Drug manufacturing companies Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories are facing a growing number of Benicar lawsuits filed on behalf of patients across the country who suffered chronic diarrhea, sprue-like enteropathy and other complications while taking the controversial blood pressure medication Benicar. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of Benicar, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by potentially dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, like Benicar, and can help put you in touch with a reputable product liability lawyer who has experience handling Benicar side effect claims.
As more and more studies and adverse event reports draw attention to the potential for prescription hypertension medications like Benicar to cause serious and potentially irreversible side effects in users, individuals across the country struggling with high blood pressure are looking for natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs like Benicar. Some possible alternatives to Benicar for treating hypertension include the following:
Benicar (olmesartan) is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) medication manufactured by Forest Laboratories and Daiichi Sankyo, and commonly prescribed to keep blood vessels dilated in patients with high blood pressure, to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Angiotensin II is a protein that is found naturally in the body and that acts on the cardiovascular system in a variety of ways, including controlling blood pressure. When angiotensin II is released by the body, it causes blood vessels to narrow, which increases blood pressure and makes the heart work harder to pump blood. Benicar is designed to block angiotensin II, thereby preventing it from constricting blood vessels, and allowing blood to flow more easily through the body.
Benicar has been on the market in the United States since it gained FDA approval in 2002, but consumers are just now being warned that use of the popular blood pressure drug may be linked to devastating side effects with long-term consequences. According to mounting research, Benicar users may face an increased risk of serious medical complications, including the following:
Unfortunately, because consumers and the medical community were left in the dark about the potential side effects of Benicar, many Benicar users had been experiencing gastrointestinal problems like chronic diarrhea for years without realizing the problems were being caused by their blood pressure medication. In many cases, the complications were misdiagnosed as Celiac disease or unclassified sprue, which resulted in continued use of Benicar and put the patients at risk for hospitalization, permanent intestinal damage, excessive weight loss and malnutrition.
In July 2013, the FDA issued a warning to consumers and medical professionals regarding the alleged link between Benicar and a condition called sprue-like enteropathy, which results in severe symptoms like chronic diarrhea and dramatic weight loss, and is commonly misdiagnosed as Celiac disease. Although the symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy typically subside when use of Benicar is discontinued, the diarrhea complications tied to the drug often leave users with long-term intestinal problems like villous atrophy, which can lead to wrongful death.
In March 2014, the Journal of Pharmacy Practice published research examining the alleged connection between Benicar and celiac disease-like symptoms, following a 2012 study that identified 22 cases of Benicar use resulting in symptoms similar to those commonly associated with celiac disease. This 2012 study was the first to establish a connection between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy side effects, and was conducted by Dr. Joseph Murray, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist who found that, while the patients’ symptoms resembled Celiac disease, their condition did not improve on a gluten-free diet.
February 2014 – A man from Texas who was hospitalized ten times and now suffers from permanent intestinal damage files a lawsuit accusing the makers of Benicar of concealing the dangers of the blood pressure medication and failing to adequately warn the public about Benicar health risks.
July 2014 – A woman from California files a complaint against Daiichi Sankyo, alleging that its blood pressure drug Benicar caused her to experience sprue-like enteropathy side effects.
August 2014 – A Benicar lawsuit is filed on behalf of a woman who took the blood pressure drug and, because she was misdiagnosed, suffered intestinal side effects like sprue-like enteropathy for more than three years.
October 2014 – Daiichi Sankyo faces a lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman from Ohio who alleges that Benicar caused her to suffer a severe, chronic intestinal disease.
December 2014 – A panel of federal judges is asked to centralize dozens of lawsuits filed over side effects from Benicar into one federal multidistrict litigation (MDL).
January 2015 – Daiichi Sankyo agrees to pay $39 million to settle a federal investigation involving allegations that the drug maker illegally marketed Benicar and other medications by paying kickbacks to prescribing physicians.
January 2015 – Two men from California file a Benicar lawsuit against Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories after developing sprue-like enteropathy complications allegedly caused by the blood pressure drug.
April 2015 – A panel of federal judges centralizes 35 lawsuits filed over intestinal side effects from Benicar into an MDL before Judge Robert B. Kugler in New Jersey.
August 2015 – The number of lawsuits brought over alleged Benicar side effects skyrockets to at least 990, from 70 lawsuits in June, according to a report released by the federal judges overseeing the litigation.
October 2015 – The federal judge overseeing at least 1,046 Benicar lawsuits filed in the federal court system schedules the first trials for late 2016.
January 2006 – The FDA issues a warning letter to the makers of Benicar, indicating that certain ads for Benicar are “false or misleading,” because they claim that Benicar is superior to other angiotensin receptor blocker medications without providing adequate evidence to support this claim.
June 2010 – The FDA announces that it is conducting a safety review to determine whether Benicar may increase the risk of death due to cardiovascular side effects.
July 2013 – The FDA adds a new warning to Benicar’s prescribing information after identifying 23 reports of sprue-like enteropathy linked to Benicar in its adverse event database.
April 2014 – The FDA issues a drug safety communication calling for new warnings on the Benicar label to include the potential for the medication to cause serious gastrointestinal side effects.
June 2014 – Despite clinical trials linking high doses of Benicar to an increased risk of deadly heart attacks and cardiac arrest, the FDA reports in a drug safety communication that Benicar does not elevate the risk of cardiovascular side effects.
2012 – The Mayo Clinic contacts the FDA after finding a connection between olmesartan and specific gastrointestinal symptoms, including reports of 22 patients who suffered chronic diarrhea, significant weight loss and malabsorption of nutrients while taking Benicar between 2008 and 2011.
March 2014 – A study published in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice highlights strong evidence linking Benicar and potentially life-threatening sprue-like enteropathy side effects.
March 2014 – The journal Digestive and Liver Disease publishes a study tying Benicar use to five cases of sprue-like enteropathy, with researchers concluding that Benicar enteropathy side effects “may not be rare.”
June 2014 – Benicar treatment is associated with severe gastrointestinal problems, including sprue-like enteropathy, according to research published in Family Practice News.
July 2014 – A report published in Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine links Benicar to a severe case of sprue-like enteropathy that results in a colon perforation.
August 2014 – Experts are questioning recent findings by the FDA that high-dose Benicar does not increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events in patients with Type 2 diabetes, according to a Forbes report.
September 2014 – In a study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers from France highlight 36 cases of sprue-like enteropathy in patients taking Benicar, confirming the findings of numerous other studies suggesting a connection between Benicar and severe intestinal problems.
November 2014 – Research indicates that enteropathy and abdominal pain may be linked to treatment with Benicar, but not other medications belonging to the same class of blood pressure drugs.
Since Benicar was first approved by the FDA in 2002, the drug has become one of the most widely-prescribed blood pressure drugs on the market, with estimates suggesting that doctors write more than 11 million prescriptions for Benicar every year. In recent years though, Benicar users across the country have come forward with stories about serious gastrointestinal complications allegedly caused by Benicar, and many have filed product liability lawsuits against the makers of the blood pressure medication. All of the Benicar lawsuits filed in state and federal courts involve similar allegations that the drug companies:
As more information comes to light about the alleged side effects of Benicar, lawyers across the country are investigating Benicar injury claims brought on behalf of patients who have endured years of chronic diarrhea and other serious medical problems with no inkling that the problems may be linked to their blood pressure medication. If you have been diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy, villous atrophy or another possible Benicar complication, contact a knowledgeable Benicar lawyer today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a Benicar lawsuit against Forest Laboratories and Daiichi Sankyo, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.