Contraceptives and Pseudotumor

The Nature of the Drug: Female contraceptives include hormonal birth-control pills and Intrauterine Devices (IUD).

The Hazards of Taking Contraceptives: Certain birth-control methods have been linked to a medical condition known as pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), also called “false tumor,” Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), and Benign Intracranial Hypertension (BIH). The condition consists of increased pressure inside the skull due to cerebral spinal fluid’s being produced faster than the body can reabsorb it. The fluid buildup puts pressure on the optic nerve and causes symptoms of brain tumor: migraines, other severe headaches, and blurred vision. Blindness can occur, and can be permanent if not treated promptly.

Tinnitus (buzzing in the ears), dizziness, diplopia (double vision), and nausea are other side effects of birth-control drugs.

In 1995 the New England Journal of Medicine published a study linking fifty-six cases of women’s taking an implanted birth-control device containing the ingredient levonorgestre, to pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) and optic-disc edema. Additional studies have connected pseudotumor cerebri to other birth control hormones, including birth-control injections, progestin contraceptive implants, and extrogenous estrogen.
Birth-control methods associated with pseudotumor cerebri include:

  • Yaz oral contraceptive and manufactured by Bayer AG;
  • Ocella oral contraceptive;
  • Beyaz oral contraceptive manufactured by Bayer AG;
  • Ortho Evra patch manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson;
  • Depo-Provera injection manufactured by Pfizer, Inc.;
  • Mirena IUD manufactured by Bayer AG;
  • NuvaRing vaginal ring manufactured by Merck & Co.;
  • Implanon manufactured by Merck & Co.;
  • Nexplanon and manufactured by Merck & Co.
  • Because birth-control methods have been linked to serious complications, thousands of women have sued the manufacturers. With psudotumor cerebri, women allege that the manufacturer failed to warn them adequately of the potential risk.

    To Obtain Legal Relief: If you have used a contraceptive and have developed pseudotumor cerebri or some other injury, you may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.