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Mirena IUDs linked to increased brain pressure

Choosing a prescription contraceptive is a highly personal decision. Because each type comes with risks, weighing the pros and cons in consultation with your health care provider is critical for making an informed choice.

But what if the drug's manufacturer failed to disclose certain dangers?

That may be the case with Mirena (levonorgestrel), a common intrauterine device used by millions of women. IUDs are popular because of their convenience and longevity: They don't require remembering a daily pill, and they last for up to five years. Many women are also sold on their supposed safety due to the low hormonal dosage.

However, recent studies have linked these devices to a painful condition that can cause chronic headaches, visual problems and even blindness.

Called idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH, also known as pseudotumor cerebri syndrome), the condition involves a buildup of excess fluid in the brain, leading to heightened pressure within the skull. This, in turn, can cause permanent damage to the ocular nerve.

What to look for

The symptoms of IIH are similar to those of a brain tumor. They include:

  • Recurrent headaches, especially if over-the-counter pain medicine doesn't help
  • Blurred vision, double vision, "seeing spots" and other visual disturbances
  • Optic nerve swelling (papilledema)
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression

Diagnosis usually involves a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).

Although this condition can be managed through medication (or, in severe cases, surgical shunts to drain the fluid), it can still cause chronic headaches and decreased quality of life. Extreme cases can even result in irreversible blindness.

Consider joining a class action claim

Women who have suffered from this condition after getting a Mirena implant should be aware of their right to seek compensation. Our firm is currently organizing a class action case against Bayer, the device's manufacturer, for failing to disclose this serious side effect. Find out whether you're eligible to join the case. It won't cost you anything, and your rights will be in capable hands.

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