The Link Between Elmiron and This Long-Term Side Effect

Man with glasses

According to Science Daily, more than 1 million people in the United States suffer from interstitial cystitis. At the moment, Elmiron is the only FDA approved medication to treat this condition. Because of this fact, thousands of people have been exposed to this medication and its side effects over many years. Doctors recommend patients consult with their urologist regarding their use of this medication along with yearly screenings for patients who are not currently exhibiting signs of pigmentary maculopathy.

There are currently cases filed against the manufacturer of Elmiron. If you were taking Elmiron and developed any of the above side effects, our attorneys are available to discuss your potential claim. Lawsuits are often the only way for people to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable. The injury attorneys at Anapol Weiss will fight on your behalf for fair compensation. Call our office today for a free consultation.

What is Elmiron?

Elmiron is a medication known as a pentosan polysulfate sodium or PPS. This medication is currently used to treat a chronic condition called interstitial cystitis, bladder and pelvic pain. Recently, researchers found a link between the medication Elmiron and the development of pigmentary maculopathy.   Maculopathy is currently the number one leading cause of blindness in American adults. Symptoms of macular degeneration or maculopathy include gradual loss of vision, blurry vision, sensitivity to light and loss of low-light visibility. This condition is considered to be both avoidable and irreversible.

Elmiron and its Risks/strong>

More and more studies are being done to investigate the link between exposure to Elmiron and the development of pigmentary maculopathy. According to the British Journal of Ophthalmology, patients exposed to long term PPS use were at a greater risk of developing pigmentary maculopathy. The study followed patients using Elmiron for over a decade, checking in at the 5- and 7-year mark. The finding of this study show that patients showed the highest rate of new maculopathy diagnoses during the seventh-year check in.

Data from a Kaiser Permanente study suggest that almost 25% of patients taking Elmiron showed “clear signs of toxicity.” Patients who continually used this medication for a period of 15 years were evaluated. Findings in this study suggest that a consistent dosage of Elmiron over a long period of time increased retinal damage in patients. Researchers involved in this study have suggested patients consult their urologist and discontinue the use of this medication. “It’s unfortunate. You have a patient with a chronic condition like interstitial cystitis, for which there is no cure and no effective treatment. They get put on these medications because it’s thought to have few side effects and few risks…” said Dr. Vora in a statement to

A separate study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology studied patients records over the rough course of 15.5 years. The study found that roughly 66% of patients reported difficulty reading. Furthermore, patients in the study were evaluated for vision changes and macular dystrophy, the deterioration of the retina. The research states that exposure to Elmiron alters the structure of the retinal pigment mechanism. Upon further assessment of the individuals in the study, researchers suggest the experienced maculopathy was avoidable, finding that individuals who suffer from chronic bladder pain but were not exposed to the PPS were not found to experience pigmentary maculopathy.

The potential diagnoses and side effects of Elmiron include:

  • Pigmentary Maculopathy
  • Retinal Maculopathy
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Pattern Dystrophy
  • Vision Loss / Vision Impairment
  • Visual disturbances
  • Blurred Vision
  • Blindness (unilateral or bilateral)

Get in Touch

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with pigmentary maculopathy after taking Elmiron please reach out to Anapol Weiss today.