Mirena IUD: The Link between Levonorgestrel and Intracranial Hypertension
Nearly two hundred lawsuits filed by women against Bayer Pharmaceuticals allege that their intrauterine device (IUD), Mirena, causes a condition known as intracranial hypertension (IH), or pseudotumor cerebri. Women all over the United States claim that Bayer was negligent in failing to warn users of the IUD of the potentially disabling side effects related to IH. In fact, Bayer has not provided any warning at all about the possibility of Mirena causing IH, despite studies performed 20 years ago that link the hormone in their IUD to this debilitating condition.
Intracranial hypertension results from a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain that increases pressure on the skull. This pressure creates symptoms that closely mimic those of a brain tumor, which is why IH is often referred to as pseudotumor cerebri. Increased cranial pressure causes severe headaches, vision loss, and ringing in the ears (called tinnitus). While the headaches cause immediate pain that may subside, the impact on vision is considerably more dangerous. Over time, IH can damage nerves in the eye, eventually leading to permanent blindness. While the exact cause of IH remains unclear, scientific studies point to a strong link between the primary hormone in Mirena, levonorgestrel, and IH.
Mirena releases levonorgestrel, a type of artificial progestin, into the body. Although this effectively prevents pregnancies, the hormone has been known to cause IH for decades. Two reports published between 1995 and 1998 suggested a link between the use of Norplant, a birth control implant that released levonorgestrel, and IH. Two years later, in 2000, British researchers concluded that intracranial hypertension “should be regarded as a condition in which the potential risks of using progestin-only methods of contraception generally outweigh the benefits.” Very little was done to further investigate this connection until 2015, when Canadian pharmaceutical researchers thoroughly analyzed FDA data and found that women with a Mirena IUD were 78% more likely to report suffering from IH.
Based on this compelling scientific research, Bayer should have known that the use of levonorgestrol in its IUD would increase a woman’s risk of developing intracranial hypertension. Shockingly, Bayer has done absolutely nothing to warn users of the potentially life-changing dangers its defective product may cause. By neglecting to adequately warn doctors and patients, Bayer’s sales increased while the health of many innocent women deteriorated. Our experienced lawyers fight for individuals who have been harmed by defective drugs and products. If you or someone you know has suffered from intracranial hypertension or pseudotumor cerebri after implantation of a Mirena IUD, call The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW for a FREE, confidential consultation. At The Yost Legal Group, there is no fee or expense unless you recover.