ParaGard IUD is an intrauterine device that is intended to act as a long-lasting birth control solution that can last as long as 10 years. The device is implanted into women and remains in their body, deploying a copper substance that acts as a spermicide to prevent unwanted pregnancies. However, ParaGard IUD is not without its serious side effects. Specifically, this IUD has been reported to break or migrate after it has been inserted into patients. In some instance, this has caused serious injury to internal organs. In addition, there is a speculated linkage between ParaGard and brain injuries. As a result, the manufacturer of the IUD is facing numerous product liability lawsuits. If you have received a ParaGard IUD and have experienced dangerous side effects, you should immediately seek out a Paragard IUD lawsuit attorney.
What is ParaGard IUD?
IUDs are a form of birth control that are implanted into the uterus by a doctor in a visit to their office without anesthesia. It is a small device that measures just more than an inch in both length and width. There are strings on the side that are supposed to be used to remove the IUD if necessary.
ParaGard is a specific brand of IUD. It is manufactured by Duramed Pharmaceuticals who purchased the original company that developed and sold the device. Currently, Teva Pharmaceuticals owns Duramed. ParaGard has been around since the 1970s and is the only copper-based IUD that is approved for use in the United States.
ParaGard contains copper which is slowly released from the device. The copper is wrapped around the device and is intended to inflame. The copper that is released as a result of the inflammatory reaction acts as a spermicide and prevents pregnancy without raising the overall copper level in the body. The copper is toxic to the sperm and egg, but is not toxic to the overall body. This is a non-hormonal way for a woman to achieve the goal of preventing pregnancy.
The device is intended to last for up to 10 years. If ParaGard works as intended, it is supposed to be easy to remove. The physician merely uses a pair of forceps to grab onto the strings that are attached to the device. After a gentle pull, the ParaGard comes out and a new one can be inserted if the woman intends to continue IUD birth control.
Side Effects of ParaGard
Some women have reported experiencing severe side effects as a result of the insertion of ParaGard. The normal side effects are supposed to be bleeding, cramps and a heavier than usual discharge during the menstrual cycle. However, some of the complications from this device are indeed more serious than those that are advertised.
Some women have reported that ParaGsrd has caused an infection in the fallopian tubes, the uterus or nearby organs. This can lead to severe inflammation of the pelvis which can cause more serious problems that can include death in the absolute worst case scenario. If the infection cannot be treated, the IUD must be surgically removed. Other times, the device can perforate or move. The perforation also has the potential to damage nearby organs which can lead to infection or the necessity of surgery.
Finally, some patients have reported that their doctors experienced serious difficulty in removing their IUDs, requiring that they undergo surgery in order for the doctor to take out the device. The most prevalent severe complication is that the device fractures when the doctor attempts to remove it. In this event, surgery is the only option, and it is generally a complicated and invasive procedure.
These complications are serious in themselves, but there is an even graver side effect that has been linked to ParaGard. Pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) is a condition that impacts the brain that acts similarly to a brain tumor. The symptoms of the two are alike. PTC is caused by pseudotumor cerebri gathering near the brain. Although the exact nature of the linkage is not known, birth control in general has been tied to PTC. This includes ParaGard.
Lawsuits Against Teva
The number of lawsuits against Teva have been growing in the past several years. Even if ParaGard has a low rate of severe complications, there is a large number of women who have received the device over the years, meaning that there can still be a large pool of potential claimants. The plaintiffs have alleged that the product is defectively designed and manufactured since it can either move, perforate or become extremely difficult to remove. In addition, the plaintiffs allege that Teva has known of the dangers of these products for many years, yet continues to market and sell them to women notwithstanding the danger. Even though Teva is alleged to be fully aware of the severe complications, the company has not warned women of the dangers.
Teva has tried to escape liability for the failure to warn allegation by arguing that it used the warning label that was approved by the FDA and it could not have changed the FDA-sanctioned label. However, courts have recently begun to hold that, even if a warning label is approved by the FDA, a company has the obligation to update the label if it comes into possession of new information. This is a potentially important development in product liability litigation as it pertains to medications since it removes one of the drugmaker’s defenses.
Many of these lawsuits are currently pending in various courts. There is no multi-district litigation in these cases so each suit is proceeding entirely on its own as of now. While there is no multi-district litigation for ParaGard, its competitor Mirena is facing this litigation for the connection between it and PTC.
If you have had a ParaGard IUD inserted and have experienced any complications from the device or difficulty removing it, you should contact a Paragard IUD lawyer to discuss your legal options. The Paragard attorney can inform you as to the process for possibly receiving compensation as well as your chances of success in your case.