The lawsuit involving Benicar states the manufacturer failed to warn users of the increased risk of the gastrointestinal disease known as sprue-like enteropathy. Plaintiffs attorneys claim the manufacturers knew of the link, but made the decision not to warn doctors or patients.
Why is Benicar Prescribed
Benicar is a blood pressure medication that blocks certain receptors, known as angiotensin receptors. Angiotensin II is a hormone that causes the blood vessels to constrict. By inhibiting the action of this hormone (as well as reducing the secretion and production of other hormones involved in regulating blood pressure), blood vessels become dilated.
Drugs of this class generate approximately $7 billion in revenue for the manufacturers. There are a number of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) on the market, but only Benicar has been implicated in the development of the intestinal disorder known as sprue-like enteropathy. Often misdiagnosed as celiac disease, sprue-like enteropathy prevents the intestinal system from properly absorbing nutrients from food. In essence, a patient who is not treated for this condition literally starves to death.
Side Effects of Benicar
A recent Mayo Clinic study, conducted by Dr. Josephy Murray, has linked the development of sprue-like enteropathy to the use of Benicar. Sprue-like enteropathy is a disease that produces severe gastrointestinal symptoms; such as chronic diarrhea, significant weight loss, nausea, and overall malnutrition.
Dr. Murray conducted the study on 22 patients who were using Benicar and experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, initially diagnosed as Celiac disease. However, the patients in the study were not responding to a gluten-free diet, a common form of treatment for Celiac disease, and did not have detectable tissue transglutaminase in their blood, which is used to positively diagnose Celiac disease.
Upon discontinuation of Benicar, all 22 patients experienced relief from the gastrointestinal symptoms as well as weight gain. Dr. Murray concluded that the Benicar being taken by the patients was directly linked to the gastrointestinal symptoms the patients were experiencing. Dr. Murray’s study and findings on the link between Benicar use and sprue-like enteropathy was recently published online in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and began the process of Benicar lawyers filing Benicar Lawsuits.
Celiac Disease and Sprue-like Enteropathy: Many patients that are taking Benicar have been diagnosed wrongfully with Celiac Disease. The injury caused by Benicar (‘Sprue-like Enteropathy’) mimics Celiac Disease. Benicar attacks the villi in the small intestine for patients that are susceptible to this reaction, just as patients who have Celiac will have their villi atrophied or flattened after ingesting gluten.
Patients that are taking Benicar may have had a biopsy taken during an endoscopy and this biopsy showed villous atrophy or villous blunting. Because villous atrophy is a common finding to show that patients have Celiac Disease, their gastroenterologists will often diagnose their patients with Celiac Disease. However, many patients have found that they do not have Celiac Disease, but rather, they had ‘Sprue-like Enteropathy’ caused by Benicar.
These patients found this out because a gluten free diet did not alleviate their symptoms at all. Rather, these patients’ symptoms were only alleviated after discontinuing Benicar. Some patients were diagnosed with Celiac Disease at the same time that they stopped taking Benicar. After years of being on a gluten free diet, they realized after specifically discussing their Benicar usage with their gastroenterologist that the Benicar may have been the culprit of their villous atrophy (and their GI symptoms).
If you ingested Benicar and were diagnosed with Celiac Disease for the first time while ingesting Benicar, you should consider speaking to a gastroenterologist about this.
Heart Issues: Two large clinical studies have also shown an unexpectedly high risk of cardiovascular death in diabetic patients associated with the use of Benicar. Similarly, a study published in the European Heart Journal revealed that Benicar combined with β-blockers and ACE inhibitors increase the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attacks) and strokes.
Benicar Lawsuit Videos
FDA and Scientific Studies Regarding Benicar
FDA approves label changes to include intestinal problems (sprue-like enteropathy) linked to blood pressure medicine olmesartan medoxomilThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil (marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and generics) can cause intestinal problems known as sprue-like enteropathy. FDA has approved changes to the labels of these drugs to include this concern. To read more, click FDA Drug Safety Communication
Benicar Recall Information
As of this time, a recall of Benicar related to sprue-like enteropathy has not occurred. However, there has been an FDA recommended label change detailing the relationship between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy.
Benicar Lawsuit NewsWhy Did it Take So Long for FDA to Act on Benicar Sprue-like Enteropathy
Lawsuits over the hypertension medication Benicar (over 1,100 as of the beginning of October) allege that executives at Daiichi-Sankyo were aware of the product’s dangerous side effects and withheld that information from the public. In light of this allegation, those injured by the drug are wondering why it took the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) more than 11 years to discover the problem and issue warnings. To read more, click Drug Safety NewsBenicar Lawsuit News - Plaintiffs Attorneys Appointed
During a lull in the amount of product liability litigation in the country, two companies have the dubious honor of being the target of a growing number of lawsuits. Benicar maker Daiichi-Sankyo is one of them. According to statistics from the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), the number of cases in recently-created MDLs for the Japanese-based drugmaker rose significantly between mid-April and mid-May of 2015. To read more, click Levin Law NewsNationwide, Plaintiffs File Benicar Lawsuit After Benicar Lawsuit Against Manufacturer
The connection between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy was first discovered in June 2012 by Dr. Joseph Murray and a team of researchers with the Mayo Clinic. After several years of observing Benicar users suffering from sprue-like enteropathy, Murray concluded that it was the drug itself that was inducing the gastrointestinal condition. To read more, click The Ring of Fire
A Pawnee, Illinois couple has filed a Benicar diarrhea lawsuit, after the female plaintiff became severely ill as result of ingesting the blood pressure medication. Deborah Dirksen and her husband, Richard, allege the drug makers knew or should have known about the risk of enteropathy faced by patients taking Benicar, but failed to share this information with the public. To read more, click Injury-Lawyer NewsPopular High Blood Pressure Drug Could Be Tip of the Litigation Iceberg
If there is one certainty about the pharmaceutical industry, it is that Big Pharma is never boring. And at the risk of appearing insensitive about the alleged harms from prescription medications suffered by innocent patients, the fact remains that Americans are hearing about an increasing number of long-approved drugs having seemingly new and unforeseen side effects that negatively impact a patient. Such is the case with Benicar, a drug indicated for hypertension and the lowering of high blood pressure. And to be sure, we are starting to see headlines that scream. To read more, click Lawyers and Settlements