In July 2013, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the blood pressure medication Benicar could cause severe gastrointestinal (GI) side effects including chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and permanent erosion of the the absorption-aiding tissues (villi) in the small intestine. What the FDA did not mention is that GI complications can increase the risk of kidney failure, a disease that occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to remove wastes from the blood and maintain the electrolyte balance. This article discusses the various factors that can increase the risk that a Benicar user develops kidney failure.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was diagnosed with kidney failure 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 Factors Can Increase the Risk of Kidney Failure?
Acute kidney failure almost always occurs in conjunction with other medical conditions or events. Factors that may increase your risk of contracting the disease include:
- Extended Hospitalization – Kidney failure is common in patients who are already in the hospital. The disease may develop rapidly, over the course of a few hours, or it may develop more slowly over a period of days. Patients who are critically ill and require intensive care are at the highest risk for developing kidney failure.
- Advanced Age – One of the main risk factors that contributes to the disruption of the regular working of the kidneys is increased age. As a person grows older over time, their chance of developing kidney disease will grow as well.
- Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) – Common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. If PAD is caused by a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels (atherosclerosis), the patient is also at risk of developing kidney failure.
- Diabetes – Over time, diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys and can cause kidney disease – without the patient even feeling it.
- High Blood Pressure – Hypertension can damage the tiny filters in the kidneys, increasing the risk of kidney failure.
- Heart Failure – Causes damage to small blood vessels in the kidneys, and is a frequent cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Damage to the kidneys activates hormone pathways that result in increased fluid overload, which compounds hypertension and kidney damage.
- Kidney Diseases – When the kidneys become damaged, waste products and fluids accumulate in the body, causing swelling in the ankles, vomiting, weakness, insomnia, and shortness of breath. If left untreated over time, diseased kidneys may eventually stop functioning altogether. Loss of kidney function is a potentially fatal condition.
- Liver Diseases – Deteriorating liver function can cause changes in the circulation that supplies the intestines, altering blood flow and blood vessel tone in the kidneys. Kidney failure is a potential consequence of these changes in blood flow.
- Taking Benicar – This blood pressure medication can elevate creatinine levels in the human bloodstream, which may increase the risk of sudden kidney failure. In rare cases, Benicar side effects may also include muscle damage that can lead to kidney failure. This is why quitting Benicar now may help to reduce your risk of developing kidney failure. However, NEVER stop taking a prescription medication without talking to your doctor first.
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 kidney failure cases in all 50 states.
Free Benicar Kidney Failure Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one developed kidney failure 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.