Benicar and Sprue-Like
Benicar is a high-blood pressure medication that has been linked to causing a rare condition: sprue-like enteropathy. This disease attacks your intestinal villi, significantly affecting your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and sending food and drink through your system much faster than is normal or healthy.
Case Quick Facts
Benicar is an angiotensin II blood pressure medication that works to reduce high blood pressure. The active ingredient, which is unique to the Benicar product, olmesartan medoxomil, is broken down in the gastrointestinal tract. In 2013, after evaluating a number of adverse event reports, the FDA warned that Benicar can cause sprue-like enteropathy or olmesartan-induced enteropathy. This condition damages the villi in the small intestine, prohibiting the body from absorbing vital nutrients.
Sprue-like enteropathy or olmesartan-induced enteropathy can cause severe symptoms all leading to the potential need for hospitalization and use of feeding tubes. These symptoms include:
- Chronic, severe diarrhea
- Abdominal pain/cramping/bloating
- Extreme, unintentional weight loss
- Villous atrophy (identified with biopsy)
The active ingredient in Benicar, olmesartan medoxomil, is what has been linked to causing sprue-like enteropathy. That ingredient is found in four of the Benicar product lines, Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor. All of these products are made by Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
The Benicar litigation has been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation in New Jersey Federal Court. On August 1, 2017, Daiichi Sankyo announced it had agreed to pay up to $300 million to settle all qualifying cases in the MDL. The settlement is ongoing, however, the deadline for new plaintiff entry has passed and GoldenbergLaw is no longer able to accept new Benicar cases.
If you have questions about the Benicar lawsuit, our lawyers are available to talk you through the case.Do I Qualify?
E.V. Marietta, et al. Immunopathogenesis of olmesartan-associated enteropathy, 2015
In Marietta, the authors reviewed biopsies of the intestine for individuals taking olmesartan. They found that there was an increase of over expression of certain cells that results in damage to the villi in the small intestine as compared to the individuals not taking olmesartan.
Rubio-Tapia, et al. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2012
The Rubio-Tapia study, released by a number of physicians at the Mayo Clinic in 2012, was the preeminent study on olmesartan-induced enteropathy. The physicians identified the condition in a number of their patients and discovered that when taking the patients off Benicar, the symptoms resolved shortly thereafter, thus linking the drug use to the condition.
Basson, Mickael, et al. Severe Malabsorption Associated with Olmesartan: A French Nationwide Cohort Study, 2015
The Bassan study was a 2015 cohort study that reviewed data from the French National Health Insurance claim database. The authors found that after reviewing 4,546,680 patients, there was an increased risk of hospitalization from malabsorption, a condition of olmesartan-induced enteropathy, with olmesartan users. The rate of risk substantially increased the longer the user was taking olmesartan to the point where if the individual was on the drug.
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