Blood Pressure Drug Benicar is Linked to Serious Intestinal Condition
Benicar has been prescribed for high blood pressure in patients for more than a decade. However, serious side effects of the drug which include intestinal problems and an increased cancer risk, have resulted in lawsuits.
Benicar is a prescription medication that’s used for treating high blood pressure. The drug, which is also called Olmestartan, is manufactured and retailed by Forest Laboratories and Daiichi Sankyo.
The drug was approved for commercial sale in 2002, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Over the last 13 years it has become the most widely prescribed blood pressure medication in the country. The drug is an angiotension II receptor blocker. Many patients who suffer from high blood pressure can trace it to the effects of angiotension II, which causes their blood vessels to narrow. Benicar is designed to block angiotension II, allowing the patient’s blood vessels to expand again.
Just because a drug has been on the market for many years does not mean it’s safe. Benicar has a wide range of side effects and some of them are life threatening. The full extent of the problems has only come to light in recent years.
Benicar has been linked to a serious condition called spruelike enteropathy. Patients who suffer this debilitation condition experience chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and other gastrointestinal problems including colitis. Although the symptoms of this condition can take many years to manifest themselves, they are often serious enough to require hospitalization. Some patients who have developed spruelike enteropathy while using Benicar may have instead been diagnosed with celiac disease. More common side effects of Benicar are nausea, diarrhea, headache, vomiting
headache, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and coughing. You should always consult with your doctor if you experience these kinds of problems. Patients and doctors have reported cases where stopping Benicar use caused patients to recover.
In 2012, the Mayo Clinic made the link between Benicar and severe spruelike enteropathy. It promoted the FDA to revise Benicar’s drug label. Since July 2013, the label has warned patients about the risk of the condition.
There are other less well known Benicar concerns. The FDA has reviewed studies that found taking Benicar causes an increased risk of cancer in some patients. Other clinical trials linked Benicar to an elevated risk of death from heart problems among diabetes patients. The finding has led to a further review, but the FDA has not changed its advice related to this issue.
As dangerous drugs lawyers in Virginia, we see many cases of how a drug, medicine or device that is meant to help a patient can cause more harm. If a dangerous drug such as Benicar has caused a serious condition, call us for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.