Articles Posted in Birth Control Drugs & Devices

Now that 95% of eligible plaintiffs have opted in, the $100 million defective medical device settlement between NuvaRing manufacturer Merck & Co. and 3,800 claimants will stand.

A district court judge had approved the birth control injury settlement earlier this year. Merck, however, could have backed out of the agreement if not enough plaintiffs agreed to join.

The company maintains that “substantial” evidence proves that the contraceptive device is safe. It is settling the NuvaRing lawsuits without denying or agreeing to the claims.

Just recently, a woman in Pennsylvania who claims that her intrauterine device moved in her uterus and perforated it has filed a Mirena IUD lawsuit. In her defective medical device complaint, the plaintiff is seeking damages from Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, the company that manufactured the contraceptive device.

This woman is one of many plaintiffs that are pursuing the medical device maker via the US court system. Just last month, another woman filed her Mirena injury lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Court for similar injuries. She said she had to undergo laparoscopic surgery to get the IUD out of her body. Meantime, in Kentucky, a federal judge has refused a motion by Bayer to dismiss a Mirena IUD case. Instead, the plaintiff was allowed to amend her complaint, which was not pled properly.

In Massachusetts, call our Boston Mirena injury lawyers today to request your free case assessment.

A report published this month in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology talks about a pregnant woman who had to get a Mirena IUD surgically removed from her body when she was three months pregnant. She actually didn’t know the device was still in her because an ultrasound procedure had failed to detect it and she thought it had fallen out.

Instead, the intrauterine device had migrated elsewhere in her body where it resided there for years. Fortunately, the removal procedure went well. However, Mirena IUD removal from a woman who is pregnant does have its risks, including possible pregnancy loss.

If you or someone you love suffered serious health complications from an IUD, please contact our Mirena injury lawyers today to request your free case evaluation. Altman & Altman, LLP represents clients with defective medical device cases against manufacturers. Mirena is made by Bayer.

Women are continuing to file defective medical device/drug injury cases against Merck & Co. Inc. and its subsidiary N.V. Organon over serious side effects caused by the hormonal birth control NuvaRing, The flexible plastic ring, which contains progestin and estrogen, has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, and death. These are serious health issues for a product that is supposed to prevent pregnancy to be associated with.

One reason for the greater risks is that the progestin in NuvaRing is desogestrel, which is a third-generation hormone. According to some studies, desogestrel isn’t as safe as its predecessors, which are used in other birth control brands. (Desogestrel had even been linked to a higher risk of blood clots as far back as the 1990’s, yet, according to many plaintiffs, the two drug manufacturers did not warn patients about this possible side effect for years. Some are saying that they would have never opted to use NuvaRing if they’d known there could be such serious complications involved.)

At the moment, there is a NuvaRing Lawsuit Multidistrict Litigation taking place in Missouri in Federal Court. Your NuvaRing case can be brough to this litigation regardless of which state you live in, or, it may be to your benefit to pursue your lawsuit separately. The best way to figure out whether you have grounds for a drug injury lawsuit over your NuvaRing injuries to contact an experienced products liability firm to explore your legal options.

Just two days into trial, a drug injury settlement has been reached in the DES lawsuit filed by four sisters against Eli Lilly & Co. This could pave the way for more settlements filed by scores of other women.

In Massaachusetts alone, 51 women have filed Boston DES injury cases against over a dozen companies that marketed or made diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogen also called DES that was given to pregnant women for years. The Melnick sisters’ dangerous drug lawsuit was the first one to go to trial.

Over the years, thousands of DES lawsuits have been filed claiming the drug is the reason why women, who were the babies inside the pregnant mothers who were taking the hormones, would later go on to develop cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, and fertility issues. Many of these cases have been settled.

Four sisters are about to get their day in federal court in Boston against Eli Lilly & Co., a former manufacturer of diethylstilbestrol (DES) after the drug allegedly caused them to later develop breast cancer. This is the first DES lawsuit of many to go to trial and jury selection is scheduled to start today. There are still about 50 DES lawsuits pending in Boston against over 12 drug makers after a federal judge was unable to come up with settlements for them.

The siblings, Michele, Donna, Francine, and Andrea, have also each had fertility issues, miscarriages, or reproductive tract issues that have long been believed to be linked to prenatal DES exposure. It wasn’t until 2008, however, that one of them found out about a study that identified a higher incidence of breast cancer in the daughters of women who took the drug while pregnant. Their older sister, Mary Ann, is the only one that they say was not exposed to DES while in their mother’s womb, and she is the only one of the five sisters who hasn’t had breast cancer or fertility problems.

It was in 1971 that the Food and Drug Administration advised doctors to cease prescribing DES to pregnant women. The advisory was issued after a study reported an increase in the risk of these women’s daughters later developing a rare vaginal cancer. Thousands of DES lawsuits have since been filed over allegedly related incidents of cervical cancer, fertility issues, and vaginal cancer. Many of them have been settled.

