Benicar® Warnings From The Drug’s Manufacturer Daiichi Sankyo
When a new medication enters the market, patients should always take a moment to review the warnings and intended uses before they get a prescription from their doctor. Developers of these medications are required to conduct safety trials and make sure consumers are just as aware of the dangers of the medication as the benefits—and for the company Daiichi Sankyo, this means advising patients about the potential dangers of Benicar®.
Warnings About Benicar from the Drug’s Manufacturer
This prescription high blood pressure medication comes in two forms: Benicar and Benicar HCT® (containing hydrochlorothiazide). While both medications can be used in combination with other hypertension drugs, the company warns that Benicar HCT should not be the first medicine prescribed to a patient for the treatment of high blood pressure. In addition, Daiichi Sankyo advises that patients should not take Benicar or Benicar HCT if:
- They’re pregnant, as Benicar and Benicar HCT both have the potential to can cause harm or death to a fetus.
- They’re breastfeeding, as Benicar and Benicar HCT can pass into breast milk and have the potential to harm children.
- They’re taking aliskiren medications and have diabetes or kidney problems.
- They have low urine output or are unable to urinate.
- They’re allergic to other drugs containing sulfonamides.
- They have kidney disease or kidney failure.
- They’re allergic to any of the ingredients in Benicar or Benicar HCT.
- They’re an infant under the age of one.
Daiichi Sankyo Acknowledges Common Side Effects of Benicar
The company has addressed some of the most commonly-reported side effects, including:
- Low blood pressure. Patients may suffer low blood pressure, or hypotension, causing them to feel dizzy, disoriented, or faint.
- Cold symptoms. Several patients developed upper respiratory tract infections and nausea while being treated with Benicar, as well as a presence of increased uric acid in the blood,
- Kidney problems. Patients can develop kidney issues or suffer a worsening of kidney disease. Patients should tell their doctors if they have kidney problems before starting Benicar, and report any unexplained weight gain or swelling in their feet, hands, and ankles immediately. Doctors should perform blood tests and kidney function tests before prescribing these drugs.
- Intestinal problems. There have been increasing reports of gastric side effects after taking Benicar, including chronic diarrhea and malnutrition that can result in significant weight loss. These effects might develop months or even years after taking Benicar or Benicar HCT, and patients are advised to seek medical treatment right away if they experience severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Dehydration. Benicar HCT contains a powerful diuretic that can cause some patients to experience drastic changes in sodium and potassium levels as their fluids are passed. Patients who suffer dry mouth, extreme thirst, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat, mental confusion, dizziness, seizures, vomiting, decreased urine output, or extreme fatigue should seek medical help immediately.
- Vision problems. The diuretic ingredient in Benicar HCT can also have an adverse effect on a patient’s eyes, causing eye pain, blurred vision, and even temporary blindness. These problems may occur within a few hours up to a few weeks after starting the medication.
The company has advised patients who are suffering from persistent side effects to contact their physicians at once to adjust or discontinue their dose of Benicar. The drug maker has also warned patients not to discontinue medication before speaking with a medical professional, as this can cause changes in the body that may cause blood pressure to rise uncontrollably.