Benicar, a popular blood pressure medication, has recently been linked to celiac disease. This rare but serious condition damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing nutrients in food that are important for a healthy lifestyle. Symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, weight loss and abdominal pain.
Free Benicar Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with celiac disease after taking Benicar (olmesartan), you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and our lawyers can help.
What is Benicar?
Benicar belongs to a group of blood pressure medications made by Daiichi Sankyo that contain olmesartan medoxomil. Other drugs in this family include Benicar HTC, Azor and Tribenzor. All of these medicines may increase the risk of celiac disease.
Benicar is classified as an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), and works by preventing angiotensin II from binding to receptors on blood vessels. This causes vessels to dilate, lowering blood pressure and making it easier for the heart to pump blood. With nearly 11 million prescriptions written annually, Benicar is currently the 3rd best-selling ARB on the U.S. market. However, it is the only ARB blood pressure medication to be linked to celiac disease, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Benicar Celiac Disease Studies
In August of 2012, a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings identified 22 cases of Benicar users presenting symptoms of celiac disease, which include:
- Persistent diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
Although celiac disease is usually only seen in patients with a genetic predisposition, and there is currently no known cure, the study’s authors found that Benicar users improved when the drug was discontinued. The Mayo Clinic study was the fist to suggest that the potential side effects of Benicar may include persistent diarrhea and other symptoms of celiac disease.
FDA Warning on Benicar
On July 3, 2013, the FDA issued a warning which stated that Benicar had been linked to sprue-like enteropathy, a condition that causes symptoms similar to those of celiac disease. The agency stated that there is “clear evidence” of a link between Benicar and diarrhea, weight loss and other related symptoms. Reports indicated a positive correlation, as the problems with Benicar stopped when users quit the drug and resumed once again when it was continued.
FDA warned that Benicar users may develop enteropathy months or even years after they begin treatment with the drug, often resulting in the need for hospitalization. If symptoms persist and no other causes can be found, the administration informed physicians that Benicar should be discontinued in favor of a medication with fewer potential side effects.
As a result of Daiichi Sankyo’s failure to warn about these risks, many Benicar users have been diagnosed with celiac disease or unclassified sprue. FDA noted that the rate of celiac disease with Benicar was higher than with other similar blood pressure medications. Additionally, after the link between Benicar and enteropathy had been identified, the rates of unclassified sprue diagnosed dropped by approximately 30%.
Do I have a Benicar Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Benicar lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Benicar Enteropathy cases in all 50 states.
Free Benicar Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one developed symptoms of celiac disease after taking Benicar, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Benicar Suit and our lawyers can help.