Mirena is an IUD that releases levonorgestrel as a contraceptive. It can remain in place for up to five years.
What are the concerns?
Pseudotumor Cerebri (PTC), also known as Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), occurs when the pressure inside your skull increases for no obvious reason. This may cause serious damage to the optic nerve and potentially result in blindness or vision problems. A spinal tap (lumbar punture) is required to diagnose PTC. Levonorgestrel is released by the Mirena IUD and has been known to increase risk of PTC/IIH. Because Bayer did not provide sufficient product warnings to doctors about the Mirena pseudotumo cerebri risk, these problems may not be attributed to the birth control implant, resulting in prolonged pressure and an increased risk for permanent injury.
Symptoms of IIH/PTC from Mirena IUD may include:
- Vision loss and blindness
- Double vision, spotted or blurred vision
- Severe headaches and migraines
- Tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears
- Swelling of the optic disk
What you should know
- In December of 2009, the FDA issued a warning letter to Bayer for overstating the efficacy of Mirena, presenting unsubstantiated claims, minimizing the risks associated with Mirena and providing false and misleading information.
- Over 2 million women have used Mirena since it was first introduced in 2000.