In 2000, Bayer Healthcare introduced the Mirena IUD, which is a small implant that is placed in the uterus for up to five years as a form of birth control. Mirena IUD’s have been linked to perforating uteri, and the IUD’s have been known to move out of position on occasion, causing internal injuries, with over 4,000 lawsuits pending from women. Recently, however, a new type of lawsuit has started to arise regarding Mirena IUD’s and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.
Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC) is a very serious condition stemming from a buildup of fluid pressure on the brain. This fluid buildup results in severe headaches, vision loss, and possibly other problems. The Mirena IUD implant releases progestin levonorgestrel, which has already been linked to a risk of PTC in other birth control products. Sometimes the pressure buildup can be resolved when the product is not in use anymore, but often it causes permanent damage, specifically to the optic nerve.
A new set of lawsuits are emerging, which allege that Bayer Healthcare failed to provide adequate warnings about the risk that Mirena IUD may cause PTC. These complaints allege that the pharmaceutical company withheld important information from women and the medical community about the side effects of the levonorgestrel being released from the implant. Of course, if users and doctors knew about the risk of the sudden buildup of pressure on the brain, the symptoms of PTC would be carefully watched for, which may have allowed some of the women to avoid the long-term, permanent damage. In other countries, such as Hong Kong and South Africa, this warning is provided with the product. Knowing this, it seems strange that in America, the community is not provided with the same information.
Newly Filed Pseudotumor Lawsuit
A recent case from this year involves a 30-year old woman, who filed a complaint against Bayer Healthcare in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, alleging permanent blurred vision and other effects of PTC after the Mirena IUD was implanted. Further, she alleges that Bayer Healthcare knew or should have known that it could cause and contribute to the development of PTC, which is severe and can lead to irreversible conditions. Jessica had the IUD placed in January 2012. In July 2014, she had her vision checked as she was experiencing blurred vision and tinnitus. She was referred to a neurologist and had an MRI done, and she was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri. However, at this point, neither her doctor nor Jessica suspected that there was a link between the PTC and her Mirena IUD implant. In January 2016, Jessica’s doctor removed the IUD and Jessica had to undergo another lumbar puncture to reduce fluid buildup. If Bayer Healthcare had provided information warning physicians and users about the possibility of these side effects developing, perhaps the PTC would have been caught much sooner, as the complaint alleges.
There was a request to centralize the cases concerning Bayer Healthcare, the Mirena IUD, and PTC, asking to combine and present them in front of one judge. This was denied, due to the relatively few cases so far that have emerged in this new development. Therefore, the cases are going forward individually. For now. If the claims pile up, we will likely have another Mirena MDL.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a Mirena IUD, contact us at 1.800.553.8082 or online here. We can tell you about the current state of Mirena settlements and lawsuits, and we can help you to determine if a lawsuit is right for you.