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Drug used to treat interstitial cystitis increases risk of maculopathy

A study recently published in JAMA Ophthalmology reports an increased risk of maculopathy for patients taking pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS) for interstitial cystitis. 

Researchersfrom the University of Alabama at Birmingham examined the link between PPS exposure and maculopathy by reviewing analysis conducted using the Food and Drug Administration's Adverse Event Reporting System from January 2013 through June 2020. Adverse event reports for PPS were compared to adverse event reports associated with other drugs taken for interstitial cystitis, cystitis, bladder disorder or bladder pain.

Upon examination, researchers found that PPS had a higher proportion of adverse events for any macular event relative to all other events compared with individuals using other interstitial cystitis and bladder pain drugs. Patients who were taking PPS reported events including maculopathy, macular degeneration, retinal dystrophy, retinal injury and retinal toxicity more frequently than patients using other bladder inflammation drugs.

Researchers acknowledge that while individual observational studies are not able to determine cause-and-effect associations, the growing body of evidence strongly suggests a link between using PPS and having an increased incidence of maculopathy.


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