Benicar has been found to cause severe intestinal problems in some patients. Specifically, persons taking Benicar have been found to suffer from severe and chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. In the worst cases, patients have experienced precipitous and significant weight loss, have required hospitalization, and have been left with permanent intestinal damage.
Benicar side effects present much like Celiac disease, the affliction caused by intolerance to gluten. The similar presentation has resulted in misdiagnosis and made the discovery of Benicar side effects more difficult. While the drug was approved for use in patients with hypertension in 2002, it was not until 2012 that the public became aware of the risks of taking Benicar.
Described as "sprue-like enteropathy" or colitis, Benicar intestinal problems include chronic diarrhea, severe weight loss, intestinal damage, and malnourishment. These side effects in rare cases may have a sudden onset; more often, Benicar side effects surface over the course of months or years. In the most severe cases, patients require hospitalization and emergency medical care. Symptoms of Benicar side effects include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, severe and chronic diarrhea, and associated weight loss.
Benicar and Benicar HCT are products of Daiichi Sankyo Company, a pharmaceutical company from Japan. Used to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure, Benicar is used to lower the risk of stroke and heart attack. Benicar is an Angiotensin II receptor blocker or ARB class of pharmaceutical. As such, the drug works by blocking a substance in the body that causes the blood vessels to tighten, increasing blood pressure. Benicar makes the blood vessels relax, reducing blood pressure and easing the workload of the heart and arteries, thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Sankyo received FDA approval for Benicar to treat high blood pressure on April 25, 2002. According to the FDA, 1.9 million Americans took Benicar in 2012.
Research indicating a link between severe intestinal damage and Benicar use surfaced in 2012 from the Mayo Clinic. In June of 2012, the prestigious Mayo Clinic published a series of case studies focusing on 22 patients who experienced serious gastrointestinal side effects while taking Benicar.
In each of these cases the presenting symptoms did not respond to any other treatments, such as the treatment for Celiac disease. The study concluded that gastro-intestinal symptoms only subsided when patients ceased taking Benicar for hypertension. Thus, researchers concluded Benicar was to blame for their diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and the resulting weight loss and intestinal damage.
Now, the Mayo Clinic warns patients currently taking Benicar that intestinal problems such as "severe, chronic diarrhea with weight loss may develop months to years after taking this medicine", urging patients to seek medical treatment if they begin to experience these symptoms while taking Benicar.
In some cases, Benicar side effects can surface suddenly and in an extreme form, requiring patients to seek emergency medical care. Short term effects are common; permanent damage to the intestines is not common but has been found to occur as a result of taking Benicar.
The FDA discovered a post market pattern of adverse event reports in patients taking Benicar. These reports showed that severe intestinal problems, mainly persistent and chronic diarrhea, but also vomiting and nausea, can result from taking Benicar. Precipitous weight loss and permanent intestinal damage have also been reported in FDA post market adverse event reports, cataloged in the federal program known as FAERS.
Federal regulators required Sankyo to add a diarrhea warning to the Benicar label in 2013. The label was required to include information about the potential for severe and damaging intestinal problems resulting from Benicar. Benicar is still prescribed to patients in the United States for the treatment of hypertension.
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The FDA Benicar warning was issued in 2013, warning of the side effect of serious intestinal problems such as persistent diarrhea, vomiting and resultant weight loss. Read detailed information about the FDA Benicar warnings here.
Persons and the family members of persons who have suffered from serious intestinal problems such as severe and persistent diarrhea and vomiting, may qualify to file Benicar side effects lawsuit. Contact these attorneys to learn about contingency representation â€“ you'll never pay a legal fee unless they win on your behalf.