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Benicar FAQ

Benicar FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers for people looking for information about Benicar, a blood pressure drug linked to chronic diarrhea, weight-loss, and sprue-like enteropathy.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Benicar induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Overview

What are Benicar and Benicar HCT?
How does Benicar work?
What side effects are common?
What are serious side effects?
Did Mayo Clinic doctors link Benicar and enteropathy?
What FDA safety warnings have been issued?
Were ads for Benicar misleading?

Sprue-Like Enteropathy

What is sprue-like enteropathy?
What are the symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy?
What are the long-term complications of enteropathy?
Why are patients misdiagnosed?
How rare is chronic diarrhea from Benicar?

Benicar Lawsuits

How many Benicar lawsuits have been filed?
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
Can I join a Benicar class action?
How can a lawyer help?

What are Benicar and Benicar HCT?

Benicar® is an oral medication that contains olmesartan, an anti-hypertensive medication made by Daiichi Sankyo. It was approved by the FDA in 2002.

Benicar HCT® contains a combination of olmesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. It was approved by the FDA in 2003.

How does Benicar work?

Benicar belongs to the Angiotensin II Receptor Blocker (ARB) class of blood pressure drugs. It works by relaxing the muscles lining blood vessels, which causes them to widen (dilate) and reduces pressure.

Benicar HCT adds hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic that reduces the amount of water in the body. This also reduces the volume of blood, which helps lower blood pressure.

What side effects are common?

At least 2% of patients experience nausea, hyperuricemia (excess uric acid in blood), dizziness, and upper respiratory infection.

What are serious side effects?

  • Sprue-like enteropathy
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Fluid or electrolyte imbalance
  • Glaucoma
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver impairment in patients with liver disease
  • Fetal toxicity during pregnancy
  • Allergic reactions

Did Mayo Clinic doctors link Benicar and enteropathy?

The first study linking Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy was published in August 2012 by Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Dr. Joseph Murray cured 22 patients of chronic diarrhea and weight-loss after realizing that their symptoms were likely caused by Benicar. All of the patients improved when they stopped taking Benicar. Two patients who re-started Benicar reported that symptoms re-appeared.

What FDA safety warnings have been issued?

In July 2013, the FDA issued a Safety Communication to warn about “clear evidnece” linking sprue-like enteropathy to Benicar. The agency found 23 case reports in a search of their adverse event database. It is likely that many more cases were never reported.

Were ads for Benicar misleading?

In 2006, the FDA called advertisements for Benicar “false and misleading” in a Warning Letter (PDF) to Daiichi Sankyo. The agency was concerned that Benicar was promoted as superior to other blood pressure drugs without sufficient evidence.

What is sprue-like enteropathy?

Sprue-like enteropathy causes chronic inflammation of the upper intestines and chronic diarrhea. Over time, it destroys the lining of the intestines. The symptoms are very similar to Celiac disease (known as “sprue”), but patients do not improve on a gluten-free diet.

What are the symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy?

  • Chronic diarrhea (frequent and watery)
  • Severe weight-loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Intestinal damage
  • Villous atrophy
  • Abdominal pain

What are the long-term complications of enteropathy?

  • Villous Atrophy: Erosion of villi, which are a carpet of finger-like tentacles lining the upper intestines, leaving flat spots on the intestinal wall.
  • Malnutrition: Damaged sections of the intestines do not absorb nutrients from food, which can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
  • Colon perforation: In one case reports, a 52 year-old woman on Benicar developed a colon perforation after experiencing diarrhea 20 times per day and losing 45 pounds in 6 months.

Why are patients misdiagnosed?

The label on Benicar did not include warnings about enteropathy until 2013. In the meantime, many patients were misdiagnosed with Celiac disease because it has similar symptoms.

How rare is chronic diarrhea from Benicar?

Although the FDA reported only a few dozen cases, researchers warn that enteropathy from Benicar “may not be rare” after five cases were observed in one small gastroenterology unit.

How many Benicar lawsuits have been filed?

There were 1,694 federal Benicar lawsuits filed against Daiichi Sankyo as of mid-August 2016. All of those cases are pending in New Jersey under Judge Robert Kugler, with trial dates scheduled for 2017.

The lawsuits are centralized in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2606) — In Re: Benicar (olmesartan) Products Liability Litigation.

How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?

It can be as little as 1 year from the date of your injury, depending on the state where you live. Other states give you up to 6 years. This time-limit is called the “statute of limitations” and only a lawyer can determine if you still have time.

Can I join a Benicar class action?

A class action is not ideal for people who were diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy. Some patients were only sick for a few weeks, while others developed permanent complications or had to be hospitalized. Because each case is so different, they must be handled individually.

How can a lawyer help?

Our lawyers will review your case for free and let you know if you qualify to file a lawsuit. If you decide to join this litigation, you could receive compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, permanent injuries, and more.

Do I have a Benicar Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Benicar induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

Attention Lawyers: We consider a referral from another law firm to be one of the greatest compliments. If your firm is interested in referring us a case or for us to send you a list of previous award judgments and/or average referral fees, please visit the Lawyer Referral section of our website.

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