A number of law firms have begun to run Mirena lawsuit TV commercials, notifying the public about a growing litigation related to one of the world’s most popular intrauterine devices. Thousands of women have already sued Bayer, the manufacturer of Mirena, over serious IUD complications, including device migration and uterine perforation. But dozens of more recent lawsuits, often referenced in attorney commercials, say Mirena can cause pseudotumor cerebri, a rare and debilitating brain disorder.
What Mirena TV Commercials Don’t Tell Viewers
More than 100 women have filed Mirena lawsuits, accusing Bayer of concealing a link between the hormonal IUD and pseudotumor cerebri. As plaintiffs note, Mirena’s effectiveness as a contraceptive relies on a synthetic hormone called levonorgestrel, which is released directly into a patient’s uterus. This chemical, along with similar hormones, has been associated with an increased risk of pseudotumor cerebri for over two decades.
In fact, two previous contraceptives that contained levonorgestrel, Norplant and Jadelle, actively warned patients and health care professionals of the risk in warning labels, patient package inserts and prescriber notes. Mirena’s labeling, on the other hand, makes no reference to the disorder. One of these birth control implants was even pulled off the market after thousands of women reported severe side effects, including pseudotumor, and filed lawsuits.
More recent research has brought these safety concerns back to the forefront. In their 2015 study, researchers at the Child and Family Research Institute of British Columbia analyzed over 9 years of adverse event reports submitted to the US Food & Drug Administration. Their search turned up a surprising number of pseudotumor cerebri diagnoses among Mirena patients. In fact, the researchers were able to estimate that women with Mirena were at least 78% more likely to develop the severe and potentially life-altering condition.
Pseudotumor Can Lead To Permanent Vision Loss
While researchers have yet to explain the precise causes behind pseudotumor cerebri, the majority of medical professional’s have linked the disorder’s strange symptoms to an increase in pressure inside the skull. Beyond severe headaches and confusion, this excessive pressure can push down on the eye’s optic nerves, leading to troubling visual side effects and vision loss. The disorder’s symptoms are extremely worrisome:
- migraine-like headaches
- blurred vision
- diplopia (double vision)
- temporary blindness
- blind spots
- tinnitus (a ringing or “whooshing” sound in the ears)
Tragically, some women have been left completely blind – often because pseudotumor cerebri is extremely difficult to diagnose. In fact, the condition’s name, which literally means “false brain tumor,” was chosen to indicate the disorder’s uncanny resemblance to cancer.
To complicate the picture further, Mirena’s warning label contains no information on a potential risk for pseudotumor cerebri – even though decades of research have linked the IUD’s synthetic hormone to dangerously increased cranial pressure.
Women Hope To Band Together
With more than 100 Mirena pseudotumor cerebri lawsuits filed, plaintiffs have moved to take advantage of a common legal mechanism used when multiple lawsuits share similar factual allegations. On December 29, 2017, a group of women asked the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation to create a “consolidated” docket for Mirena actions involving pseudotumor.
The request has not yet been granted; a panel of federal judges will consider the petition in detail on March 30, 2017. If approved, the measure would allow every Mirena pseudotumor lawsuit filed in federal court to be brought together in a central federal court. Instead of working in different jurisdictions, plaintiffs’ attorneys would be able to work closely with one another, pooling their resources to better represent injured women.
This framework, known as Multi-District Litigation (MDL), is often used to streamline large litigations, while allowing each unique plaintiff’s legal claim to proceed individually. Class action is a very different process and most legal experts believe that class action is inappropriate for cases involving severe injuries caused by medical devices.
Legal Action May Be Possible
Hundreds of millions of women around the world have chosen Mirena as their primary birth control option, relying on ads that present the device as extraordinarily effective and reasonably safe. Thousands of women, however, disagree with Bayer’s claims. These patients have lived through severe complications, health problems they blame exclusively on Mirena.
Help is available. Our experienced product liability attorneys are now offering free consultations to women who developed pseudotumor cerebri after receiving the Mirena IUD. Injured patients may be entitled to significant financial compensation, including damages to cover long-term medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Call our lawyers today to learn more.