The four Melnick sisters have all had to undergo different treatments, ranging from surgery to having a lump removed to chemotherapy, a full mastectomy, and radiation. They contend that Eli Lilly failed to provide any warnings that taking DES could injure the babies. They believe that the drug was never properly tested before it was put into the marketplace.

Meantime, Eli Lilly, in court documents, is claiming that there isn’t any evidence, even medical records, showing that the Melnick sisters’ mom, Frances Melnick, even took DES. Frances and her physician are both deceased.

Originally manufactured in 1938, DES was the first synthetic estrogen to enter the market. For decades it was prescribed to pregnant women to supposedly create a healthy pregnancy and prevent premature birth and miscarriage. Even after published research eventually showed that DES didn’t prevent premature births or miscarriages it would be almost two decades before the FDA advisory came out.

A recent 2011 suggests that DES daughters over age 40 are almost twice as likely to develop breast cancer than other women. Other findings have also shown a link between DES impacting an infant’s development, including its immune, reproductive, and skeletal systems.

Trial Set to Begin in Boston Over Pregnancy Drug, ABC News/AP, January 4, 2012

4 Sisters Who Had Breast Cancer Sue Drug Maker, Blaming Mother’s Medication, CBS Boston, January 3, 2012

More Blog Posts:
Another Boston Injury Lawsuit Blames DES Drug for Causing Newton Woman’s Breast Cancer, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 30, 2012
US Supreme Court to Consider Whether Manufacturers of Generic Meds Can Be Sued For Drug Defects, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, December 25, 2012

Plaintiff of NuvaRing Lawsuit Blames the Birth Control Device for Pulmonary Embolism
, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, December 19, 2012

Boston Dangerous Drug Lawsuits: YAZ, Ocella, and Yasmin Birth Control Pills Linked to Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, Stroke, Heart Attack, and Myocardial Infarction Side Effects, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, June 19, 2012 Continue reading

Another woman has filed a NuvaRing lawsuit suing Merck for products liability. In her defective medical device/dangerous drug complaint, Angela Denise Washington claims she developed a pulmonary embolism a few months after she started taking the popular internal birth control device in 2004.

NuvaRing is a vaginal ring that the user inserts close to the cervix. This is a hormonal contraceptive device that contains progestin and estrogen and it is Food and Drug Administration-approved. It. The ring releases the hormones into the body. A woman is supposed to remove the ring after three weeks and her menstrual cycle usually begins a couple of days later. Following a weeklong break, she is supposed to insert another ring into her body.

Last year, however, FDA published a birth control study that showed that compared to older birth control pills, the NuvaRing, which is an internal contraceptive, upped the risk of blood clots by 56%. There was also a study this year in the British Medical Journal that found that NuvaRing and other non-oral birth control devices generally come with a greater blood clot risk than oral contraceptives that are made of with the same hormone combination.

If you have suffered serious side effects from using a Mirena intrauterine device, please contact our defective medical device lawyers right away. Approved by the FDA as birth control in 2000, and in 2009 to treat heavy menstrual bleeding, this IUD has been linked to a number of health issues, including intestinal perforation/obstruction, abscesses, infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterus perforation, infertility, intrauterine pregnancy, miscarriage, vaginal erosion, ovarian cysts, uterine embedment, vaginitis, ectopic pregnancy, painful periods, group A streptococcal sepsis, breast tenderness, irregular bleeding/spotting, pelvic pain, and vaginal hemorrhage. A Mirena IUD user can also get hurt should the device become dislodged, expelled, dislocated, stuck in/perforate the uterus. It may also end up outside the uterine cavity, where adhesions and scarring can occur.

Bayer Pharma AG, the manufacturer of Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills, makes this birth control product. A plastic device, which is connected to two strings, the Mirena IUD is implanted inside the uterus. It works by slowly releasing the progestogen levonorgestrel and is expected to last five years. This contraception is recommended for moms who have had at least one child. Around 2 million women are currently using Mirena, while over 15 million have used the device since it entered the marketplace.

Three years ago, the FDA sent Bayer a warning letter noting that the medical device maker had overstated the devices’ efficacy while minimizing its risks. Mirena had been marketed to busy moms as a device that not only could help them “look and feel” great but improve partner intimacy. The IUD was even promoted through “Mirena Parties” involving Mom Central community members. The FDA’s letter noted that it had not seen any evidence indicating that Mirena users were getting such benefits and wondered why the script used at these parties did not talk about the serious risks involved.

If you or someone you love suffered a stroke or other serious health complications while taking the birth control pill Ocella, please contact our drug injury law firm right away. This generic version of the popular Yasmin drug has been linked to a higher risk of stroke by a number of studies-especially in women over the age 35 and those with a history high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, or who smoke or drink regularly.

One likely reason for this higher stroke risk is that taking Ocella ups how much of the hormone estrogen a woman has in her body. That said, Ocella also contains drospirenone, a synthetic progestin, which the Food and Drug Administration has said may be a cause of heart issues and other health problems, including stroke, heart attack, and blood clots.

