As Merck moved forward to resolve 3,800 pending NuvaRing lawsuits in the U.S., Health Canada issues safety alert for the contraceptive NuvaRing citing it may be harmful for some women.
As Merck looks to settle thousands of NuvaRing lawsuits alleging deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolisms in the U.S. under multidistrict litigation (MDL) it is reported that Health Canada recently ordered new user restrictions for the use of the contraceptive device manufactured by Merck Canada Inc. In its safety alert, Health Canada warns that women who have migraine headaches with vision problems or constant stomach pain due to problems in the pancreas along with high levels of fats in the blood should not use NuvaRing.
There are currently 3,800 NuvaRing lawsuits pending in state and federal courts in the U.S. All of the NuvaRing complaints contend women suffered serious side effects including blood clots in the legs (DVT), pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs), strokes, heart attacks and death as a result of using the monthly contraceptive device.
Health Canada stated in its NuvaRing safety alert that the vaginal contraceptive ring should not be used by women who smoke and are over the age of 35, as well as in those who have more than one of the following:
- heart problems
- high blood pressure
- blood tests indicating abnormal levels of fats or substances that control blood clotting
- limited ability to move around for a long time after an operation
The safety alert further advised women to talk to their health care providers if they begin having side effects such as liver cancer, joint pain and swelling, uncoordinated jerking movements, skin blistering, hearing loss, stomach problems and/or swelling around the eyes, face and lips.
NuvaRing received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2001 as a once-a-month, flexible birth control ring. NuvaRing releases a continuous low dosage of the hormones estrogen and progestin that help prevent pregnancy. Merck has marketed this device as being just as safe and effective as oral birth control pills. However, a FDA-funded study published in October 2011 found NuvaRing significantly increased the risk of DVT and pulmonary embolism in new users compared to standard low-dose birth control pills. Also, studies published in 2012 in The New England Journal of Medicine and The British Medical Journal indicated that NuvaRing side effects included a higher risk of dangerous blood clots, as well as heart attacks and strokes.
As we posted on our blog in February, Merck announced that it would settle all NuvaRing lawsuits in mass litigation as well as individual lawsuits in other states as long as at least 95 percent of the plaintiffs agree to accept the settlement. Merck said in a statement issued on June 6, 2014 that an immaterial number of cases have opted out of the settlement but the company confirmed that the resolution would move forward as planned. By agreeing to the settlement, Merck said that it is not admitting to any wrongdoing.
If you or a loved one suffered adverse side effects as a result of the NuvaRing device, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).