While Elmiron is considered safe and effective for treating interstitial cystitis, many users are now suffering from vision problems after taking the drug.
If you’re experiencing blurry vision or other eye damage after using Elmiron like the 1,725+ people who have joined the ongoing class action lawsuit, you need to read this.
What is Elmiron?
Elmiron was created in the early 1990s by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The drug was originally developed as a treatment for cancer, but it was found to be ineffective for that purpose. However, it was discovered that Elmiron could be used to treat Interstitial Cystitis (IC), a condition that causes bladder pain and urinary frequency and urgency, so the Elmiron FDA approval for said treatment came in 1998.
Elmiron works by coating the bladder lining and protecting it from irritation. This can help to relieve symptoms of IC such as pain and frequency. While is not a cure for IC, Elmiron can help to improve its symptoms in many people who take it.
What are the common side effects of Elmiron?
It’s important to note that the side effects of Elmiron have been listed on its packaging as well as on the website of its manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Some of the most common side effects include:
These side effects can vary from person to person, and some people may experience more or fewer side effects than others.
Does Elmiron Cause Vision Problems?
Some people who take Elmiron have experienced adverse reactions when it comes to their vision. These side effects can include decreased night vision, changes in color perception, and blurred vision. In some cases, these vision problems may be serious enough to require people to stop using the medication.
In fact, in 2018, an article by the American Academy of Ophthalmology revealed that several patients had been diagnosed with retinal maculopathy after being treated with Elmiron for interstitial cystitis. Retinal Maculopathy is a rare but serious eye disease that alters pigment cells in the retina, changing the eye color while causing significant eye damage and vision loss. It is often mistaken for a similar condition called macular degeneration.
With hundreds of Elmiron blurry vision and eye damage already on the record, in June of 2020, Janssen finally updated their potential side effects to include the following.
Elmiron Eye Damage Symptoms May Include:
- Change in eye color (these may be small spots of color changes in the iris – the colored part of the eye)
- Blurred vision (often centrally in the person’s field of vision)
- Difficulty reading
- Dark spots in center of vision
- Difficulty adapting to dim lighting
- Straight lines appearing curved or squiggly
- Less vivid colors
Elmiron Class Action Lawsuit
To date, several hundred lawsuits have been filed by victims and their Elmiron vision loss lawyers across the United States against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and other companies that profited from Elmiron. The potential for the Elmiron lawsuit settlement amounts is unknown at the present time. However, a number of these Elmiron lawsuits have been consolidated into an Elmiron class action lawsuit alleging Janssen and others failed to warn the public about the risk of long-term eye injury or that the drug could lead to permanent vision loss.
Drug companies are often the target of class action lawsuits, and for good reason. Class action lawsuits allow individuals to band together and sue a company or organization as a group. This can be beneficial for those who may not have the resources to sue on their own.
Class action lawsuits can be successful in holding drug companies accountable for their actions. For example, in 2010, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen’s parent company) agreed to pay $2.2 billion to settle a class action lawsuit over its marketing of the painkiller Risperdal. The lawsuit alleged that J&J had marketed the drug for off-label uses, such as treating children and elderly patients with dementia, even though it was not approved for those purposes by the FDA.
While drug companies are often able to settle these cases without admitting any wrongdoing, it is important that they are held accountable for their actions. By filing a class action lawsuit, individuals can help ensure that justice is served and that they receive compensation for their injuries.
Elmiron Settlements To Date
Since the first Elmiron lawsuit was filed in 2001, there have been a number of settlements reached between plaintiffs and defendants. In 2017, Janssen Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $27.5 million to settle a number of Elmiron lawsuits. This included both personal injury and wrongful death suits.
In 2019, another large settlement was reached when Janssen Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay out $25 million to settle approximately 300 Elmiron lawsuits. This also included cases of both personal injury and wrongful death.
At present time, the Elmiron vision damage lawsuits are gaining traction. Between June 15th and July 15th 2022, a total of 365 new plaintiffs with Elmiron vision damage claims were added to the multi-district litigation (MDL), bringing the number of total pending cases up to 1,725.
This addition is the largest monthly increase since the beginning of the Elmiron MDL, and it was the biggest percentage increase of any mass tort during the period.
Upcoming Bellwether Trials
A bellwether trial is a term used to define a trial between an individual plaintiff and defendant meant to test the waters of a widely-contested issue. It is often used in mass tort lawsuits, such as those involving pharmaceutical drugs. This type of trial allows plaintiffs to test their case against the defendant and see if they may be able to reach a settlement.
Bellwether trials are often important for both sides in a lawsuit. They allow each side to get a sense of how the case will go and whether or not it is worth settling.
The Elmiron class action lawsuit is ongoing, with a number of bellwether trials taking place in order to test the waters. So far, these trials have been successful for the plaintiffs, with Janssen Pharmaceuticals agreeing to pay out millions of dollars in settlements.
However, the lawsuit is not over yet, and there are still a number of trials scheduled. The next bellwether trial is set to take place in early 2023. This trial will involve three plaintiffs and will focus on the issue of vision damage.
Elmiron Class Action Lawsuit Symptoms and Qualifications
If you have a confirmed diagnosis of eye issues after taking Elmiron for at least two years, you may be eligible to file an Elmiron lawsuit. Here are some additional criteria that could affect your chances of qualifying.
You may qualify to file an Elmiron lawsuit if you:
- Took Elmiron for at least two years
- Sought medical treatment for vision issues
- Were diagnosed with vision problems, such as pigmentary maculopathy, retinal maculopathy or macular degeneration, after taking Elmiron
- Suffered vision changes such as blurred vision, difficulty reading, distorted vision, eye pain, issues adjusting to darkness, vision disturbances, or vision loss after taking Elmiron
- Were diagnosed with vision problems or started having vision problems while taking the medication or within one year of stopping the medication
- Started having vision problems on or after Jan. 1, 2010
If you fall under any of these categories, you may be eligible for compensation under the Elmiron class action lawsuit.
What to Do If You’re a Victim of Elmiron-Related Vision Problems
First, if you are experiencing any vision problems while taking Elmiron, it is important to speak with your doctor immediately. Vision problems can be serious and may require discontinuation of the medication if they are severe enough.
Secondly, as a victim of Elmiron vision side effects, please contact us for a free consultation. Our law firm may be able to help you file an Elmiron eye damage lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and other companies that have profited from the sale of this potentially dangerous and defective drug.
Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen: New Jersey Elmiron Lawyers
At Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen – The People First Lawyers, we have experience with product liability, medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits, and our Elmiron attorneys may be able to help you file a claim for compensation. We work tirelessly for our clients to ensure you receive medical care, financial compensation, and justice, regardless of an adjuster or insurance carrier’s claim denials. With multiple Board-Certified Civil Trial attorneys on our team, we are well-equipped to handle your case.
If you’re a victim of vision problems caused by Elmiron, contact our office to schedule a free consultation or call us 24/7 at (856) 751-7676.
José W. Hernandez, Partner
José is Board-Certified by the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney and a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a select group of attorneys who have successfully handled cases that resulted in a recovery of $1 million or more for their clients.