Benicar is the trade name for a powerful and potentially dangerous drug (olmesartan medoxomil), which is manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo and is currently being sold to consumers in the United States. The drug is also known as Benicar HCT, Tribenzor, Azor, Olmetec, WinBP, Golme, Olsar, Erastapex and various generic names in different parts of the world.
Doctors use Benicar to treat hypertension. The drug is intended to lower patients’ blood pressure levels in order to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and types of cardiovascular events.
In 2012, doctors prescribed the drug roughly 10.6 million times to 1.9 million United States consumers. However, it was later revealed that Benicar and its variants can cause serious medical problems. The primary dangers associated with taking Benicar involve a patient developing indications of sprue-like enteropathy, which is a serious condition that causes patients to suffer from symptoms that may appear like those associated with celiac disease. Symptoms may include weight loss, vomiting, dehydration, cardiovascular issues, chronic diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.
A wide variety of health problems have been found in certain patients who took Benicar. Indeed, many patients have developed sprue-like enteropathy as a result of taking Benicar and its variants.
Sprue-like enteropathy has symptoms that are so similar to celiac disease that patients affected by Benicar may be improperly diagnosed with celiac disease. It is important to remember, though, that health consequences associated with taking Benicar do not include the contraction of celiac disease, just symptoms that are very similar to it. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that is not known to be caused by any pharmaceutical medication. A simple blood test will be able to rule out the presence of actual celiac disease versus a different condition.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued consumer warnings regarding Benicar and its variants; however, it has yet to issue an actual recall of the drug. The FDA warnings associated with Benicar confirm the fear that this drug can cause sprue-like enteropathy and its symptoms.
The FDA said in a July 2013 report that the sprue-like enteropathy symptoms could develop months or even years after a patient begins to take Benicar. In some cases, the negative reaction to the drug could result in the hospitalization of a patient. The FDA recommends that patients suffering from sprue-like enteropathy should switch to another kind of treatment for their hypertension. They state that such disease conditions have improved in all patients who stopped taking the drug. The FDA also said that Benicor labels would be updated to reflect the dangerous complications associated with the drug.
Benicar’s dangers were first discovered in 2012 by the Mayo Clinic. According to researchers, 22 individuals reported celiac-like symptoms while taking Benicor during a three-year timeframe. Nevertheless, blood tests performed on these patients did not reveal the presence of celiac disease. One of the researchers noticed that after the patients discontinued their use of Benicor, their intestinal disorders improved. Shortly after the Mayo Clinic study, medical researchers at the American College of Gastroenterology discovered that the active ingredient contained in Benicar was linked to 40 additional instances of sprue-like enteropathy.
Lawsuits filed on behalf of people injured by Benicar are claiming that their sprue-like enteropathy symptoms were caused by the drug. Most Benicar victims were first misdiagnosed with celiac disease because the symptoms are so similar to the ill-affects that result from Benicar use.
Many pursuing claims against the manufacturer of Benicar, Daichii Sankyo, have been seriously injured by the drug and the dangerous disease symptoms it caused them. In addition to claims of serious injuries, lawsuits also allege that the drug’s manufacturer, Daiichi Sankyo, was aware of the link that that existed between sprue-like enteropathy and Benicar; however, the drug manufacturer never took any effort to inform patients or the public about these dangers.
Only a qualified attorney can evaluate the viability of a Benicar-related lawsuit. Such lawsuits may focus on the fact that the manufacturer, Daiichi Sankyo, failed to notify consumers and kept secret the risks associated with the drug. They will also focus on any serious or permanent injuries suffered by victims and the costs of medical care related to those injuries. Victims of this drug may have strong claims for restitution due to the manufacturer’s failures and negligence in this regard.
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