Popular contraceptive Mirena is already under legal fire over uterine perforations. However, a new, more serious side effect is taking center stage. Pseudotumor Cerebri, a brain injury, is linked to an active ingredient used in the Mirena IUD. As a result, Pseudotumor Cerebri lawsuits are piling up even higher.
Uterine Perforation: Not the Only Mirena Complication
Many women choose Mirena and other IUDs due to their long-lasting nature; this particular product can be worn for up to five years before needing to be replaced by a gynecologist or physician, and requires no maintenance or upkeep once it’s inserted in the body. It’s particularly good for women who have trouble taking a pill at the same time each day or react undesirably to traditional birth control methods. And while it’s seen a rise in popularity over the years, it comes with just as many side effects as the pill.
One complication is uterine perforation, when the device punctures the uterus and travels through the abdomen. Though the chances of this happening are one in 1,000, it can be incredibly serious, often requiring multiple surgeries and causing infertility.
Unfortunately, Mirena also contains levonorgestrel, an active component in many hormonal birth control options. It’s a synthetic steroid hormone similar to progesterone used in contraceptive pills, patches and IUDs. While not generally dangerous enough to warrant a recall, it can cause several unsavory complications.
More Injured Patients Now Filing Pseudotumor Cerebri Lawsuits
One side effect related to levonorgestrel is Pseudotumor Cerebri, a phrase that literally means “false tumor.” Though no actual tumor is present, this brain injury can mean intense migraines and pressure. It occurs when cerebral fluid rises and isn’t absorbed back into the body fast enough, and it can be a very serious and painful condition. Symptoms of Pseudotumor Cerebri include:
- Double vision
- Blindness (sometimes permanent)
- Ringing in the ears
- Light flashes
- Trouble walking
- Frequent headaches
It tends to worsen during physical activity, and when left untreated, can be debilitating for afflicted women. Unfortunately, many women don’t know they have it, and those who do are rarely aware of the link to Mirena.
Pseudotumor Cerebri Lawsuits Centralized In New York State
Many plaintiffs claim that device manufacturer Bayer did not adequately warn doctors and women of the Pseudotumor Cerebri risks, failing to list PTC as a side effect on the label. Many others suggest that Bayer went beyond the limits when marketing the device, playing up its romantic benefits instead of its physiological ones. As a result, countless Mirena and Pseudotumor Cerebri lawsuits are underway against Bayer. In New York state alone, more than 500 cases have been centralized. This indicates how pervasive the problem is in the millions of women who have an IUD implanted in their uteruses.
The lack of PTC warnings on drug labels mean patients aren’t aware of the potential side effect. Even worse, it also leaves many doctors in the dark. Removing the device can often relieve symptoms of PTC, so information and awareness are crucial for everyone involved. When combined with uterine perforations and other Mirena lawsuits, Bayer is under intense fire.
Users who suspect they are suffering from PTC will usually undergo an MRI or CT scan in addition to a spinal tap. After the physician has decided that the condition is PTC, the patient can be treated in a variety of ways. Removing the IUD may be effective, while other times surgery, lumbar puncture, prescription drugs and shunting are necessary.
What You Can Do
If you or someone you know developed PTC while implanted with Mirena, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Before you get started, it’s a good idea to have your case reviewed by an attorney who is familiar with mass torts of this nature. He or she can help you be as successful as possible moving forward and get the damages you deserve. More women file lawsuits each day – there has never been a better time to seek justice.
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.