St. Louis Benicar® Injury Lawyers
Benicar® (olmesartan medoxomil) was approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for the treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure. In July 2013, the FDA issued a drug safety alert warning that the blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil (marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and in generic form) can cause a serious gastrointestinal side effect known as sprue-like enteropathy. Sprue-like enteropathy is a condition that can cause symptoms similar to celiac disease, such as nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and chronic diarrhea. As a result, the FDA approved changes to the product label for all these drugs.
Benicar® Side Effects Researched and Confirmed
The FDA warning was preceded by a three year study conducted by the Mayo Clinic from 2008 through 2011 which evaluated patients taking olmesartan medoxomil who had experienced symptoms of celiac disease. Specifically, Mayo Clinic physicians treated 22 patients with symptoms that were common to celiac disease, including nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte abnormalities. According to the study, the patients had lost an average of 39 pounds each. At least 14 patients were hospitalized because of the severity of their symptoms. Eventually, all of the patients were taken off of olmesartan medoxomil and showed improvement. In June 2012, the Mayo Clinic released the results of this study, finding an association between olmesartan medoxomil and severe gastrointestinal issues.
In January 2015, the Department of Justice announced that Daiichi Sankyo Inc., the manufacturer of Benicar, agreed to pay $39 million to settle kickback allegations. The government alleged that Daiichi paid physicians improper kickbacks intended to influence the physicians' prescribing decisions. In addition, Daiichi Sankyo is reported to have spent almost $1 billion marketing Benicar and Benicar HCT to physicians and consumers, claiming that it was highly effective at reducing high blood pressure and that it was safe to use.
Benicar® Side Effects
Symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss, nausea, or vomiting. If you have taken Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor or Tribenzo for at least four months and have experienced any of the following symptoms or suffer from the following conditions, you may have a claim against the manufacturer:
- Sprue-like enteropathy
- Excessive weight loss
- Chronic diarrhea
- Other GI problems misdiagnosed as celiac symptoms
The symptoms often develop months to years after starting Benicar and may require hospitalization.
As of November 2015, more than 1,077 lawsuits have been filed by users of Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor against the drug manufacturer, Daiichi-Sankyo, seeking damages resulting from gastrointestinal injuries.
If you believe that you suffered serious side effects as a result of taking any of these products, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced Benicar lawyers at Schlichter Bogard & Denton for a free consultation.