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 North Carolina Benicar lawsuit to seek compensation for their injuries.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina. 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 High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a pervasive medical condition that can result in serious health ramifications if left unchecked. According to the American Heart Association, when the force of blood against the arterial walls is too high, patients can suffer from a range of ill-effects. These include heart and kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and peripheral artery disease, or the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. Approximately one in three adults over the age of 20 suffer from high blood pressure, and in many cases there are no obvious symptoms.
Benicar is one drug commonly prescribed to lessen the damage caused by high blood pressure. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB), according to the Cleveland Clinic. Pressure within the arteries can be eased by relaxing the vessels, and ARBs accomplish this by blocking angiotensin II from pairing with its associated receptors. This helps dilate blood vessels and ultimately reduces damage to arterial walls and organs. ARBs are often prescribed to patients unable to tolerate other types of blood thinners.
Sprue-Like Enteropathy Risk Prompts FDA Label Change
While a number of patients have experienced relief from high blood pressure as a result of taking Benicar, many others have suffered from serious intestinal side effects referred to as sprue-like enteropathy. Normally seen in those afflicted with celiac disease, symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include chronic diarrhea and weight loss, abdominal bloating, vomiting and nausea. If left untreated significant changes to the intestine can occur, which may impact the absorption of nutrients.
Reports of these effects prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve changes to Benicar’s labeling to include the risk of sprue-like enteropathy. The FDA also cautions health care providers to discontinue Benicar usage in those patients exhibiting these symptoms with no underlying cause. However, properly diagnosing drug-induced sprue-like enteropathy can be difficult, as symptoms may not appear for many years until after starting a Benicar regimen.
Additional Side Effects Linked to Benicar
In addition to intestinal complications, Medline Plus lists the following Benicar side effects:
- Unexplained swelling (which can affect the face, tongue, hands, feet and lower legs)
- Trouble breathing and/or swallowing
Patients with certain medical conditions should also refrain from taking Benicar. For instance, those who’ve experienced liver disease or heart failure in the past are urged to tell their doctors before taking this medication. Certain medications can also cause adverse reactions in those taking Benicar, such as some diabetes drugs.
Benicar Lawsuits Filed
Medpage Today reports on research from the Mayo Clinic, which illustrated the serious risks posed to those prescribed Benicar. Over the course of two years, 22 patients with symptoms similar to celiac disease and who were also taking Benicar were surveyed. When celiac testing returned negative results, doctors probed links between the patients’ symptoms (including weight loss and diarrhea) and Benicar. Upon discontinuing the drug, all patients showed significant improvement.
Some patients injured when taking Benicar have opted to file lawsuits claiming manufacturer negligence in not disclosing all potential side effects of the drug. This lack of disclosure prevented both patients as well as the medical community from making informed decisions regarding whether the benefit of the drug would be worth the associated risk.
How a North Carolina 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
- The permanency of the injury
- 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
Patients who have suffered severe side effects after taking Benicar, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the drug, are encouraged to seek the advice of an North Carolina Benicar lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
Contact Us for More Information
For more information, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina. 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 North Carolina today.