NuvaRing has become a popular contraceptive choice for women because of its convenience, but this hormonal birth control carries the possibility of serious or even fatal side effects. Thousands of women have experienced blood clots, heart attack, or stroke after using NuvaRing. Compensation may be available to assist these women with their expenses.
What Is NuvaRing?
NuvaRing was first introduced to the United States in 2002 as a convenient alternative for women taking a birth control pill every day. NuvaRing is a flexible ring that's inserted into the vagina once a month to prevent pregnancy. It works by preventing ovulation, changing the consistency of service mucus, and reducing the likelihood of implantation. It doesn't disrupt menstruation or sexual intercourse, nor does it offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
NuvaRing was developed by Organon, a Dutch pharmaceutical company. In 2007, the company was sold to Schering Plough Corporation. In 2009, Merck acquired the rights to distribute NuvaRing.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of NuvaRing?
NuvaRing’s less serious side effects are similar to what some women experience taking oral contraceptives. They include:
- Mild nausea or vomiting
- Appetitive changes
- Breast pain, tenderness, or swelling
- Vaginal itching or discharge
- Decreased sex drive
- Problems continuing to wear contact lenses
However, NuvaRing also carries the risk of serious or even fatal side effects. Since NuvaRing was introduced, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed on behalf of women suffering from blood clots. Some women have experienced a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung), but the most dangerous complication is venous thromboembolic events (VTEs or blood clots in the legs and lungs). Heart attack and stroke are a concern as well.
The risk of blood clots appears to be highest in women who are over 35, women who smoke, and women who suffer from high blood pressure. NuvaRing is also not recommended for women with a past history of deep vein thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders.
Why Women Are Suing the Makers of NuvaRing
Any medication carries the risk of side effects, but NuvaRing has come under fire for what many believe are reckless marketing claims that misrepresented the quality and safety of the product. They point to promotional materials that highlighted NuvaRing’s minor side effects while downplaying the risk of blood clots.
The plaintiffs in the NuvaRing lawsuits are also accusing Merck of failing to adequately test etonogestrel. A third-generation progestin hormone used in contraceptives, etonogestrel has been linked in multiple studies to an increased risk of VTEs when compared to other types of hormonal birth control for women. For example, the FDA reports a two-fold increased risk of venous thromboembolism when comparing NuvaRing to second generation oral contraceptives.
It should also be noted that NuvaRing is designed to deliver hormones directly to a woman's blood stream. This can result in a higher dosage than what would be expected with oral contraceptives.
In 2014, Merck agreed to pay $100 million in a class action product liability lawsuit relating to the increased risk of blood clots from NuvaRing. Approximately 3,800 women were eligible to participate in the settlement.
Who Is Eligible to File a Lawsuit?
Women who used NuvaRing with no serious complications are not eligible for compensation. Only those who've experienced a serious personal injury relating to NuvaRing use can pursue legal action. In cases where NuvaRing caused a fatal blood clot, the legal representative of the deceased can file on her behalf. If the case involves someone under the age of 18, her parent or legal guardian must file the claim.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault believes Merck should be held accountable for the harm NuvaRing has caused women throughout the United States. If you’ve experienced a serious blood clot after taking NuvaRing, our attorneys will advocate for your right to compensation. To schedule a free case evaluation, fill out our online contact form. One of our team members will respond within 24 hours.