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May 14, 2023

Benicar Warning – What You Should Know

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Benicar Warning – What You Should Know

One of the reasons many people do not take the blood pressure medication are the terrible side effects they experience.

In August 2017 a $300 million settlement was reached with Daiichi Sankyo on behalf of individuals who filed lawsuits.

The plaintiffs where suffering sprue-like enteropathy and other gastrointestinal issues from Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor.

Thousands of claims have been being filed against Daiichi Sankyo (the manufacturer of Benicar). Filed by people who have suffered sprue-like enteropathy and other gastrointestinal issues as a result of taking Benicar.

Attorneys state that if doctors and patients had known the risks, they would have used a blood pressure medication other than Benicar. Patient’s would have been closely monitored for symptoms similar to celiac disease.

Glenn Gormley, Daiichi Sankyo’s Executive Chairman and President, said, “We believe a settlement is in the best interest of all, and will allow us to continue our focus on bringing to market innovative medicines that help people live healthy and meaningful lives.

In settling these lawsuits, Daiichi Sankyo did not admit any wrongdoing.

What is Benicar

Benicar (marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor) is a blood pressure medication that blocks certain receptors, known as angiotensin receptors.

Angiotensin II is a hormone that causes the blood vessels to constrict.

By inhibiting the action of this hormone (as well as reducing the secretion and production of other hormones involved in regulating blood pressure), blood vessels become dilated.

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Study on Benicar Side Effects

A study conducted at the Mayo Clinic by Dr. Josephy Murray linked the development of sprue-like enteropathy to the use of Benicar.

Sprue-like enteropathy is a disease that produces severe gastrointestinal symptoms; such as chronic diarrhea, significant weight loss, nausea, and overall malnutrition.

Dr. Murray conducted the study on 22 patients who were using Benicar and experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, initially diagnosed as Celiac disease.

However, the patients in the study were not responding to a gluten-free diet, a common form of treatment for Celiac disease, and did not have detectable tissue transglutaminase in their blood, which is used to positively diagnose celiac disease.

Upon discontinuation of Benicar, all 22 patients experienced relief from the gastrointestinal symptoms as well as weight gain.

Dr. Murray concluded that the Benicar being taken by the patients was directly linked to the gastrointestinal symptoms the patients were experiencing.

Dr. Murray’s study and findings on the link between Benicar use and sprue-like enteropathy was recently published online in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and began the process of Benicar lawyers filing Benicar Lawsuits.

FDA Warning

In 2006, the FDA sent Daiichi-Sankyo a warning letter about “numerous claims…that suggest that Benicar and Benicar HCT are more effective than other angiotensin II receptor antagonists.

He adds, ”adding that “references provided in support of these claims do not constitute substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience to support these claims”.

It should be noted that Benicar is the only drug in its class known to cause sprue-like enteropathy. In 2013, the drugmaker received another warning letter from the FDA, stating that “promotional material [for Benicar] is misleading because it makes unsubstantiated efficacy claims.”

What is patently obvious is that, regardless of whether or not Daiichi-Sankyo actually knew about the risks of its flagship product (although it certainly should have), their focus was on maximizing sales and profits at any cost rather than any concern for patient safety.

Benicar Side Effects

You should call medical emergency help if you have one of the following signs of allergic reaction:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • A light-headed feeling, like you might pass out
  • Little or no urination
  • Fast heart rate
  • Swelling in your hands or feet
  • High potassium level – nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of movement.

Less Common Benicar side effects may include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Body aches or pain
  • Chills
  • Cough or cough producing mucus
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Ear congestion
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of voice
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

Final Thoughts

After reading the information I believe more than ever we should be our own healthcare surregetes.

I understand that there are medication that can be temporarily used is dangerous hypertension situation. But we must find more natural-remedies to lower our blood pressure down.

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6 Replies to “Benicar Warning – What You Should Know”

    1. Why is olmesartan discontinued?
      [7-3-2013] The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil (marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and generics) can cause intestinal problems known as sprue-like enteropathy.

  1. I do not see the untoward effect of seizures in the lists provided in the article above. I had angioedema and a grand mail seizure from taking Benicar, and spent a night in the ER.

    I later reported the conclusion to the government drug side effect website. My ER doctor said that the newly prescribed ARB Benicar caused the angioedema and the seizure which caused me to bite through my lower lip in my sleep. I was actually having a grand mail seizure a direct result of taking Benicar. This is a bad drug!

  2. I was taking Benicar medication and had to stop because of the side effects I was experiencing: cough, losing my voice, swelling in hands and ankles, backaches legs feeling tired when walking at times, so I should have been included in the suit. They should it prescribing medication that is harmful and damaging to one’s body. Please contact me with mire info. Thanks!

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