What is Benicar?

Categories: Benicar

BenicarBenicar is a blood pressure medication that blocks certain receptors, known as angiotensin receptors. Angiotensin II is a hormone that causes the blood vessels to constrict. By inhibiting the action of this hormone as well as reducing the secretion and production of other hormones involved in regulating blood pressure, blood vessels become dilated.  In 2012, nearly 2 million people are believed to have filled prescriptions for Benicar. During that year, about 10.6 million prescriptions for Benicar products were dispensed.

Side Effects, Complications and Risks of Benicar

A Mayo Clinic study, conducted by Dr. Joseph Murray[1], linked the development of spruelike enteropathy to the use of Benicar. Spruelike enteropathy is a disease that produces severe gastrointestinal symptoms; such as chronic diarrhea, significant weight loss, nausea, and overall malnutrition. Dr. Murray conducted the study on 22 patients who were using Benicar and experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, initially diagnosed as Celiac disease. However, the patients in the study were not responding to a gluten-free diet, a common form of treatment for Celiac disease, and did not have the detectable tissue in their blood which is used to positively diagnose Celiac disease.

Additional side effects from clinical trials include:

•              Angioedema (rapid swelling of the skin)

•              Vomiting

•              Irregular heart beat

•              Abdominal pain

•              Nausea

•              Chest pain

•              Arthritis

•              Rash

•              Kidney problems, including failure

•              Liver impairment

•              Hair loss

FDA Benicar Warnings

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration[2] (FDA) warned consumers that Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) may cause severe gastrointestinal (GI) problems.

In July 2013, the FDA issued a Benicar warning providing information to consumers and the medical community about the risk of spruelike enteropathy. These warnings came more than 10 years after Benicar was approved and nearly a year after an independent report published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings in August 2012, which highlighted the number of patients taking Benicar suffering Celiac disease symptoms, which stopped when the medication was no longer used

Reports have confirmed that chronic diarrhea from Benicar typically stops when the medication is no longer used and resume when the drug is started again. Chronic diarrhea from Benicar may leave users with serious long-term health complications, including:

•           Dehydration

•           Malnourishment

•           Electrolyte Problems

•           Weakened Ability to Fight Off Other Illnesses

Contact a Benicar Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one were prescribed Benicar and suffered gastrointestinal or other complications, it is important to speak to a skilled Benicar injury attorney as soon as possible. The experienced lawyers at McEwen Law Firm are available to review your case today.  Call for a free consultation: Phone: (651) 224-3833 Toll Free: (800)732-3070 Email: gmcewen@mcewenlaw.com or mschmid@mcewenlaw.com.


[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3538487/

[2] http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm359477.htm