Researchers have found that patients taking the drug Benicar could suffer from serious and potentially life threatening side effects. The drugs manufacturer and marketer, Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories, respectively are coming under fire for misrepresenting the medication as safe for long term use, not providing sufficient instructions and warnings about the drug’s side effects, and inadequately researching and testing Benicar before going to market.
What is Benicar?
Benicar is a medication prescribed for patients who suffer high blood pressure and chronic high blood pressure. Approved in 2002 by the FDA, Benicar is a widely used drug, prescribed millions of times per year. The medication works by blocking certain proteins in the blood that constrict blood flow, temporarily widening the blood vessels in the body, and effectively lowering a patient’s blood pressure.
Research has linked olmesartan—the generic name for Benicar—to various gastrointestinal issues. In 2014, the FDA mandated that Daiichi Sankyo provide a warning on the Benicar label stating the potential for severe side effects. Some of the side effects include:
- Severe and chronic diarrhea
- Drastic weight loss due to diarrhea
- Severe gastrointestinal problems
- Villas atrophy*
- Sprue-like enteropathy*
*Conditions characterized by chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition that destroy the intestinal lining in the body.
The similarity of these side effects to the symptoms of Celiac disease has caused patients to be wrongfully diagnosed. Additionally, studies have shown that patients who cease to take Benicar see the most improvement in their conditions, and upon stopping the medication cease to experience other side effects. Patients who have not stopped using Benicar have suffered hospitalization and more serious conditions due to sever weight loss and malnutrition.
Additional side effects Benicar users have experienced are:
- Loss of Hair
- Chest pain
- Irregular heart beat
Warnings and Legal Action
In addition to the previous mandates, Benicar includes a black box warning against use while pregnant due to the possibility of developing fetal toxicity. The FDA maintains that women who are pregnant should discontinue the use of the drug as early as possible to avoid complications.
Attorneys across the nation are now alleging that the Benicar was not tested sufficiently before taken to market, yielding inadequate warning labels and instructions for use. Such claims maintain that Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories were aware of the dangers of the drug, and that it was their responsibility to communicate such to doctors and patients. As a result of not taking the proper action, lawsuits claim that these companies are liable for the physical and mental pain and suffering of its users, medical expenses, and the loss of potential and past earnings due to illness.
Individuals who believe they may have been harmed through the use of Benicar should contact legal representation to discuss their options. Those who have experienced any number of symptoms as a result of Benicar may be entitled to financial compensation for their suffering. If you believe that you or a loved one have been affected, contact The Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos, P.C. for a no-charge consultation.