Recent studies indicate that abdominal pain associated with Benicar, may
be related solely to that drug rather than being a side effect of all
angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)- drugs designed to relax blood vessels
and lower blood pressure. Many patients have reported suffering significant
Benicar side effects including sprue-like enteropathy, causing serious
abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea.
The study, conducted by a Columbia University research team and published
in the October 2014 Journal of Clinical Pathology, investigates claims
of possibly life-threatening diarrhea and abdominal pain suffered by patients
taking Benicar, compared with those taking non-olmesartan ARBs.
Roughly forty patients were evaluated who were taking ARBs and scheduled
for gastrointestinal endoscopy for severe abdominal pain. Of these, approximately
half were using Benicar and half were taking non-olmesartan drugs.
The team determined that fifty percent of the patients taking Benicar and
other non-olmesartan drugs experienced abdominal pain or other sprue-like
enteropathy symptoms. Of those patients using other ARBs, however, only
one-fifth of patients suffered from these issues. From this data, researchers
were able to conclude that use of olmesartan drugs alone, was associated
with sprue-like enteropathy symptoms. Additionally, patients using other
ARB medications were at the same risk of developing sprue-like enteropathy
as individuals suffering from abdominal pain who were not using any of
Furthermore, the researchers were able to ascertain that, statistically,
there is no variance between patients experiencing abdominal taking Benicar
and controls for any other anomaly.
Benicar Abdominal Pain
For the past two years, the ABR Benicar, has been associated with several
symptoms consistent with sprue-like enteropathy. A myriad of symptoms
has been reported by patients including, ongoing diarrhea, extreme abdominal
pain, and weight loss.
Although Benicar received FDA approval on April 5, 2002, the first published
account calling attention to possible detrimental abdominal risks caused
by the drug was not released until August 2012. Not until July 2013, did
the FDA release its initial warning on the chance of developing sprue-like
enteropathy, apprising healthcare providers of the evident connection
between the medication and abdominal pain. The agency advised that it
might be months or years after a patient begins using the medication before
these symptoms manifest themselves.
Abdominal problems have been reported with all medications containing olmesartan
as an active ingredient, including Benicar HCT, Azor and Tribenzor- all
of which are manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo. It is uncertain if other
ARBs such as Teveten, Cozar, and Avapro cause similar symptoms.
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