NuvaRing Customers Face Unknown Risks

In 2011, Erika Langhart died at the age of 24, after having three heart attacks, one before the ambulance arrived, and two while in the paramedics care.  The doctor’s inquired about any medication that may have triggered these heart attacks, and it all led to NuvaRing.

According to AAJ’s Unequal Harm Report, NuvaRing is a form of contraceptive that uses ingredients third and fourth generation hormones, which were advertised to reduce the side effects of earlier generations of contraceptives, such as acne and facial hair. In fact, the FDA found the hormones were neither effective at reducing side effects nor more effective as birth control. They were, however, linked to increased risk of blood clots, heart attacks and stroke.

What makes NuvaRing potentially more dangerous than other contraceptive pills that also use third and fourth generation hormones is its method of delivery. While up to half the hormones in oral contraceptives are absorbed in the digestive tract, NuvaRing’s hormones are absorbed directly into the blood. 

NuvaRing’s manufacturer claims not to know how much more dangerous this makes it, and the FDA approved the device based on studies involving oral contraceptives. Yet a Danish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that women using NuvaRing were 2.5 times more likely to suffer blood clots and twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as women taking oral contraceptives. 

In February 2014, Merck agreed to a settlement, but the Langharts refused to settle as part of a 3,800 victim lawsuit. According to CNN, the Langharts did not want to settle because they want Merck to be held accountable and alert its consumers of the risks associated with NuvaRing.

The Langhart’s are now speaking out to not only get their daughter’s story heard, but to inform other women of the risks associated with NuvaRing.

Anderson Cooper 360,” began airing a three-part series on Tuesday, May 2, which highlighted Erika’s life through her parents, Rick and Karen Langhart, and other friends and family members, who believe Erika died because of the blood clot side effects of Nuvaring.  

Watch “Anderson Cooper 360” tonight at 8 and 9 p.m. EST, as Randi Kaye continues the report on the series which will focus on the FDA and NuvaRing. The series will wrap-up, airing at the same times tomorrow, highlighting the American Medical Association and doctors’ roles regarding NuvaRing.