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Mirena Birth Control Led To Papilledema, Flashing Spots In Vision, Lawsuit Claims

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A product liability lawsuit filed against Bayer indicates that side effects of Mirena birth control caused a woman to suffer papilledema, resulting in flashing spots before her eyes, blurry vision and extreme headaches. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Natalee Williams on April 9, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that the Mirena IUD is defective and unreasonably dangerous, because it may result in an increase in fluid pressure in the skull

Williams, of Alaska, is currently 24, and indicates that she first had a Mirena intrauterine device (IUD) implanted for long-term birth control in March 2011, which was removed two and a half years later without complication. However, in July 2017, she received another Mirena birth control implant, and began to suffer extreme headaches, flashing spots, and blurry vision, according to the lawsuit.

In August 2017, Williams was diagnosed with papilledema, which is a condition associated with increased pressure in or around the brain, which causes the part of the optic nerve inside the eye to swell. About a month later, she was diagnosed with intracranial hypertension, also known as pseudotumor cerebri.

Williams’ complaint joins a growing number of similar Mirena birth control lawsuits filed nationwide by women who suffered papilledema, intracranial hypertension (IIH) or pseudotumor cerebri (PTC). All of the lawsuits indicate that that Bayer failed to adequately warn women or the medical community that the Mirena was linked to an increased risk of PTC/IIH.

“The information provided by Defendants to patients and physicians about Mirena, whether through labeling, brochures, publications, or advertisements, does not warn about non-stroke neurological conditions such as pseudotumor cerebri (‘PTC’), also known as intracranial hypertension (‘IH’),” the lawsuit states. “Mirena’s Prescribing Information and Patient Information Booklet do not explicitly or implicitly reference PTC/IH.”

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in complaints filed throughout the federal court system, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established coordinated pretrial proceedings in April 2017, centralizing all cases involving pseudotumor cerebri or intracranial hypertension complications from Mirena IUDs before one judge in the Southern District of New York.

There are currently more than 200 complaints pending before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Englemayer as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation. However, as Mirena injury lawyers continue to review and file claims for women nationwide, it is expected that the size and scope of the litigation will continue to grow over the coming weeks and months.

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