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Benicar Side Effects FAQs

Q: What is Benicar?

Benicar is a medication used to treat high blood pressure. The drug is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) that prevents the body from absorbing substances that cause tightening of the blood vessels. As a result, blood vessels remain more open and blood pressure stays lower. The benefits of low blood pressure include a decreased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Benicar is manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. as a brand name version of the generic drug olmesartan medoxomil. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medication in 2002 to treat high blood pressure. With over 11 million prescriptions written each year, Benicar is very popular in the United States.

Q: What are some common side effects of Benicar?

Like many medications, Benicar can cause side effects. Common Benicar side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody urine
  • Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Congestion and sinus issues

Q: What are some serious complications associated with Benicar?

In July of 2013, the FDA announced that Benicar may cause a gastrointestinal (GI) issue known as sprue-like enteropathy. Symptoms of the condition include severe, continual diarrhea with significant weight loss. It may take several months or even years of Benicar use for this condition to develop. Enteropathy can become quite serious, potentially requiring hospitalization. The FDA advises patients experiencing unexplained enteropathy-like symptoms to immediately discontinue the use of Benicar.

The medical community became aware of the possible connection between Benicar and gastrointestinal issues when two patients in a Mayo Clinic study on sprue-like enteropathy mentioned that their symptoms improved after they stopped using Benicar. As a result, doctors overseeing the study had their patients stop using Benicar. All of these patients' symptoms improved soon after discontinuing the use of the medication. The Mayo Clinic study was published and forwarded to the FDA.

Q: Does Benicar have a black box warning?

The FDA's most serious warning for medications is known as a black box warning. Benicar has a black box warning that cautions pregnant mothers to avoid using or to stop using Benicar as it may cause harm or even death to unborn babies. The FDA advises that pregnant mothers with high blood pressure should consult with their healthcare professional for alternative methods of lowering their blood pressure.

Q: Can Daiichi Sankyo Inc. be held liable for Benicar side effects?

Under product liability law, manufacturers and sellers have a duty to ensure that their products are free from any unreasonable defects or dangers. If a product is unreasonably defective or dangerous, consumers can sue the manufacturer and/or seller for any harm caused by the defective product.

Since the Mayo Clinic study's revelation that Benicar may cause severe GI issues, numerous product liability lawsuits have been filed against Daiichi. Many of these Benicar lawsuits allege that Benicar has a design defect. Specifically, they allege that there is an inherent flaw in the chemical makeup of Benicar that causes the GI issues.

In addition, plaintiffs also allege that Benicar carries defective warnings. Manufacturers and sellers must provide consumers with adequate information about any significant risks or potential dangers associated with a product. Here, patients allege that Daiichi failed to provide adequate information about the possibility of GI issues-most notably sprue-like enteropathy-arising from the use of Benicar.

Q: What are the benefits of filing a lawsuit?

If you have been injured by Benicar, you may be able to turn to the legal system for help. If the lawsuit is successful, a plaintiff can receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In addition, if a plaintiff can prove that the manufacturer and/or seller acted in a deliberately wrongful manner, the court may award punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are an additional penalty levied against a guilty party for their knowing disregard for the safety of others.

If you're considering a legal action over a Benicar injury, consult with a product liability attorney to evaluate your options. Some states have statutes of limitations (time limits) for filing product liability claims. A product liability lawyer can help you organize and file your claim in a timely manner. To learn more, get a free consultation from an experienced attorney.

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