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Benicar Sprue-Like Enteropathy Lawsuit

Benicar Sprue-Like Enteropathy Lawsuit

Sprue-like enteropathy is an intestinal disease linked to the blood pressure drug Benicar. Over 1,500 lawsuits have been filed by people who experienced chronic diarrhea, severe weight-loss, and other symptoms.

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.

Overview

Benicar® is the brand-name for olmesartan, a prescription medication for people with high blood pressure (hypertension). It is sold by Daiichi Sankyo and was approved by the FDA in 2002.

Mayo Clinic Doctors Link Benicar and Sprue-Like Enteropathy

The link between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy was discovered by Dr. Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic. He treated 22 patients with chronic diarrhea and weight-loss. The patients had symptoms of Celiac disease (known as “sprue”), but they did not improve on a gluten-free diet.

All of the patients improved when they stopped taking Benicar. Dr. Murray concluded that Benicar was responsible for their illness, which he called sprue-like enteropathy. The results were published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2012.

FDA Safety Warning for Benicar

The FDA said there was “clear evidence” linking Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy in a Safety Communication issued in 2013. The agency also ordered drug-makers to strengthen warning information.

The FDA reviewed adverse event reports and found 23 cases of serious diarrhea and weight-loss. Additional case were probably never reported because sprue-like enteropathy was not on the label.

What is Sprue-Like Enteropathy?

Sprue-like enteropathy causes inflammation of the upper intestines and chronic diarrhea. Patients typically experience frequent, watery bowel movements. The condition is easily misdiagnosed as Celiac disease (also known as “sprue”) but it is not caused by a gluten allergy.

How Common is Sprue-Like Enteropathy?

Only a few dozen cases have been reported to the FDA, but over 1,500 lawsuits have been filed by patients on Benicar who had gastrointestinal problems. Researchers warn that sprue-like enteropathy “may not be rare.”

Symptoms of Sprue-Like Enteropathy

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight-loss
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Malnutrition
  • Abdominal pain
  • Intestinal damage
  • Villous atrophy

Villous Atrophy

Chronic diarrhea and inflammation can permanently damage villi, which are finger-like tissues lining the upper intestines that help the body absorb nutrients. This complication is known as villous atrophy. In severe cases, it causes malnutrition.

Colon Perforation

A serious but rare complication is a colon perforation. It was reported in a 52 year-old woman who developed sprue-like enteropathy, lost 45 pounds in 6 months, and had 20 bouts of diarrhea per day for a year.

Diagnosis & Treatment

A diagnosis of sprue-like enteropathy should be suspected in patients on Benicar with chronic diarrhea who are not allergic to gluten. The patient may need an intestinal endoscopy procedure or a biopsy to diagnose the stage of villous atrophy. Patients will need to stop taking Benicar and switch to another blood pressure drug with the recommendation of a doctor.

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.

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