Several patients prescribed Benicar (Olmesartan medoxomil) have considered filing a Benicar lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer, Daiichi Sankyo, after the blood pressure medication allegedly caused sprue-like enteropathy (chronic diarrhea and rapid weight loss) in users. Sprue-like enteropathy symptoms are often misdiagnosed as Celiac disease, an event where the body cannot process and breakdown gluten. If you (or a loved one) have experienced sprue-like enteropathy while taking Benicar, then do not hesitate to contact us for a FREE case evaluation to determine if you can file a Benicar lawsuit.
Benicar Lawsuit: Study Links Benicar to Sprue-Like Enteropathy
Sprue-like enteropathy, a gastrointestinal condition where damage occurs to intestinal villi (small, finger-like projections that protrude from the epithelial lining of the intestinal wall), can cause a number of severe symptoms, including chronic diarrhea, rapid weight loss, vomiting, dehydration, and malnutrition.
Dr. Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist with the Mayo Clinic, was the first to associate Benicar with causing sprue-like enteropathy in users. Murray suspected Benicar’s association to the Celiac-mimicking condition when he observed two patients with suspected Celiac disease experience relief from the gastrointestinal symptoms after discontinuing the use of Benicar.
Over the next three years, Dr. Murray conducted a study and identified 22 people who experienced Celiac disease symptoms while taking Benicar. Of the 22 patients, 14 had symptoms so severe that hospitalization was required. Additionally, all 22 patients did not respond to a gluten-free diet, a common form of treatment for Celiac disease, and did not have detectable tissue transglutaminase in the blood, which is used to positively diagnose Celiac disease. Upon the discontinuation of Benicar, all 22 patients in the group gained weight and felt relief from previous gastrointestinal symptoms experienced while on Benicar.
Benicar-induced sprue-like enteropathy can develop months, and even years, after Benicar therapy was initiated.
Dr. Murray’s report on Benicar being associated with gastrointestinal issues and sprue-like enteropathy was recently published online in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Benicar’s label was updated in 2013 to reflect Murray’s findings, adding a warning of the drug potentially causing symptoms that are similar to those present in Celiac disease.
Benicar Lawsuit: About Benicar
Benicar belongs to a class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB) and is prescribed to help lower high blood pressure. By helping the blood vessels in the body to widen, Benicar prevents the constriction of blood vessels. Benicar was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 and has been available on the market in two tablet forms: Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) and Benicar HCT (olmesartan medoxomil and hydrochlorothiazide). Benicar and Benicar HCT have been widely prescribed by doctors for the regulation of high blood pressure in patients with 10.6 million prescriptions written for Benicar in the year 2012 alone.