Hypertension is a potentially dangerous condition that can become life threatening if left untreated. While some patients are able to get their blood pressure under control through diet and exercise, others require additional help through the use of prescription medications. Benicar is one such drug that is known to be effective in reducing blood pressure. The drug, however, has been linked to severe gastrointestinal complications and other side effects. Affected patients may be eligible to file an Arkansas Benicar lawsuit to seek compensation for their injuries.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas. We can answer your questions and help you determine whether you have a claim against the drug maker. You could be eligible to recover damages for your condition. If you choose to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can file a Benicar lawsuit on your behalf.
Benicar and Hypertension
According to the Physicians’ Desk Reference, Benicar is a type of hypertension medication called an angiotensin receptor blocker. Approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, Benicar works to lower blood pressure by blocking the body’s release of angiotensin II, a chemical that occurs naturally. This chemical causes the blood vessels to restrict and narrow, preventing the free flow of blood and causing pressure to rise. By preventing the release of angiotensin II, the blood vessels can operate as normal, thus lowering a person’s blood pressure.
While Benicar is most commonly used to treat adults with hypertension, it has also been approved for use in children ages six to 16. According to the drug’s manufacturer, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Benicar was approved for pediatric use in 2010, due in part to the growing demand for a medication to treat children suffering from hypertension caused by obesity.
Potential Benicar Side Effects and Complications
Some of the less serious side effects patients may experience when they take Benicar include:
- Stomach pain
- A rash or itching
- Joint, muscle or back pain
However, those who take Benicar may also experience more severe side effects. These may include symptoms that resemble an allergic reaction, such as:
- Breathing problems
- Hives and a swollen mouth, lips, face or throat
- Dark-colored urine or a change in the amount of urine that is produced
- An irregular heartbeat and chest pain
- Swollen feet, hands and ankles.
Some patients have also reported developing serious intestinal problems, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, weight loss, and difficulty breathing associated with taking Benicar.
Studies Suggest Benicar And Sprue-like-Enteropathy Link
Following approval by the FDA, Benicar became a popular option for the treatment of hypertension, with 10.6 million prescriptions written in 2012 alone. However, some patients and health care professionals began to raise concerns regarding the development of serious gastrointestinal symptoms months and even years after taking the drug. These concerns lead to a study performed from 2008 to 2011 by the Mayo Clinic, in which researchers looked at 22 patients who were treated for chronic diarrhea, weight loss and sprue-like enteropathy while on Benicar. The study suggests that patients complaining of symptoms similar to those seen in celiac disease were not gluten-intolerant, and that the condition went away or improved after discontinuing Benicar.
In 2014, the medical journal Gastroenterology, published a study conducted by French researchers that looked into the association between Benicar and gastrointestinal side effects. In the study, researchers suggested that the risk of severe intestinal issues was increased with the use of Benicar as compared with other types of angiotensin receptor blockers and ACE inhibitors, with the risk increasing in patients who took the drug for more than one year.
FDA Benicar Safety Warning
In 2013, the FDA issued a safety announcement regarding the use of Benicar for treatment of hypertension. In the communication, the FDA stated that it evaluated 23 serious cases that had been received by the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System. Through the evaluation, the FDA found evidence of a link between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy. As a result, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., was required to add a warning describing the risk of intestinal side effects to the drug’s label.
Arkansas Benicar Lawsuit
Patients across the country who allege that they have been hospitalized or seriously injured while taking Benicar have filed lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer. These lawsuits have been centralized into a multidistrict lawsuit in New Jersey. Many of the claims allege that Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. knew of the potential risk for sprue-like enteropathy and gastrointestinal issues, but did not adequately warn patients or doctors before the medication was prescribed, which may have led to the misdiagnosis of these conditions.
How An Arkansas Benicar Lawsuit Attorney Can Help
Drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are accompanied by full and accurate instructions and warnings to guide prescribing doctors and other health care providers in making treatment decisions. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who have been injured by Benicar may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications after taking Benicar, his or her family members may be able to pursue claims for their loved one’s wrongful death. Compensation may include:
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Loss of financial support of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Affected patients are encouraged to speak with an Arkansas Benicar lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
Contact Us For More Information
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Arkansas. You can fill out the form on this page, call us at the number listed at the top of the page, or email us at [email protected].
When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.
See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, and contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today.