Patients take Benicar to control their blood pressure or hypertension, and to treat other medical conditions. Although the medication has given relief to many patients, some patients have suffered serious complications, including chronic diarrhea, after taking the drug. Affected patients may be eligible to file a Louisiana Benicar lawsuit to seek compensation for their injuries.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Louisiana. 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.
Blood Pressure Basics
Not everyone who has high blood pressure needs to take medication. The heart pumps blood through the arteries with a certain amount of force, and health care providers measure the force during and between beats, and the two numbers are the blood pressure reading. When blood pressure rises, it can damage the walls of the blood vessels, or lead to heart or kidney problems, so controlling it is an important part of staying healthy. Doctors may recommend lifestyle modifications such as eating a low-fat diet, exercising, eliminating tobacco use and limiting alcohol and salt. However, the presence of other risk factors may indicate a need to take medication, as well. Patients who have already sustained organ damage or who are at risk for other diseases may require a combination of medications.
The American Heart Association explains that arteries constrict in response to the chemical angiotensin, which is naturally present in the body. In some people with narrowed arteries, the additional force necessary to pump the blood could raise the pressure and put a strain on the heart. Some medications reduce the amount of angiotensin in the body, while others block its effects. A doctor may determine that one of these types of medications could be beneficial in relaxing and opening the vessels and lowering blood pressure.
How Does Benicar Work?
Approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, Benicar has become a popular option for controlling high blood pressure. Also called olmesartan medoxomil, Benicar is an angiotensin receptor blocker. This type of medication prevents the release of angiotensin II, a chemical in the body that can cause the blood vessels to narrow and tighten, increasing blood pressure. Benicar is designed to help the blood vessels relax and widen so that blood can flow more freely without the buildup of pressure.
Side Effects Linked to Benicar
In 2013, the FDA released a safety announcement warning doctors and patients of potential intestinal problems associated with Benicar. According to this drug safety communication, 23 patients had reported gastrointestinal symptoms so severe as to be confused with celiac disease. Called sprue-like enteropathy, these symptoms include chronic diarrhea, often accompanied with weight loss and hospitalization. When patients stopped taking Benicar, their symptoms began to subside.
One common symptom is severe and chronic diarrhea that may be debilitating. The Mayo Clinic reported that patients taking Benicar also suffered symptoms such as the following:
- Abdominal pain
Sudden, unexplained weight loss is common for people who suffer from sprue-like enteropathy due to the inability to get adequate nutrition. The FDA warns that Benicar may not cause any problems for months, or even years, after a person begins taking it.
Benicar Lawsuits Filed
Benicar lawsuits allege that, because there was no information relating to sprue-like enteropathy symptoms provided by the manufacturers, many doctors did not suspect that Benicar could be the source of their patients’ severe side effects. As a result, people kept taking it while working with their physicians to uncover a source of the symptoms. Once the medication was identified as the problem, discontinuing the medication was enough to restore health for many. However, many people are now claiming that the prolonged, severe diarrhea led to permanent organ damage.
In one case, a woman claims that the symptoms she experienced while taking Benicar led to kidney failure. WebMD explains that it is the kidneys’ job to control and regulate fluids and electrolytes in the system. They filter the waste out of the blood and send it to the bladder so it can be eliminated. Severe dehydration or malnutrition can cause reversible or permanent kidney damage. When the toxins are not removed from the blood, the results can be fatal.
How a Louisiana 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 Louisiana Benicar lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
Contact Us for More Information
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Louisiana. 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 Louisiana today.