Blood thinning medications like Benicar are commonly prescribed to treat patients suffering from high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). However, the medication has been linked to a number of potentially severe side effects in the form of severe gastrointestinal issues, including chronic diarrhea, and other complications. Affected patients may be eligible to file a Kentucky Benicar lawsuit to seek compensation for their injuries.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Kentucky. 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.
How Benicar Works
The University of Kentucky states that hypertension is a medical condition characterized by a greater than normal force of blood against arterial walls. This increased force can damage the heart and kidneys, and may also cause damage to the arteries themselves. Patients with hypertension face a higher risk of developing serious conditions including heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.
Benicar is used to diminish the effects of hypertension in patients. This is due to olmesartan, the drug’s active ingredient, which reduces abnormally high blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels. According to the Mayo Clinic, olmesartan works by blocking the angiotensin hormone, which is responsible for restricting blood vessels. This mitigates the negative effects that high blood pressure can have on arteries, while also boosting oxygen and blood supplies to the heart.
Side Effects Linked to Benicar
Although many patients have experienced relief from high blood pressure when taking Benicar, others have been exposed to a range of often serious side effects and complications as a result of the medication. Medline Plus lists the following side effects that have been associated with Benicar in the past:
- Swelling of the lower extremities (legs, ankles, feet), hands, face or throat
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Dry or hoarse throat
In addition to these risks, Benicar has also been known to cause gastrointestinal complications referred to as sprue-like enteropathy. Normally seen in patients suffering from celiac disease, sprue-like enteropathy may involve chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss, malnourishment/dehydration, mucosal inflammation and villous atrophy. These effects may take years to manifest, which inhibits an accurate diagnosis. Accordingly, many patients suffering from drug-induced sprue-like enteropathy fail to get proper treatment.
A study cited by the National Institutes of Health details the results of 22 patients afflicted with sprue-like enteropathy while taking Benicar. Once testing established that these symptoms were not caused by celiac disease, patient usage of Benicar was discontinued. In all cases, patients recovered from their symptoms, and follow-up biopsies showed that 18 people experienced improvement once Benicar regimens were ceased.
Benicar and the FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been monitoring the complications associated with Benicar for some time. In addition to reviewing claims regarding cardiovascular risks linked to Benicar, the agency has also reviewed adverse events related to significant intestinal complications associated with the drug. This review culminated in the approval of labeling changes referencing the potential for sprue-like enteropathy to make patients aware of possibly damaging side effects. The FDA also warns medical professionals to discontinue the use of Benicar in patients presenting these symptoms if no other underlying cause can be found.
Benicar Lawsuit Filed
Patients who have been harmed while taking Benicar allege that Daiichi Sankyo Inc. and Forest Laboratories, the manufacturer of the drug, should have alerted both the general public as well as the medical community of possible ill-effects. Failure to do so has many patients claiming that the drug makers prevented them from making an informed decision regarding their care. Many also claim that the manufacturers minimized the risks of Benicar when marketing the drug. These claims are highlighted in previously filed lawsuits, one of which involved two patients citing intestinal injuries incurred after being prescribed Benicar. Both patients were hospitalized due to their injuries and must now undergo continuous medical monitoring to prevent their conditions from worsening.
How a Kentucky 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 a Kentucky Benicar lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
Contact Us for More Information
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Kentucky. 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 Kentucky today.