Severe Intestinal Problems May be Tied to Benicar Blood Pressure Medication By Tod Aronovitz | 09/23/14 | 0 Comment

Benicar is a blood pressure medication that has been linked to severe intestinal issues. Patients who have taken this drug may have suffered excessive weight loss, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal (GI) side effects. Reports have also said the drug can cause a GI condition known as sprue-like enteropathy, in which symptoms mimic those of celiac disease.

In July 2013, the FDA announced that Benicar, which is also marketed as Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and olmesartan medoxomil (generic form), would receive a labeling update to include the risk of sprue-like enteropathy. According to the FDA’s drug safety communication, this GI disorder can cause symptoms that include severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss, and may take months or years to develop. Severe cases may require hospitalization, the agency relayed.

The association between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy was first discovered in 2012 by researchers at the Mayo Clinic. In their study, they found that over a three-year period, 22 patients taking Benicar exhibited symptoms that suggested celiac disease. Blood tests, however, did not support this diagnosis, but when patients stopped taking Benicar, it was noted that their GI symptoms improved.

In another study, researchers from the American College of Gastroenterology noted that olmesartan, the active ingredient in Benicar, had been linked to an additional 40 cases of sprue-like enteropathy.

In pharmaceutical cases like this one, plaintiffs can claim that a drug was sold with design, manufacturing, and/or marketing defects, which usually refers to the company’s failure to warn of a certain side effect. With Benicar, patients may be able to take legal action given that the manufacturer allegedly failed to adequately warn doctors and patients about the risk of sprue-like enteropathy. It was not until mid-2013 that this risk was eventually added to the drug’s labeling.

By filing a lawsuit against the maker of Benicar—Daiichi Sankyo—plaintiffs may be entitled to recover compensation for all current and future medical expenses related to the treatment of the GI disorder, as well as damages for pain, suffering and other losses. In addition, a lawsuit may also help compel all pharmaceutical manufacturers to re-think launching drugs in the marketplace if there are potential defects, or to acknowledge up front all the product’s side effects or shortcomings.

Only an attorney will be able to determine whether a lawsuit against Daiichi Sankyo should be filed. If you were diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy or experienced side effects similar to celiac disease while taking Benicar, our attorneys would like to hear from you.

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Contact Miami product liability attorney Tod Aronovitz for a confidential discussion of your case.