Fears Nachawati Law Firm Investigating Elmiron Drug Side Effects, Vision Loss

Concerns mounting about retina damage from popular treatment for bladder pain 


DALLAS – Trial lawyers at Dallas-based Fears Nachawati Law Firm are investigating published reports and peer-reviewed clinical studies that Johnson & Johnson’s widely prescribed Elmiron, used to treat bladder pain, can damage the retina and potentially cause blindness.  


Numerous clinical studies since 2018 have connected long-term use of Elmiron’s key ingredients, pentosan polysulfate sodium or PPS, with a condition called pigmentary maculopathy. In June 2020, J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals added a warning to the drug, highlighting the risk to the retina, the light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye. 


Elmiron is the only FDA-approved treatment for interstitial cystitis, which causes chronic pain in the bladder and pelvic area. More than 1 million people in the United States – mostly women – are estimated to have the condition, and hundreds of thousands of patients have been prescribed Elmiron. 


“Janssen has marketed Elmiron as a safe treatment for bladder pain with few side effects,” said Fears Nachawati partner Amy Shahan. “We’re only now learning that this drug, after decades on the market, has been linked to irreversible retina damage. Janssen has taken too long to respond to these concerns, and Americans deserve answers and accountability.”  


A 2018 peer-reviewed study in the medical journal, Opthalmology, first documented links between exposure to PPS and pigmentary maculopathy, a progressive and untreatable eye disorder that results in vision loss and even blindness. Subsequent research has reinforced those findings, including a study that found that damage to the retina continued after individuals stopped taking the drug. 


PPS is the only known cause of pigmentary maculopathy, which is often misdiagnosed as age-related macular degeneration or pattern dystrophy. Side effects include dark spots in the vision field, difficulty reading or adjusting to dim lighting, loss of color perception, persistent eye strain during reading and other activities, blurred vision, and blindness. 


Fears Nachawati lawyers have extensive experience investigating dangerous drugs and holding manufacturers accountable. Patients or family of patients who have taken Elmiron could be entitled to pursue a lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. 


Dallas-based Fears Nachawati Law Firm represents individuals and businesses in cases involving environmental and water contamination litigation, public entities, private entities, mass torts, drug and medical device cases, wrongful death, and products liability. For more information, visit https://www.fnlawfirm.com 


Media Contact: 

Robert Tharp 



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