Levonorgestrel is a synthetic progestin hormone that operates both as a birth control device and oral medication used by women looking to avoid pregnancy. It can also be used as an emergency contraceptive that works differently than regularly taken forms of birth control. The drug operates primarily by preventing ovulation, or the release of an egg, during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Levonorgestrel also thickens vaginal fluids in order to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, as well as alters the lining of the uterus to prevent the attachment of a fertilized egg. The drug may be taken as a pill or released through an intrauterine device (IUD) such as Mirena.
What are Levonorgestrel Side Effects?
IUD’s such as Mirena have been approved for use as a contraceptive as far back as 2000, and approval of the device was expanded in 2009 to include treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding in women who agreed to implant an IUD as a form of contraception. Unfortunately, many patients and their families have reported serious and sometimes fatal side effects to the FDA following the use of Mirena, including but not limited to:
- Embedment of the device in the uterus
- Obstruction or perforation of the uterus
- Intestinal obstruction or perforation
- Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), occasionally referred to as a pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), or the increasing of pressure inside the skull for no apparent reason and leading to:
- blurred or double vision
- ringing in the ears or tinnitus
- severe headaches
- swelling of the optic nerves causing temporary or permanent blindness
- temporary or permanent brain damage
- Forced hysterectomy
- Other gynecological and internal malformations
The Mirena IUD that is also known as Levonorgestrel is manufactured by the New Jersey based branch of Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. In 2013, the state Supreme Court consolidated the Levonorgestrel lawsuits that accused manufacturer Bayer of selling the drug under unsafe, defective, and knowingly dangerous conditions. This court decision came after a similar ruling one month earlier to consolidate federal court lawsuits before a U.S. District Judge in a New York federal court. All of these cases alleged that the IUD can migrate, perforate the uterine wall, and cause serious injuries.
If you used Levonorgestrel and suspect the drug and/or device may have harmed you, contact the levonorgestrel lawyers at Dax F. Garza, P.C. today to see how we can help.