Lawsuits are currently being filed across the country against Daiich Sankyo, the maker of the drug Benicar. Benicar is a pharmaceutical used to treat high blood pressure. The lawsuits allege that Benicar can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in some patients. The drug is currently prescribed to over 10 million users.
FDA Benicar Warnings
In July of 2013 the FDA issued a warning to doctors that Benicar can cause a condition called Sprue-like Enteropathy and advised doctors to stop prescribing Benicar to people complaining of unexplained gastrointestinal problems such as:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Dramatic weight loss
- Intestinal inflammation
- Electrolyte abnormalities
Additionally, the FDA asked Daiich Sankyo to include a warning of sprue-like enteropathy on the Benicar label. This warning resulted from a study performed by a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic. The study investigated 22 Benicar patients who had severe gastrointestinal problems that resembled the symptoms of Celiac disease. Celiac disease occurs when the body is unable to process gluten. These 22 patients did not respond to a gluten-free diet nor did they test positive for Celiac disease. However, when all of the patients stopped taking Benicar, they found relief from their gastrointestinal issues.
Severe, Persistent Benicar Side Effects
While most patients do find their symptoms relieved after discontinuing the use of Benicar, many patients were not and are not diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy in a timely manner and, as a result, can experience ongoing, chronic gastrointestinal problems and can suffer permanent damage to their intestines. The lawsuits that have been filed against Daiichi Sankyo allege that the pharmaceutical manufacturer knew or should have been knowledgeable as to these risks and adequately warned the medical community and the users of Benicar.
Benicar comes in two forms, Benicar and Benicar HCT. Benicar is one of a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and it treats high blood pressure and hyper tension by blocking a naturally occurring chemical in the body called angiotensin II. Angiotensin II narrows the blood vessels which creates high blood pressure.
Legal Help For Benicar Gastrointestinal Problems
The symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy can develop within months or years of taking Benicar. If you believe you are suffering gastrointestinal complications as the result of taking Benicar, then you should immediately see a doctor who can advise you on treatment and whether or not to discontinue the use of Benicar. You can also contact a lawyer who can assist you in determining if you have a claim against the makers of Benicar. Brett Oppenheimer is an attorney with offices in Louisville, Kentucky and can offer you legal counsel regarding pursuing a Benicar product liability lawsuit. Brett can be reached by phone at (502) 242-8877.