Chronic diarrhea is a severe side effect of Benicar (olmesartan). Without prompt treatment, it can cause permanent intestinal damage and life-threatening complications.
Need a Texas Benicar Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured by chronic diarrhea after using Benicar, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
Benicar and Diarrhea
Benicar (olmesartan) is a popular medication for the treatment of high blood pressure. Unfortunately, it has been associated with a serious side effect known as sprue-like enteropathy.
This intestinal disease can cause frequent, watery diarrhea and rapid weight-loss. Symptoms typically do not appear for months or years after a patient starts Benicar. Experts do not know exactly why Benicar is associated with chronic diarrhea, but it could be a localized hypersensitivity reaction or a delayed immune response.
Is it Celiac Disease?
If you developed chronic diarrhea on Benicar, you may have been misdiagnosed with Celiac disease (also known as “celiac sprue”). Sprue-like enteropathy and Celiac disease have similar symptoms and biopsies also look similar. However, Benicar-induced enteropathy does not improve on a gluten-free diet. Only stopping Benicar can stop the diarrhea.
In July 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Safety Communication to warn about the risk of chronic diarrhea from Benicar. After reviewing a database of adverse events, they found “clear evidence” linking Benicar with 23 cases of sprue-like enteropathy.
The FDA recommended:
“Contact your health care professional right away if you take an olmesartan-containing product and experience severe diarrhea, diarrhea that does not go away, or significant weight loss.”
If you were not aware of this risk before taking Benicar, you are not alone. In 2006 and again in 2013, the FDA warned Daiichi Sankyo for marketing Benicar with “false or misleading” ads that omitted important risk information. Some of these ads claimed Benicar was the “superior ARB.” In fact, recent studies have found that Benicar is the only drug in the ARB class that is associated with chronic diarrhea and sprue-like enteropathy.
Case Report Links Benicar and Diarrhea
In March 2014, Case Reports in Gastrointestinal Medicine published a report of a 52 year-old woman who developed chronic diarrhea after taking Benicar (20-mg/day) for two years.
The woman reported severe diarrhea (20 times per day for one year) and a 45-pound weight-loss within six months. Other symptoms included abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, and occasional vomiting. She was diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy and a colon perforation. After discontinuing Benicar, her diarrhea and other symptoms improved within one month.
Complications of Chronic Diarrhea
Lawsuits have already been filed by people who developed severe complications of chronic diarrhea after taking Benicar. Over time, sprue-like enteropathy flattens the lining of the intestines (villous atrophy), which permanently decreases the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients from food.
Intestinal damage can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, electrolyte (mineral) and vitamin imbalances, kidney problems, severe weight-loss, and other complications. These complications can destroy a person’s health, livelihood, and quality of life.
Need a Benicar Lawyer in Texas?
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