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The Paragard copper intrauterine device (IUD) has recently been linked to serious injuries and complications. Women have begun filing lawsuits against the manufacturer, Teva Pharmaceuticals, claiming the company failed to provide adequate warnings about the risks.

Paragard Linked with Serious Complications

The FDA approved the Paragard IUD in 1984 to provide long-term birth control (contraception). It is a plastic, T-shaped device wrapped with copper wire. A hormone-free product, it keeps a woman from conceiving by releasing copper which produces an inflammatory reaction within the uterus, which interferes with sperm movement and egg fertilization. The product is designed to work for up to ten years.

The Paragard website states that the product may be difficult to remove at times and that surgery may be necessary. But they do not warn about some of the other injuries that have been linked to the product.

According to one report made to the FDA’s Medical Product Safety Network, for example, a patient went to the clinic to have her Paragard IUD removed after about 8.5 years. When the doctors removed it, part of the copper coil that’s usually wound around the plastic base was missing. The doctors added that the copper left inside the body could cause harm.

According to another report, a Florida woman filed a Paragard lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals because of problems with the device. Within just a year of implantation, she started experiencing complications. She states she had to have surgery to remove the device because it had migrated out of her uterus and became embedded in her colon. She also had to have part of her colon re-sectioned.

There have also been reports that parts of the Paragard IUD may break off during removal, which can cause uterine damage. This usually necessitates surgery. The device may also perforate the wall of the uterus, particularly during implantation. Additional problems may include the device causing infections, scarring, and damage to nearby organs.

Some IUDs Linked with Serious Brain Injury

Other IUDs have also been connected to serious side effects. The Mirena IUD, for example, is a T-shaped device manufactured by Bayer. The Mirena is a hormonal IUD, releasing “levonorgestrel” to prevent women from becoming pregnant.

The Mirena has been linked to similar problems as the Paragard IUD, like uterine perforation, migration, bleeding, and pain. The FDA has received more than 70,000 adverse event reports concerning the Mirena, and hundreds of women have filed lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries suffered.

More recently, the Mirena and other hormonal birth control products have been linked with an increased risk of a serious brain injury called “pseudotumor cerbri (PTC).” Symptoms are similar to those that accompany a brain tumor, but are caused by too much cerebrospinal fluid collecting around the brain.

In a 2017 study, researchers evaluated IUD devices that release levonorgestrel in patients with PTC. They found that those women using these devices were over seven times more likely to develop PTC.

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