When you take medicine, you expect it to make you better. You do not expect it to cause you a whole different set of problems. Yet, this is precisely what some people are claiming the drug Elmiron does.
Elmiron is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat interstitial cystitis, also known as “painful bladder syndrome.” It is estimated that 12 million people live with this condition. Probably, many of them have taken Elmiron to treat it.
Research has been available since 2018, linking long term use of the drug to retinal damage. Further research in 2019 found this to be the case in 25% of people who had used it long term. The studies found pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), the active ingredient in Elmiron, caused the damage.
Last month, two US women filed a lawsuit against three pharmaceutical companies: Johnson & Johnson, Teva and Bayer. They allege the companies knew about the possible side effects but withheld that information from medical professionals who continued to prescribe it to their patients. A separate case was filed against Johson & Johnson in May, and there are similar lawsuits underway in Canada.
Having healthy eyes is critical to so many aspects of life. Eye damage can affect your ability to drive, work and carry out hobbies and leave you more prone to painful headaches. While everyone’s eyesight deteriorates with age, it should not be affected by a drug you take to help with a painful bladder. Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to keep people informed of any possible adverse side effects their drugs have. Seek legal help if you believe your eyesight has been affected by Elmiron.