Benicar, brand name for olmesartan, is a medication prescribed for managing high blood pressure. It is manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo and marketed by Forest Laboratories in the US. In the United States alone, 11 million prescriptions are written for Benicar every year. In recent years, several patients have come forward with complaints about various life altering side effects caused by Benicar. Several lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer and marketing company of the drug claiming that despite having knowledge about the life-threatening side effects of the drug, they failed to provide adequate warning to physicians and patients.
Studies and FDA Warnings
Several studies have confirmed the link between treatment with Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy, the drug’s most harmful side effect. Sprue-like enteropathy is a condition in which the intestinal lining is harmed and the patient experiences symptoms like dizziness, chronic diarrhea and substantial weight loss. This can result in hospitalization and lead to other problems such as colon perforation and kidney failure. A study was conducted by the Mayo clinic on 22 people who reported to have sprue-like enteropathy after taking Benicar. Intestinal biopsies of 15 patients revealed inflammation and villous atrophy (damage to villi in the intestine). Most of these were similar to conditions of the intestine in people with Celiac Disease, however the participants’ condition did not get better when they were switched to a gluten-free diet. Discontinuation of the drug resulted in significant improvements of the intestine in 18 patients.
The FDA has also confirmed the onset of diarrhea and villous atrophy after treatment with olmesartan and has presented several studies that confirmed that patients improved clinically after discontinuation of the drug.
Currently, there are more than 1100 lawsuits pending against Daiichi Sankyo and Forest Laboratories and a federal Multi-District Litigation has been set up for such cases. According to the New Jersey Law Journal, the first trial has been set up for late 2016. This is not the first time that Daiichi Sankyo will be tried in court. In January 2015, the manufacturer settled a lawsuit for illegally marketing its drugs (including Benicar) by paying $39 million.
High blood pressure is a very common problem amongst Americans. Most of the time, people would not suspect their medication to be causing stomach problems because they might have been taking it for several months or even years. Moreover, physicians might misdiagnose your diarrhea as celiac disease. Unfortunately, the only way to cure intestinal problems is stopping the medication and by the time you get a correct diagnosis, enteropathy may have caused severe intestinal damage.
If you or a loved one has suffered any serious side effects due to taking Benicar you might be eligible to file a lawsuit against Daiichi Sankyo and the distributor in Oklahoma. The attorneys at Atkins and Markoff have vast experience in dangerous drug and personal injury cases in Oklahoma and are passionate about helping their clients get what they truly deserve. We understand that Benicar’s side effects can be life changing and sometimes limit your ability to be fully independent. Our dedicated attorneys will provide you support by taking care of all the paperwork and court appointments so that you can take care of your health. Contact Atkins and Markoff for a consultation today.