What is Nexplanon?
Nexplanon (etonogestrel) is a long-lasting, sub-dermal contraceptive implant—about the size of a matchstick—placed on the inside of a woman’s upper arm. Due to its small size and location, it’s nearly invisible to the naked eye. Nexplanon is a reversible birth control, and can be removed at any time by a medical professional.
Etonestrel contraceptive implant was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2006, and sold under the brand name Implanon. In 2011, a new formula for etonestrel implant was released and re-marketed as Nexplanon. Nexplanon is manufactured by Organon, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.
How Does Nexplanon Work in the Body?
Nexplanon slowly releases a dose of progestin—a common synthetic hormone found in other birth control devices—that prevents the egg from leaving the uterus. This small dose of progestin is effective in preventing pregnancy for up to 3 years (4 years off-label), and is over 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Common Nexplanon Side Effects
As with many hormonal birth controls, the common side effects of Nexplanon are:
- Breast pain or tenderness
- Weight gain
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Mood changes
Nexplanon Increases the Risks for Pseudotumor Cerebri
While headaches are the most common side effect of Nexplanon (roughly 25% of reported cases in clinical trials), women have been reporting an unexpected side effect: pseudotumor cerebri (PTC).
PTC, also referred to as intracranial hypertension (IIH), is a neurological condition that imitates the symptoms of a brain tumor. It’s not a fatal condition, but it’s undoubtedly a painful one. PTC causes an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull, which puts pressure on the brain and causes headaches, vision and hearing problems, balance problems, and could lead to permanent blindness. Because of its resemblance to brain tumors, fear, extensive testing, appointments, and the pain alone is likely to cause anxiety in patients.
It’s not clear what causes PTC. However, hormonal birth controls like Nexplanon may increase the likeliness of a pseudotumor cerebri diagnosis due to the release of hormones and the changes this has on the human body.
Women taking Nexplanon have filed lawsuits against Merck & Co. alleging that, not only were there no adequate warnings in Nexplanon labels or marketing materials about the potential risk of developing pseudotumor cerebri, but for knowingly withholding these risks from the medical community.
Why Should I File a Nexplanon Side Effect Lawsuit?
Filing a Nexplanon lawsuit against Merck & Co. could be an effective way to receive compensation to cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Why shouldn’t you hold the perpetrators accountable for not only causing your painful symptoms, but for failing to warn you of the risks before you made the decision to take Nexplanon?
If you have experienced any of the following symptoms, it might be time to contact a personal injury attorney:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision, or blindness
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Let a Nexplanon Drug Injury Attorney in Indianapolis Help
If you have suffered any symptoms of psuedotumor cerebri after your Nexplanon implantation and wish to recover damages for pain, suffering, the cost of your medical treatments, and even lost wages, you have options.
Our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham have 30-years of medical malpractice and drug injury litigation experience. Fill out the contact form below or call 317.920.6400 for your free, no-obligation consultation.