Recent studies have identified a link between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy, a rare but serious gastrointestinal (GI) disease. Former Benicar users who were diagnosed with enteropathy are now in the process of filing lawsuits against Daiichi Sankyo, the Japanese company that makes the drug. This article discusses how scientists believe Benicar may cause sprue-like enteropathy in certain patients.
Free Benicar Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with enteropathy 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 is classified as an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), which is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). The drug is sometimes given in conjunction with other hypertension medications. Benicar is one of eight ARB drugs currently on the U.S. market, but it is the only one to be associated with sprue-like enteropathy.
How Can Benicar Cause Sprue-Like Enteropathy?
Benicar has been linked to over 60 cases of enteropathy with gastrointestinal symptoms including persistent diarrhea, villous atrophy and abnormal weight loss. The combination of these symptoms is typically associated with celiac disease, an immune-mediated sensitivity to gluten that causes damage to the intestinal villi and contributes to malabsorption and GI disorders. A confirmation of celiac disease requires serologic testing for immunoglobulin A tissue transglutaminase antibodies (IgA tTGA) with upper endoscopy and small-bowel biopsy.
Considering gluten’s link to celiac disease, patients with the condition must maintain a gluten-free diet for life. However, in patients without an elevated IgA tTGA, and who do not respond favorably to a gluten-free diet, celiac disease is less likely to be the problem. Testing for other suspected causes may be warranted in these individuals.
Another potential cause of villous atrophy has recently been considered: Benicar-induced sprue-like enteropathy. Reports of damage to the intestinal villi by olmesartan-containing blood pressure medications have been noted in the medical literature. The earliest evidence of olmesartan-induced enteropathy was identified in August of 2012, and several reports have been published subsequently.
Mayo Clinic reports provided enough support for the FDA to order label changes addressing sprue-like enteropathy in July 2013 for all olmesartan single-ingredient and combination drugs. The agency’s warning indicates that olmesartan has been linked to severe, persistent diarrhea and weight loss, with evidence of villous atrophy, in patients treated with olmesartan over a prolonged period of time. Medical professionals studying FDA data believe that the number of Benicar users who develop sprue-like enteropathy will likely increase significantly in the future.
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 was diagnosed with enteropathy 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.