Benicar – a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure – has been linked to sprue-like enteropathy, a severe gastrointestinal disorder that causes symptoms like Celiac disease and can result in permanent intestinal damage.
If you dealt with symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy while taking Benicar, you could be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer through a Benicar lawsuit. The defective drug lawyers at Roden Law understand how difficult it is to deal with side effects from a prescription medication, and we can help you determine if you are entitled to compensation for your suffering through a Benicar lawsuit. Schedule a free legal consultation today to find out if you have grounds for a case. We do not charge for representing you unless we obtain compensation.
Benicar Side Effects
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved olmesartan medoxomil in 2002. This drug is marketed under the following brand names:
- Benicar HCT
Olmesartan medoxomil is in the angiotensin II receptor blocker class of drugs. These medications attempt to lower patients' blood pressure by blocking the hormone that causes blood vessels to tighten. Lowering blood pressure can help lower a patient's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Since coming onto the market, many patients have been diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy while taking Benicar. This is a severe disorder in the intestines that causes symptoms similar to Celiac disease, which affects people who are allergic to gluten.
Symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include:
- Severe, chronic diarrhea
- Pain in the abdomen
- Inability to absorb nutrients from food
- Significant weight loss
These symptoms could result in hospitalization and permanent damage to the intestines, including villous atrophy, which is the destruction of tissue that helps the body absorb nutrients from food.
If you experienced any symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy while taking Benicar, you could be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other expenses.
Contact us about filing a Benicar lawsuit to obtain fair compensation. Call 1-844-RESULTS.
Research Linking Olmesartan to Sprue-like Enteropathy
In 2012, about 10 years after coming onto the market, evidence began to come out linking medications containing olmesartan medoxomil to sprue-like enteropathy.
In August 2012, researchers from the Mayo Clinic published a case series about 22 patients who suffered from sprue-like enteropathy while taking olmesartan. All 22 patients were treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, between Aug. 1, 2008 and Aug. 1, 2011 for unexplained chronic diarrhea and weight loss. Most of them were taking 40 milligrams of olmesartan.
Intestinal biopsies showed villous atrophy in 15 patients and collagenous sprue in seven patients. A collagenous sprue is a lesion in the bowels usually associated with persistent diarrhea.
Putting patients on a gluten-free diet did not help reduce these types of symptoms. The only thing that resulted in recovery or improvement of symptoms was discontinuing olmesartan.
In May 2013, the American Journal of Gastroenterology published an article about patients who were suffering from villous atrophy even though they did not have Celiac disease. Eventually it was discovered that their villous atrophy was caused by olmesartan.
By July 2013, the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System had received 23 reports of patients experiencing symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy while taking olmesartan. Most patients experienced diarrhea and weight loss and some were found to have villous atrophy after biopsies were done. All 23 patients saw improvement after discontinuing olmesartan.
The manufacturer could potentially be held liable for damages suffered by patients who had symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy while taking Benicar. Contact an attorney today to determine if you can file a Benicar lawsuit.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
FDA Warning About Benicar Side Effects
The adverse event reports and published research linking olmesartan to sprue-like enteropathy led the FDA to release a drug safety communication on July 3, 2013. The communication said the FDA had approved changes to Benicar labels and the labels of other drugs containing olmesartan to alert patients and medical professionals about the risk of sprue-like enteropathy.
The warning on the label says severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss has been reported months or years after patients begin taking the medication. Biopsies of patients' intestines showed villous atrophy. If a patient develops symptoms of this condition while taking olmesartan, doctors should consider discontinuing the medication.
The FDA drug safety communication tells patients to contact their doctor if they experience symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy, including severe diarrhea, diarrhea that does not go away or significant weight loss. However, patients should not stop taking Benicar before discussing it with their health care provider.
Doctors are instructed to tell their patients to contact them if they experience any symptoms. If doctors cannot find another cause besides Benicar, they should discontinue the medication and start another treatment for high blood pressure.
If you took Benicar before this warning was released, you may be able to file a Benicar lawsuit to pursue compensation. Our attorneys can evaluate your situation in a free, no obligation legal consultation.
Soon after the FDA drug safety communication came out, people began suing Daiichi Sankyo, the manufacturer of Benicar and other medications containing olmesartan.
The lawsuits that were filed were so similar that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation combined them into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in 2015. An MDL is a special legal procedure where cases involving similar facts and allegations are combined into a single legal action under the supervision of one judge. This is meant to help speed up the legal process and resolution of these cases.
When the MDL was created, there were just 15 lawsuits in the action. A total of 2,296 lawsuits have been added to the MDL since then. As of Jan. 16, 2018, there were 1,982 pending lawsuits in the MDL.
The lawsuits in the MDL claim Benicar causes gastrointestinal issues like sprue-like enteropathy and lymphocytic colitis, resulting in inflammation of the large intestine, cramping and persistent watery, diarrhea.
The lawsuits allege Daiichi Sankyo failed to disclose the risks of the medication, even though there was mounting evidence.
In Aug. 2017, Daiichi Sankyo proposed a $300 million settlement of all lawsuits in the MDL. The companies gave victims until April 2, 2018 to agree to the settlement. If 95 percent of people suing do not agree to the settlement, Daiichi Sankyo will take the offer off the table.
Daiichi Sankyo does not admit any liability for the injuries suffered by Benicar users in the settlement. The settlement also says the lawsuits do not have merit.
If you dealt with the same issues as the people who filed these Benicar lawsuits, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your lawsuit.
Call Roden Law today at 1-844-RESULTS for your free legal consultation.
Learn More About Filing a Benicar Lawsuit
Sprue-like enteropathy is a debilitating medical condition that could permanently affect your health and make it very difficult to work to support yourself and your family.
That is why if you think this condition was caused by taking the blood pressure medication Benicar, you should contact an attorney to discuss your potential legal options. We may be able to help you file a Benicar lawsuit to obtain compensation for lost wages and the other effects of your injuries, such as medical expenses.
Your consultation with us is free and we do not charge for our services unless you receive fair compensation at the end of the legal process.