

Learning if Elmiron Damaged Your Vision

Because the changes to patients’ vision are caused by the death of retinal cells, PPS maculopathy is relatively easy to spot and diagnose. Simple eye tests allow doctors to identify pigmentation abnormalities and unusual deposits on the macula. Our attorneys can help you obtain more medical information and find a knowledgeable ophthalmologist to provide a diagnosis.

Elmiron Patients Deserve Compensation

Some drugs’ side effects are minor and, when given the chance, people choose to risk them because they believe the medication will do more good than harm. Others are so infrequent patients may opt to take a drug and hope they are not injured. Elmiron patients, however, did not receive a warning about the possibility of visual damage. They had no idea they were at such a high risk of developing PPS maculopathy. For those whose vision has been damaged, even stopping the drug may not stop the retinal atrophy causing these issues. Their lives are forever changed. We are here to help these patients fight for justice.

In lawsuits that involve dangerous and defective drugs, plaintiffs may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Related medical expenses
  • Projected future medical needs
  • Loss of wages
  • Decreased earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

It’s hard to quantify the effects of having one of your senses severely handicapped, but where are here to help you fight for the maximum possible settlement. Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A. has a team of supportive attorneys who can guide you through the lawsuit process. If we do not receive a settlement offer, we’ll litigate on your behalf. We’re not afraid to take on Big Pharma in the courts, because we know it is necessary for justice to be done.

Call our Mississippi attorneys now for a free consultation. We’re available at (601) 869-0696.

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