Nearly 20% Of Long Term Elmiron Users Diagnosed With Toxic Maculopathy
Written by: Lauren Schwab, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.
A recent March 2021 article "Update on maculopathy secondary to pentosan polysulfate toxicity" for the Current Opinion in Ophthalmology medical journal shows a strong link between Elmiron, a drug typically used to treat interstitial cystitis (also known as painful bladder syndrome), and toxic maculopathy. Maculopathy can lead to retinal changes and vision loss.
According to the Abstract for this article, nearly 20% of long-term Elmiron users have been diagnosed with Elmiron-related maculopathy. There is also strong evidence for a correlation between cumulative dosing for Elmiron and the likelihood or severity of the maculopathy:
Cross-sectional studies demonstrate evidence correlating cumulative dosing and the likelihood/severity of maculopathy. Early estimates of prevalence range from 12.7 to 41.7% depending on dosing, with overall rates around 20%.
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Covered in our most recent March 2021 blog post, "Onset of Maculopathy Due to Elmiron Possible Years After Patients Stopped Use of Elmiron", it is recommended established maculopathy patients be questioned regarding any Elmiron use in the past. The "Update on maculopathy secondary to pentosan polysulfate toxicity" corroborates this recommendation due to the high rate of maculopathy incidences in patients with previous Elmiron use:
Reasonable evidence associates maculopathy with extended exposure to PPS [Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate)], with an average reported incidence of around 20% in patients with long-term exposures. Patients with unexplained retinal pigment epithelium changes and difficulty with dark adaptation should be questioned regarding PPS [Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate)] exposure, and patients with known exposure to PPS [Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate)] should be examined. Further research is needed to refine screening protocols. Currently, providers should consider baseline examination and examination at 5 years and/or 500 g of exposure followed by yearly screening.
As we have reported previously on our Elmiron Information Page, as well as in our previous blog post, "Onset of Maculopathy Due to Elmiron Possible Years After Patients Stopped Use of Elmiron", it is not necessary for the patient to have been using Elmiron regularly right up until the time when their Elmiron-related vision loss was diagnosed in order to file an Elmiron lawsuit. That is, unlike most other drug injury cases, the patient could have stopped using Elmiron months, even potentially years, before a medical doctor was able to diagnose their eye problem.
We are currently investigating possible Elmiron lawsuits for patients with past Elmiron use diagnosed with eye problems such as:
- Vision Loss / Blindness
- Maculopathy (retinal or pigmentation)
- Retinal Pigmentary Endothelium Injury (RPE)
- Pigmentation Maculitis
- Macular Degeneration (pigmentation or dry)
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