Blood clots are a leading cause of strokes. Should a blood clot make its way through the bloodstream to obstruct the flow of blood to the brain, brain cells may be damaged, even destroyed. Common stroke symptoms include:

• Coordination loss • Weakness in one or both sides of the body • Facial muscle weakness, dizziness • Speech difficulties • Loss of consciousness • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
• Vision problems • Headaches • Balance problems • Chest pains • Breathing problems • Cerebral swelling • Seizures • Intracranial hemorrhaging or pressure

While a certain level of blood clotting is normal, for clots to develop because someone is taking Ocella is not. Ocella use might also lead to other health issues, such as deep vein thrombosis (which can cause permanent organ damage), heart attack, pulmonary embolism, gall bladder injury, pancreatitis, abnormal heart rhythm, kidney failure, venous thromboembolism, hepatic adenoma, cardiac arrhythmia, and death.

Already, a number of Ocella lawsuits have been filed against manufacturer Barr Laboratories over serious health complications. Also, Ocella isn’t only used by people seeking to prevent pregnancy. Off-label uses for this medication include treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder and moderate acne.

Ocella Lawsuits
Drug manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies must make sure that their medications are safe for use and don’t lead to deadly health complications. They must also warn of possible adverse reactions and risks and do this in a way that there is no doubt in the minds of medical professionals and their patients of what are the possible serious side effects.

Birth Control Pills Containing Drospirenone: Label Change-Products may be associated with a higher risk for blood clots, FDA
Stroke Fact Sheet, Women’s Health

More Blog Posts:
Birth Control Depo-Provera Associated with An Increased Risk of Breast Cancer in Young Women, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, September 25, 2012

Boston Dangerous Drug Lawsuits: YAZ, Ocella, and Yasmin Birth Control Pills Linked to Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, Stroke, Heart Attack, and Myocardial Infarction Side Effects, Boston Injury Lawyers Blog, June 19, 2012
Pradaxa Lawsuit Claims Drug’s Side Effects Caused Woman to Bleed to Death, Boston Injury Lawyers Blog, April 30, 2012 Continue reading

At Altman & Altman, LLP our dangerous drug lawyers represent clients that have suffered serious health complications from a medication. One med of concern to us is Depo-Provera, an injectable form of birth control that may be upping the risk of breast cancer in young women. Depo-Provera only has progestin.

Researchers looked at over 1,000 women in the 20-44 age group that received breast cancer diagnoses and over 900 who were breast cancer-free. All of the women are from the Seattle area, and approximately 3% had used the injectable contraception in the last five years.

According to the study, which was led by epidemiologist Dr. Christopher Li at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, recent use of the contraceptive for a year or more is linked to a 2.2-fold greater risk of invasive breast cancer. Obesity, family history, pregnancy history, and age didn’t seem to be factors to this risk. (The higher cancer risk, however, appeared to go away within months after cessation of use, while women who only used Depo-Provera for less than year or who had stopped using it for more than a year didn’t show this increased cancer risk. Also, no causal connection was proven.

Li and his colleagues noted that even though the risk connected to Depo-Provera seemed to abate after discontinued use, it is still important to note whenever there possible risks involved with certain kinds of birth controls, especially as there are many alternatives to choose from. For example, a woman who has a history of breast cancer in her family may want to consider other contraception choices besides this one.

However, in US News & World Report, NY Clinical Cancer Center breast surgery director Dr. Freya Schnabel noted that there are limits to this study and more research needs to be done to shed more light on the connection between Depo-Provera and breast cancer.

Depo-Provera is made by Pfizer. The contraception is injected every three months and is used by approximately 1.2 million in this country-that’s 3.2% of contraception users, reports Guttmacher institute. Depo-Provera is the only contraceptive in this country that contains Prempro, the same progestin as the postmenopausal hormone therapy bill.

Other serious side effects linked to Depo-Provera include bone loss, delayed fertility, serious allergic reactions, a higher risk of premature deliveries, osteoporosis, and fractures. It also may be linked to a higher infant and neonatal death rates.

Depo-Provera Birth Control Might Raise Breast Cancer Risk, US News, April 4, 2012

Birth control shots tied to breast cancer risk, study says, NBC News, April 5, 2012

Cancer Research

More Blog Posts:
Severe Skin Reactions Caused by Stevens-Johnson Syndrome are Linked to Different Prescription and OTC Medications, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, August 29, 2012
Despite Actos Lawsuits, FDA Approves Type 2 Diabetes Drug’s Generic Version, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, September 5, 2012
Boston Dangerous Drug Lawsuits: YAZ, Ocella, and Yasmin Birth Control Pills Linked to Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, Stroke, Heart Attack, and Myocardial Infarction Side Effects, Boston Injury Lawyers Blog, June 19, 2012 Continue reading

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