Who is Prescribed Benicar and for What Conditions?
Benicar is a popular hypertension drug prescribed to adults who are being treated for high blood pressure. Benicar falls under a category of drugs called angiotensin-receptor blockers, or ARB’s. There are other ARB medications on the market, and they collectively generate billions of dollars in revenue for the makers.
Benicar is the only drug in this class that has been found to cause the intestinal disorder known as sprue-like enteropathy, which prevents the intestines from absorbing nutrients with gastrointestinal symptoms that include severe, chronic diarrhea and substantial weight loss. This condition can causing dangerous, life-threatening malnutrition if left untreated. In many instances, sprue-like enteropathy is often misdiagnosed as celiac disease, which has similar symptoms.
Are there risks, complications and other side effects to taking Benicar?
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota studied 22 patients who presented with symptoms similar to celiac disease, however the patients did not recover after undertaking a gluten-free lifestyle. The gastroenterologists at the Mayo Clinic discovered that each of the patients had been prescribed Benicar for the treatment of hypertension. After discontinuing Benicar, the patients recovered from the chronic diarrhea, vomiting, intestinal inflammation and weight loss. In fact, after discontinuing Benicar, the patients gained an average of 27 pounds each.
The symptoms of Benicar enteropathy look very similar to celiac disease. If you have experienced any of the following side effects and have been prescribed Benicar to treat hypertension, contact your health care professional right away:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Rapid, excessive weight loss
- Cardiovascular problems such as heart failure, stroke or sudden death
Has the FDA or the manufacturer recalled Benicar?
As of this writing, the manufacturer has not recalled Benicar. In 2013, the FDA ordered the manufacturer to include warnings of these side effects on the drug’s packaging, and the authors of the FDA study called these side effects “life-threatening.”
“The FDA’s evaluation found clear evidence of an association between olmesartan and sprue-like enteropathy. If patients taking olmesartan develop these symptoms and no other cause is found, the drug should be discontinued and therapy with another antihypertensive started.”
If you or a loved one has suffered gastrointestinal injuries as a result of taking Benicar, please contact AWKO law today at (888) 255-2956.
FDA Safety Alert: Benicar May Cause Severe Intestinal Damage
The FDA issued a safety alert in July 2013 for the blood pressure drug Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) due to severe gastrointestinal side effects reported by users. These painful side effects include sprue-like enteropathy – a condition with symptoms similar to Celiac disease – and villous atrophy, a condition which destroys the ability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients. Both of these conditions can cause severe side effects including chronic diarrhea, substantial weight loss and malnutrition.
Benicar is manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo. The pharmaceutical company, which has not yet responded to the latest data involving its product, could be facing a slew of personal injury and defective drug lawsuits if the FDA rules the findings viable.
If you or a loved one has suffered heart failure, stroke or sudden death while on Benicar, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering. The Pensacola personal injury attorneys of Aylstock, Witkin Kreis & Overholtz handle national litigation across the United States for victims injured by defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices. They have successfully represented and obtained substantial compensation for a number of patients who have been harmed by defective drugs. To learn more, please contact AWKO law today at (888) 255-2956.