Implanon Lawsuits Allege Serious Birth Control Side Effects

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January 13, 2017, 10:30:00AM. By Heidi Turner

Boston, MA Women are used to being given a long list of side effects linked to their birth control, so hearing about alleged Implanon side effects is likely nothing new. Some birth control comes with alleged risks such as blood clots, others may increase the chances of pseudotumor cerebri, still others can increase the risk of depression. For its part, Implanon reportedly carries an increased risk of device migration. As a result, Implanon is just the latest birth control to face lawsuits alleging women were put at risk of serious side effects.

Implanon Lawsuits Allege Serious Birth Control Side Effects Because it is a birth control implant rather than an oral medication, Implanon’s alleged side effects are somewhat different from those linked to pills. According to lawsuits filed concerning Implanon, women who have the birth control implant are at an increased risk of having the device migrate, making it irretrievable. This is a problem because some women may use Implanon in the short term but decide to have children later and have the device taken out. Further, Implanon is only meant to be implanted for three years.

If the device cannot be found, it cannot be removed. That puts women not only at a risk of not being able to become pregnant for as long as the device releases progestin in their body, it also means those women could be at a higher risk of side effects linked to the extended exposure to progestin or linked to having a device moving through the body. Among those risks are a reported increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and a risk of vascular damage. Merck’s own Implanon documentation notes that implants have been found in blood vessels, “including a blood vessel in the lung.”

Other side effects linked to Implanon, according to Merck, are mood swings, weight gain, and depressed mood. The drug maker notes that some women may require surgery to remove the implant, if the implant is not found at the insertion site.

“If the implant is not removed, then the effects of IMPLANON will continue for a longer period of time,” the drug label notes.

Merck, maker of Implanon, faces a lawsuit filed by women who allege they were not properly warned about the risks associated with using Implanon. They further allege that Merck and Organon designed and manufactured a defective device, fraudulently misrepresented the birth control implant and breached their warranty.

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