Lawsuits are now being filed on behalf of women who were diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) after using hormonal birth control products. IIH is a condition that occurs when pressure inside the brain increases suddenly, causing symptoms similar to those of a large brain tumor.
What is ParaGard?
ParaGard is an intrauterine device (IUD) that is inserted directly into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. The device releases copper into the lining of the uterus, which produces an inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm. ParaGard is made by Teva Women’s Health, and was approved by the FDA in 1984.
What Causes Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH)?
IIH is a severe neurological condition in which pressure inside the skull increases, which results in chronic (migraine) headaches, blurred or double vision and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The disorder is often initially diagnosed as a brain tumor, since the 2 produce similar symptoms.
The precise cause of idiopathic intracranial hypertension is unknown, though the disorder has been associated with hormone-containing contraceptives. Levonorgestrel, a widely-prescribed second generation synthetic progestin, was linked to IIH in 1995.
Along with using hormonal birth control products, other factors that may increase the risk of idiopathic intracranial hypertension may include:
- Vitamin A supplements
- Kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
- Addison’s disease
- Lyme disease