Elmiron is a medication used to treat what’s known as a “painful bladder syndrome” or in medical terms, interstitial cystitis. It can be used to treat osteoarthritis in humans, and both elderly dogs or horses. It has also been used as an anticoagulant.
But Elmiron has been linked to causing a severe eye disorder that can lead to blindness. Between 1997 and 2019, there were 100 cases of Elmiron patients who suffered eye disorders reported in the Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). Eight of those cases were considered serious, while 22 of them mentioned a variety of forms of maculopathy.
Elmiron and Maculopathy
Maculopathy is a condition that affects the macula, the center part of the retina that has to do with the most sensitive aspects of vision. Damage to this area can cause severe eye disorders and also lead to blindness.
In 2018, the American Academy of Ophthalmology published an article about six patients who experienced pigmentary maculopathy. Between May 2015 and October 2017, the six adult patients at Emory Eye Center taking Elmiron were evaluated for the eye condition. Later in 2019, that number was up to ten patients who were diagnosed with the same condition.
Maculopathy is a general term used to refer to any pathological condition that affects the central portion of the retina– the macula. There are varieties of maculopathy, including:
Age-Related Macular Degeneration – gradual loss of vision that originates in the central field of vision and occurs over time
Cellophane Maculopathy – this is known as a “macular pucker” and is a form of visual distortion. It causes the formation of a thin, transparent layer of scar tissue over the light-receptor nerve cells in the macula.
Malattia Leventinese – sometimes congenital, this is known as Doyne Honeycomb Retinal Dystrophy (DHRD). Small, pale spots that originate in the macula eventually grow into a honeycomb pattern.
Elmiron Side Effects
“Pigmentary maculopathy of unknown etiology” is what’s used to describe the condition caused by Elmiron. This basically means there is no known cause. Symptoms to watch out for are:
- Hyperpigmented, dark spots on the retina that can be observed during an eye examination
- Parafoveal pigmented deposits – vision loss may occur because of an abnormal effect on the capillaries and small blood vessels around the macula
- Vitelliform deposits – these are round, somewhat yellow lesions under the macula, also known as adult pattern macular dystrophy
- Retinal pigment epithelium atrophy – this is common with age-related macular degeneration
Other Elmiron side effects may include: alopecia (hair loss), gastroesophageal reflux, headaches, skin rash, sleep disorders, bruising, or diarrhea.
None of the product labeling of Elmiron ever included pigmentary maculopathy.
Do you have an Elmiron lawsuit?
If you have suffered any of the above side effects after taking Elmiron, you are not alone. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries by filing an Elmiron lawsuit. We offer a Free Case Evaluation and would be honored to speak to you.