Elmiron (pentosan polysulfate sodium) is a mild blood-thinner prescribed to treat bladder pain caused by interstitial cystitis, or bladder inflammation.

The FDA approved Elmiron in 1996, and it has been prescribed to millions of people since as the only oral medication to treat bladder pain or discomfort associated with IC.  Elmiron is approved for 300 mg doses in those 16 or older, but is often prescribed for up to 1,500 mg per day for severe symptoms of IC. 

Unfortunately, recent studies show patients taking Elmiron may have a higher risk of developing a rare but serious eye disease called retinal maculopathy. Similar to macular degeneration, this condition alters pigment cells in the retina, causing significant eye dysfunction and vision loss. 

And, doctors warn that most people who’ve suffered retinal maculopathy may have been misdiagnosed with macular degeneration, meaning they don’t even know the drug was the cause.

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