What should I know about Benicar® severe gastrointestinal injury lawsuits?

nurse with patientBenicar is a popular angiotensin II receptor antagonist drug used to treat high blood pressure and hypertension. Developed by Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo and marketed in the United States by Forest Laboratories, Benicar is prescribed to more than 11 million patients each year. While the drug has been shown to successfully lower blood pressure, it's also been linked to an array of severe, and even life-threatening, gastrointestinal conditions and injuries.

We've compiled answers to the most common questions our clients ask about Benicar and potentially dangerous side effects. Please review the list below, and learn more about what you can do if you sustained injuries while taking the drug. To discuss a potential Benicar gastrointestinal injury lawsuit, contact McGartland Law today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.

What is Benicar?

How does Benicar work?

What is sprue-like enteropathy and how is it linked to Benicar?

How does Benicar cause villous atrophy/Celiac-like symptoms?

What are the most common side effects associated with Benicar?

What are severe side effects of Benicar?

Does Benicar cause dangerous intestinal side effects?

Is it safe to take Benicar during pregnancy?

Why are people filing Benicar lawsuits?

When was Benicar approved by the FDA?

Has Benicar been recalled?

Why did the FDA issue a black-box warning for Benicar?

What are the manufacturer warnings for Benicar?

What should I do if I have developed a severe gastrointestinal injury after taking Benicar?

How long to I have to file a Benicar gastrointestinal injury lawsuit?

How much does it cost to file a Benicar lawsuit?

How long will a Benicar lawsuit take?

What damages can I recover in a Benicar lawsuit?


Q: What is Benicar?

A: Developed and manufactured by Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo, and marketed in the United States by Forest Laboratories, Benicar (olmesartan) is a popular prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure and hypertension. Olmesartan is also sold under the brand names Benicar HCT®, Azor®, and Tribenzor®.
back to top

Q: How does Benicar work?

A: Benicar belongs to a class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor antagonists. These medications work by blocking angiotensin II, a naturally occurring chemical that tightens and narrows blood vessels which can, in turn, cause high blood pressure and hypertension. By blocking this chemical, Benicar and other olmesartan drugs are able to relax and widen the blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and improving blood flow.
back to top

Q: What is sprue-like enteropathy and how is it linked to Benicar?

A: Sprue-like enteropathy is a gastrointestinal condition characterized by:

  • Severe, chronic diarrhea
  • Malabsorption of nutrients and malnutrition
  • Significant weight loss that can result in hospitalization
  • Serious secondary complications
  • Death

Benicar has been found to cause this condition in some patients, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with symptoms presenting months or even years after the olmesartan started.
back to top

Q: How does Benicar cause villous atrophy/Celiac-like symptoms?

A: Benicar can destroy the microscopic villi that line the small intestine, resulting in a condition known as villous atrophy in which the smooth intestinal walls are unable to properly absorb nutrients. This can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as severe chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and extreme weight loss. These symptoms are remarkably similar to those found in patients with Celiac disease—an allergy to wheat protein.
back to top

Q: What are the most common side effects associated with Benicar?

A: Dizziness is the most common adverse reaction associated with Benicar. However, the drug can also cause side effects such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, muscle cramps, anemia, and fatigue. Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms while taking Benicar.
back to top

Q: What are severe side effects of Benicar?

A: Benicar can also cause a number of serious side effects, including:

  • Severe, chronic diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Substantial weight loss
  • Malabsorption of nutrients and malnutrition
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Angioedema, or rapid swelling of the skin
  • Chest pain
  • Hair loss
  • Migraines
  • Kidney impairment or failure

If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking Benicar, immediately consult your doctor.
back to top

Q: Does Benicar cause dangerous intestinal side effects?

A: Yes, Benicar has been linked to a number of serious intestinal side effects, including:

  • Severe, chronic diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Significant weight loss
  • Malabsorption of nutrients and malnutrition
  • Microscopic colitis, which is inflammation of the colon or large intestine, and can lead to secondary health problems such as kidney failure, osteoporosis, and anemia

back to top

Q: Is it safe to take Benicar during pregnancy?

