Mirena contains hormones that have been linked to Benign Intracranial Hypertension (BIH), a neurological condition that causes high levels of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull, migraine headaches, and vision loss.
What is Mirena?
Mirena is a T-shaped intrauterine device (IUD) that prevents pregnancy by slowly releasing levonorgestrel, a synthetic version of the progestin hormone, directly into a woman’s uterus. Once inserted, it is approved to prevent pregnancy for up to five years.
What is the problem?
The problem is that women suffering from chronic headaches and vision problems may not be aware that Mirena could be to blame. Mirena contains levonorgestrel, a hormone that has been associated with dozens of cases of Benign Intracranial Hypertension (BIH). Headaches are the most common symptom of BIH. Headaches were also reported by 16% of women on Mirena in clinical trials.
One of the first studies linking levonorgestrel with BIH was published in 1995 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers found 56 cases of intracranial hypertension associated with Norplant, a levonorgestrel-releasing IUD.
BIH increases levels of cerebrospinal fluid, which puts pressure on the brain and damages optic nerves. If left untreated, it can cause papilledema (swelling of the optic disc), nerve damage, and blindness. Because the condition is not “benign” (harmless), BIH is now known as Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH).
Symptoms of Intracranial Hypertension
- Migraine headache
- Blurry vision
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- And more
Mirena and Headaches
In clinical trials, headaches or migraines were reported by 7.7% of women. Headaches are also one of the most common signs of BIH. Although it is not clear that the conditions are related, women on Mirena with very severe migraine headaches should be evaluated by a doctor and discontinue Mirena if necessary.
Bayer Faces Over 100+ Mirena Brain Injury Lawsuits
Bayer, the manufacturer of Mirena, is facing more than 100 lawsuits from women who were diagnosed with intracranial hypertension. These women are concerned that the label on Mirena does not include warnings about BIH, despite the fact that Mirena contains 52-mg of levonorgestrel.