Side Effects and Risks of Mirena

An intrauterine device (IUD) seems like the perfect solution for the busy woman who doesn’t have time or inclination to take an oral contraception everyday. Mirena is a t-shaped IUD placed within the uterus by a healthcare provider to prevent pregnancy for up to five years, according to the manufacturer Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. Mirena consists of two arms a stem, a reservoir for levonorgestrel hormone, and thin threads for monthly self-checks. But how does Mirena work and what are the associated risks?

The Mirena IUD releases small amounts of a hormone called levonorgestrel into the uterus. Mirena works by inhibiting sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg, thinning the uterine lining, and thickening cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Mirena is also reversible meaning it can be removed if women want to try to get pregnant right away.

There are a number of side effects and risks associated with Mirena including ovarian cysts, irregular bleeding and spotting, pelvic inflammatory disease, and more. Many women have cited issues with Mirena, filing lawsuits against Bayer. The most common complaints are device migration, ectopic pregnancy, uterine perforation, and pelvic inflammatory disease. With device migration and uterine perforation, surgery is typically needed not only to remove the device but also to repair damage done to the organs. Ectopic pregnancies, while rare, have very serious health consequences for both the mother and child.

Is the convenience of not taking a pill everyday worth the potential risks? In my personal opinion, no it is not. Although IUDs are very effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly, the risks of device migration and uterine perforation among other dangerous side effects far outweigh the benefits of convenience. Women have a number of other options when it comes to birth control, including shots, the pill, and patches to name a few.

According to LawyersandSettlements.com, the most common complaint in the lawsuits involves uterine perforation and device migration; however, pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) have been cited as two side effects that have to do with a dangerous buildup of fluid around the brain, causing blurred vision among other issues.

In one case, a woman from New Jersey, Brittany Collins, filed a lawsuit against Bayer for PTC. After receiving the Mirena IUD in 2011, Collins shortly began to experience a number of side effects, including “severe headaches, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, and pain in her neck and shoulders.” Collins was then diagnosed with PTC almost three years later, which means the plaintiff has had three lumbar punctures to relieve the buildup of pressure on her brain and optic nerve.

Plaintiffs argue that Bayer engaged in deceptive marketing by concealing information and backing a defective product without warning consumers of the potentially dangerous side effects. According to Spiros Law, P.C., the law firm has included Mirena as part of a mass tort lawsuit against Bayer.

Dangerous Pharmaceuticals: The Concerns Around Zofran

The pharmaceutical industry is a vital part of the medical community. The companies that innovate and manufacture solutions do their part by helping doctors address the health concerns of their patients. In an ideal world, pharmaceutical companies are able to contribute foolproof solutions that help advance the overall well-being of a particular population. Unfortunately, there are times when pharmaceutical solutions prove to be defective and even dangerous long after they have been approved and introduced to the public. In fact, the website of the Houston personal injury lawyers with Williams Kherkher points out that these dangerous pharmaceuticals make up most of the product liability cases filed in America.

One pharmaceutical product in the midst of public scrutiny is the anti-nausea drug called Zofran. Also known by its generic name Ondansetron, the drug had been originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy in 1999. Zofran is meant to alleviate the side effects caused by such procedures. Because it has been proven to be quite effective, physicians began to prescribe the drug to pregnant women suffering from morning sickness for off-label use. This, in turn, has led to plenty of concerns regarding the safety of Zofran and its possible effects on a pregnant woman’s unborn child.

Williams Kherkher notes on its website that there is sufficient evidence to support claims that there is a significant link between the use of Zofran during pregnancy and the occurrence of birth defects in infants. A study conducted through the Motherisk program by the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada provided a comprehensive assessment of Zofran and its effects on pregnant women. The study concludes that the concerns regarding risks of birth defects have merit, and that extreme caution should be taken when considering Zofran to treat morning sickness. The FDA’s 2013 statement mirrors this conclusion, warning the public about the issues linked with the drug.