Lawsuits Allege NuvaRing® Causes Potentially Deadly Blood Clots
While the NuvaRing® is a popular form of birth control, lawsuits, including one filed by an Olympic athlete, allege the device can have extremely serious side effects that cause serious injury and even death. The manufacturer of the birth control device, Merck & Co., paid settlements amounting to over $100 million during 2014 to settle thousands of lawsuits alleging injuries and fatalities caused by the contraceptive device. Many of the lawsuits allege that the NuvaRing® promotes blood clots which trigger potentially deadly cardiac arrest or pulmonary embolisms.
The prescription birth control device is inserted into the vagina where it releases a combination of hormones into the body. The medical device was lauded as a revolutionary innovation in contraception convenience because women were not forced to remember to take a pill on a daily basis. The device was supposed to both reduce the hassle associated with other types of birth control and reduce the risk of unplanned pregnancies because there was no chance that a user would forget to take a pill.
Warnings concerning potential health risks associated with use of the NuvaRing® have been a fixture on the packaging of the product since it was placed on the market in 2002. The most significant risk involves women who are heavy smokers. The FDA directed the manufacturer to include a warning on the product that provides: "Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular effects when you use combination oral contraceptives, including the NuvaRing®. This risk increases even more if you are over age 35 and if you smoke 15 or more cigarettes a day. Women who use combination hormonal contraceptives, like NuvaRing®, are strongly advised not to smoke."
The FDA and a number of studies have linked vaginal ring contraceptive devices to an increased risk of blood clots. The FDA initially published research in 2011 that warned of a link between the medical device and blood clots. The federal agency warned that this form of contraception could increase the risk of blood clots by as much as 56 percent when compared to traditional estrogen birth control pills taken orally.
Subsequent published studies also have found a link between the NuvaRing® and blood clots. A Danish study published in the British Medical Journal reported that use of the device could increase the risk of blood clots by as much as 90 percent when compared to oral birth control pills. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that women using the NuvaRing® device faced a risk of suffering a blood clot that was six time higher than women not taking any form of hormone. The study further found that the risk of a blood clot was 2.5 to 3 times greater if women were using the NuvaRing® rather than traditional birth control pills.
For more than 35 years, the Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at Montlick & Associates have been helping injured people and their families get the compensation they deserve, as part of their goal to be the best personal injury law firm in Georgia. If you or someone close to you has suffered serious injury that might have been caused by the NuvaRing®, contact Montlick & Associates to learn about your legal rights and the steps that need to be taken to protect those rights.
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