Benicar

diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dehydration, weight loss, stomach pain

ABOUT THE DRUG

Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) was developed by Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. to treat high blood pressure. …research surfaced linking Benicar to severe gastrointestinal side effects.Originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, doctors have written more than 11 million Benicar prescriptions a year.

The drug’s active ingredient, olmesartan medoxomil, lowers the body’s blood pressure by helping to keep blood vessels dilated. The drug is either prescribed as a single blood-pressure treatment or as part of a combination of drugs. Other drugs that contain olmesartan include Benicar HCT, Azor (amlodipine/olmesartan) and Tribenzor (olmesartan/amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide).

PURPOSE OF THE DRUG

Benicar blocks angiotensin II, a natural protein made by the body, and stops it from constricting blood vessels to help blood flow more easily. It belongs to a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB). Angiotensin II affects the cardiovascular system in a variety of ways, including controlling blood pressure.

When angiotensin II is released, it causes blood vessels to narrow, raising blood pressure and making it harder for the heart to pump blood, as well as increases the amount of sodium and fluid in the body.

WARNINGS

While Benicar is a popular prescription choice for many doctors, research surfaced linking Benicar and other olmesartan-based drugs to severe gastrointestinal side effects. In April 2014, this research led the FDA to rule that Benicar needed a warning on its label stating olmesartan medoxomil was associated with specific and significant gastrointestinal side effects.

SIDE EFFECTS

These side effects can mimic Celiac disease but usually are later diagnosed as sprue-like enteropathy or villous atrophy. Both are serious problems that can lead to malnutrition, intestinal damage and chronic diarrhea.

HOW SHIFFMAN & SHIN CAN HELP

The link between Benicar and enteropathy was first uncovered in 2012. Given the results emerging in the last few years linking Benicar to a multitude of GI disorders, victims are now turning to Shiffman Shin Law to find out about their rights.Medical researchers found 22 patients taking Benicar displayed symptoms pointing towards celiac disease, but blood tests for the patients failed to confirm the diagnosis. When patients stopped taking the drug, their GI symptoms improved, according to one of the
authors of the study. Several months later, researchers from the American College of Gastroenterology noted that olmesartan, the active ingredient in Benicar, had been linked to an additional 40 cases of sprue-like enteropathy.

Fast-forward to July 2013, the FDA announced Benicar would receive a label update to reflect the risk of sprue-like enteropathy. According to the FDA’s drug safety communication, this GI disorder can cause symptoms that include severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss. The condition may take months or years to develop and may require hospitalization, the agency said.

Given the results emerging in the last few years linking Benicar to a multitude of GI disorders, victims are now turning to Shiffman Shin Law to find out about their rights.

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