Benicar Side Effect Lawsuits
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Benicar is a common drug used frequently in combination with other blood pressure medications. While it is prescribed to help lower blood pressure and keep blood vessels widened, it has been linked to serious gastrointestinal problems in patients who are taking the drug. Benicar is available in regular Benicar (Olmesartan Medoxomil) and Benicar HCT (Olmesartan Medoxomil and Hydrochlorothiazide). Since being approved by the FDA in 2002 and 2003, both drugs have been prescribed to millions of patients.
Spangenberg Shibley & Liber is taking on cases involving digestive tract injuries potentially related to the use of Benicar. Our Cleveland dangerous drug lawyers are investigating the cause of sprue-like enteropathy, which is a gastrointestinal disease that has been allegedly caused by the use of Benicar.
Identifying the Dangerous Symptoms of Benicar
Patients can experience a broad range of digestive track symptoms, however, it can be challenging for doctors to quickly identify the cause of these issues if they are unaware of the potential dangers of Benicar.
While side effects vary, they can include:
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Severe Cramping
- Weight Loss
- Stomach Problems
Doctors can accidentally associate these symptoms with an autoimmune disease, such as Celiac disease. If they do, they may suggest the wrong treatment for patients. Instead of having them cease the use of Benicar, they try to modify their diets or prescribe steroids, never addressing the real cause of the problem.
Studies Reveal Benicar’s Danger
As a gastroenterologist, Dr. Joseph Murray was the first medical professional to identify the link between sprue-like enteropathy development and the use of Benicar. The doctor performed a three-year study, where he observed 22 Benicar patients suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms often associated with Celiac disease. Of those patients, 14 had such serious symptoms that they had to be hospitalized.
Dr. Murray also noted that his patients didn’t get better after getting on a gluten-free diet and eventually tested negative for Celiac disease. When the patients finally discontinued the use of Benicar, all of them were relieved from their gastrointestinal symptoms and recovered a healthy weight. This study showed a clear link between the use of Benicar and the uncomfortable and harmful sprue-like enteropathy issues patients were suffering.
In 2014, a French study revealed further connection between Benicar and intestinal malabsorption, which can ultimately lead to malnutrition, dehydration, severe diarrhea, and weight loss. The study even showed that patients taking Benicar for two or more years had 10 times the risk of enduring these gastrointestinal symptoms.
FDA Approves Warning Label
Realizing the serious risk that Benicar posed, the FDA approved a label change for Benicar in 2013. The new label would include warnings about the increased risk for developing sprue-like enteropathy.
Additionally, the FDA released a safety warning that Benicar, as well as several other drugs, could cause intestinal problems such as chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and other symptoms. This makes it clear that the FDA has found a direct link between Benicar and the development of sprue-like enteropathy, especially as all patients improved in a study after they stopped taking Benicar.
If you or a loved one taking Benicar has experienced chronic diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea, it may be time to take legal action. When you need counsel, do not hesitate to turn to our firm.
Contact a Cleveland dangerous drug attorney at Spangenberg today: (216) 600-0114. You can also start by filling out a free case evaluation.
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