The product liability attorneys at The Sanders Firm have been paying close attention to a number of studies and reports that have pinpointed Benicar, the popular blood pressure drug, as a major culprit in causing a frightening condition similar to celiac disease called sprue-like enteropathy.
With close to 70 million people suffering from high blood pressure in the US, the financial stakes are high for companies like Daiichi Sankyo, the drug manufacturer, to provide its shareholders with a profitable product like Benicar even if it means downplaying the risks of serious injury to the consumer.
Consultation with Benicar attorneys
If you used Benicar and experienced severe gastrointestinal problems, a free consultation with The Sanders Firm will confirm whether you have the grounds to file a Benicar lawsuit.
In the last five years, the Sanders Firm has successfully recovered over $100 million for our clients nationwide. If you have been injured or were not sufficiently warned of the risks of taking Benicar, put our team of medical experts and investigators to work for you in receiving the justice you deserve.
Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy
Benicar (genetic name olmertasan medoxomil), is a blood pressure medication manufactured and distributed by Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories. It is classified as an angiotensin II receptor antagonist designed to lower blood pressure, increase blood flow, and prevent narrowing of the blood vessels. It was first approved by the FDA in 2002 and is sold as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor.
Sprue-like enteropathy takes its name from sprue or celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that causes symptoms including vomiting, severe diarrhea, fatigue, and extreme weight loss because of an intolerance to gluten. Celiac disease sufferers most likely inherited the condition.
Sprue-like enteropathy or “unclassified sprue” presents a set of gastrointestinal symptoms similar to celiac disease in individuals who have no inherited gluten intolerance.
2012 study links Benicar to sprue-like enteropathy
The first published study that indicated a link between Benicar and celiac disease mimicking symptoms was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in July 2012. It described 22 patients who were treated by the Mayo Clinic for celiac-like symptoms such as chronic diarrhea, weight loss and other serious gastrointestinal problems.
All 22 Benicar patients exhibited a major improvement when they were taken off of the medication, leading the researchers to conclude that Benicar side effects may include celiac-like symptoms, which can often be misdiagnosed. Although the symptoms typically stop when the medication is ceased, the GI complications from Benicar may leave users with intestinal damage.
FDA warns physicians and the public about Benicar risks
In July 2013, the FDA released a drug safety communication alerting consumers and doctors about the risk of sprue-like enteropathy from exposure to Benicar. The agency warned that debilitating GI problems could surface months or years after one begins taking the medication. Because patients always see improvement in their symptoms once Benicar is discontinued, the FDA indicated that there is clear evidence that Benicar is causing sprue-like enteropathy side effects, and can cause permanent intestinal damage if not identified early enough.
A May 2014 report, published in the International Journal of Celiac Disease by Dr. Hugh James Freeman of the University of British Columbia’s Department of Medicine, cautions doctors that a number of drugs like Benicar can cause sprue-like enteropathy. According to Dr. Freeman, Benicar side effects may include chronic diarrhea, villous atrophy (a deterioration of the intestinal tract lining) and major weight loss, often requiring patients to undergo repeated hospitalizations.
Enteropathy linked to Benicar may be difficult to diagnose because it may not appear until a patient has been using the drug for several months or even years. Dr. Freeman notes that this is why many Benicar patients suffer delayed diagnoses or are misdiagnosed with celiac disease or unclassified sprue.
Who can file a Benicar lawsuit?
If you have suffered sprue-like enteropathy symptoms, including hospitalization due to drastic weight loss, dehydration, chronic GI issues and malnutrition, and were taking Benicar at the time, you may be eligible to file a dangerous drug lawsuit. You also need to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing suit, which generally requires that a patient file within two years of the health issue in question, or within two years of the point when the patient could reasonably have discovered its cause.
Sanders Firm attorneys can help you with any statute of limitation questions, and determine if you have a viable claim for damages.
If you have been seriously harmed by Benicar, you may be able to secure compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Status of current Benicar litigation
As more patients learn about the connection between Benicar and gastrointestinal problems, product liability lawsuits filed in US courts continue to mount. The complaints accuse Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories of failing to provide adequate warnings about the risk of GI side effects from Benicar.
While a handful of Benicar cases have been removed to the federal court system, at least nine lawsuits have been filed in New Jersey Superior Court for Atlantic County, the home of the U.S. headquarters of Daiichi Sankyo, since early February, according to a report in the NJ Law Journal. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands of Benicar lawsuits may ultimately be included in the litigation.
Free consult with product liability attorneys
To learn more about your rights to pursuing legal recourse, we invite you to call The Sanders Firm today. Our Benicar lawyers have nearly five decades of experience litigating product liability lawsuits involving dangerous drugs.
Our phone lines are open 24/7, so please call 1-800-FAIR-PLAY (1-800-324-7752) to arrange a free consultation today.
- FDA, FDA Drug Safety Communication: Ongoing safety review of Benicar(olmesartan) and cardiovascular events http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/postmarketdrugsafetyinformationforpatientsandproviders/ucm215222.htm
- Reuters, UPDATE 2-FDA looking into death risk from Daiichi's Benicar http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/06/11/fda-benicar-idUSN1113920620100611