A: No, Benicar isn't suitable for pregnant women, as it's been linked to a higher risk of congenital malformations, and can cause injury or death to a developing fetus. Women who learn they're pregnant while taking Benicar should talk to their doctor about alternative treatments.
back to top

Q: Why are people filing Benicar lawsuits?

A: Because a growing number of patients suffered severe gastrointestinal injuries while taking Benicar. They've filed lawsuits against the drug's manufacturer, Daiichi Sankyo, alleging that the company failed to adequately test the medication before its release, neglected to warn patients and doctors of the risk associated with its use, and knowingly continued to market a dangerous product.
back to top

Q: When was Benicar approved by the FDA?

A: The FDA approved Benicar for the treatment of hypertension in April 2002. In July 2013, the FDA updated warnings for the drug, advising patients of the link between its use and the development of gastrointestinal-related conditions, such as sprue-like enteropathy and villous atrophy, a condition that flattens the villi of the small intestines.
back to top

Q: Has Benicar been recalled?

A: Despite various lawsuits and patients complaints, Benicar hasn't been recalled by the FDA or voluntarily recalled by its manufacturer, Daiichi Sankyo. However, in July 2013, the FDA updated the drug's warning label to include information on the link between Benicar and gastrointestinal illnesses such as sprue-like enteropathy and villous atrophy.
back to top

Q: Why did the FDA issue a black-box warning for Benicar?

A: The FDA added a black-box warning to Benicar's label in 2012, alerting patients of the drug's adverse effects on developing fetuses. Use of Benicar has been linked to an increased risk of congenital malformations. As a result, women are advised to discontinue use of Benicar (under their doctor's supervision) as soon as they learn they're pregnant.
back to top

Q: What are the manufacturer warnings for Benicar?

A: According to drug manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo, Benicar should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, young children, or patients with hypotension or renal impairment. The drug is also known to cause dizziness and gastrointestinal injuries, such as sprue-like enteropathy, and can interact with other drugs such as NSAIDs, colesevelam hydrochloride, and lithium.
back to top

Q: What should I do if I have developed a severe gastrointestinal injury after taking Benicar?

A: Talk to your physician about discontinuing Benicar. Don't stop taking the drug suddenly unless you're advised to do so by your doctor. Then, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine if you're eligible to pursue compensation for your injuries.
back to top

Q: How long to I have to file a Benicar gastrointestinal injury lawsuit?

A: As with all civil cases, how long you have to file a lawsuit is determined by your state's statute of limitation laws. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is usually two years, meaning that patients who suffered Benicar-related injuries have to file their lawsuits within two years from the date they discovered their injuries. Failing to file within the statute of limitations will result in the case being dismissed. For more information on statute of limitation laws in your state, contact McGartland Law today.
back to top

Q: How much does it cost to file a Benicar lawsuit?

A: In most cases, filing a Benicar lawsuit should cost you absolutely nothing. Many law firms handling personal injury cases like these work on a contingency basis, so you only pay for their services if they resolve the case in your favor and you receive a settlement. Don't let financial worries stop you from pursuing the justice—and the compensation—you need and deserve. Contact McGartland Law today.
back to top

Q: How long will a Benicar lawsuit take?

A: Determining just how long a case will take to litigate can be extremely difficult, even for experienced attorneys. Lawsuits are often as unique as the parties involved, with the length of litigation varying dramatically from case to case. For a better idea of how long your Benicar lawsuit might take, make an appointment with a seasoned personal injury attorney for a free consultation to discuss the specific details of your case.
back to top

Q: What damages can I recover in a Benicar lawsuit?

A: An experienced personal injury attorney can help patients suffering from Benicar-related gastrointestinal injuries pursue compensation for a wide variety of economic and non-economic damages, including medical expenses; wages lost as a result of being unable to attend work; loss of earning potential if symptoms prevent you from going back to work; and pain and suffering.
back to top