A growing number of Mirena lawsuit claims have been filed on behalf of women who say that the popular birth control device caused serious brain injuries and related neurological problems. While only nine such filings are now pending in U.S. courts over this alleged Mirena IUD complication, plaintiffs said in court papers last month that attorneys are preparing to file at least 65 additional claims.
These lawsuits focus on the effects of Levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestin emitted by the device. A number of Mirena complaints allege that this hormone can cause a rise the brain’s levels of cerebrospinal fluid, which increases pressure on the brain. Women who have experienced this phenomenon have allegedly developed pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) – also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Symptoms of this condition include severe migraines, double vision, temporary blindness and other vision problems, and ringing in the ears.
The lawsuits fault Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals for failing to include any information on the Mirena label about its alleged association with neurological problems.
Because they expect that a large number of federal Mirena lawsuits will eventually be filed over these types of brain injuries, plaintiffs have asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all pending and future cases in a multidistrict litigation and transfer them to federal court in Tennessee.
So far, the litigation over alleged Mirena brain injuries is small compared to that involving injuries allegedly caused by spontaneous migration of the IUD. Court documents indicate that more than 780 such claims are pending in New Jersey state court, while more than 500 similar lawsuits have been filed in New York federal court.
According to these lawsuits, spontaneous Mirena migration occurs when the IUD moves from its position in the uterus long after it was correctly implanted in the uterus. According to the lawsuits, this can result in a number of Mirena complications, including uterine perforations, organ damage and infertility. Many of the women who have filed these lawsuits have had to undergo one or more surgical procedures to locate their IUD, remove it and repair related damage.
Like the Mirena brain injury lawsuits, these claims also allege that the IUD lacks sufficient warnings about these types of side effects. Among other things, the lawsuits point out that the label only states that migration can occur if the uterus is punctured when Mirena is first implanted.