Written by: Heather Helmendach, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.
What is Mirena?
Mirena is an intrauterine device manufactured by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals that is used to prevent pregnancy in women of child-bearing age. It is also indicated to treat heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB).
It functions by releasing a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel, and is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy for up to five years.
What are the possible side effects?
Perhaps the most dangerous side effect of the Mirena IUD is pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), also referred to as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH).
This neurological side effect develops when an increased amount of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulates in one's skull. This then causes increased pressure on the brain, which can lead to swollen optic nerves.
If PTC / IIH is not diagnosed in a timely manner, permanent vision loss and even blindness can result.
The symptoms of PTC / IIH include the following:
- Severe migraines or migraine-like headaches with blurred vision
- Temporary blindness, blind spots, or other visual deficiencies
- Diplopia: double vision
- Papilledema: optic disc swelling due to increased intracranial pressure
- Tinnitus: “whooshing” or ringing in the ear
How are these neurological conditions diagnosed?
Unfortunately, many doctors -- and even specialists -- find it difficult to diagnose PTC / IIH, especially since the side effects mimic those of a tumor in the brain.
When patients present with symptoms of PTC / IIH they often first undergo an MRI, CT scan, and/or other diagnostic radiology tests to rule out an actual tumor or blood clot in the brain.
To confirm the diagnosis of PTC / IIH, a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, is often performed.
Have any Mirena lawsuits been filed?
Many lawsuits concerning the Mirena IUD were previously filed in regard to damages caused by migration of the device, perforation of the uterus, and embedment within the uterus.
More recently, lawsuits concerning PTC / IIH have been filed and consolidated into a Mirena federal court multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of New York.
If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with PTC / IIH, or have experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms of PTC / IIH, we encourage you to complete a Free Case Evaluation. You may also visit our website for more information.
We will continue to monitor the medical literature for more information on the association of the Mirena IUD with PTC / IIH. In addition, we will also watch for developments in the Mirena federal court MDL.
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