As of very recently, the number of plaintiffs enrolled in the Benicar multidistrict
litigation (MDL) located in New Jersey has grown to more than 1,000. When
there are a large number of plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit against
the same defendant, and the claims involved similar facts, an MDL may
be created. This allows one judge to hear the cases—a judge who
is already an expert on the subject of the MDL or will soon become one.
An MDL also helps reduce duplicating discovery and prevents contradicting rulings.
What is Benicar and How Does It Work?
Benicar, manufactured by Japanese drug company Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., is
used to treat high blood pressure. The drug was approved by the FDA in
2002, and a whopping eleven million prescriptions have been written for
the drug annually over the past few years. Benicar treats high blood pressure
by dilating the blood vessels. Benicar contains the active ingredient
Olmesartan, which blocks angiotensin II receptors. Angiotensin II is a
natural protein produced by the body which narrows blood vessels and makes
it much more difficult for the heart to send blood throughout the arteries.
While Benicar appears to be effective in lowering blood pressure, it also
appears to come with some very serious side effects.
Serious Side Effects of Benicar
One of those side effects includes severe gastrointestinal disorders. Unfortunately,
many patients are misdiagnosed with Celiac disease, which has many of
the same symptoms. Celiac disease prevents a patient from absorbing nutrients
from their food, leading to weight loss, chronic diarrhea and malnutrition.
Use of Benicar can lead to the same sprue-like enteropathy symptoms as
Celiac disease and can damage the intestine walls as well. Other common
side effects associated with Benicar include: disorders of the liver,
disorders of the kidneys, pain in the chest and abdomen, chronic vomiting,
an irregular heartbeat, arthritis symptoms, skin rashes and an irregular
heartbeat. In a Mayo Clinic study, a person taking Benicar lost 125 pounds
as a result.
Does Benicar Contribute to Heart Disease?
The FDA required the manufacturer of Benicar to place a warning on Benicar’s
labeling which states the drug can be associated with serious gastrointestinal
symptoms, as well as a black box warning for fetal toxicity, meaning the
drug should never be taken by an expectant mother. In mid-2014 a safety
review was completed by the FDA regarding potential risks of heart disease
associated with Benicar. The agency concluded there was no clear evidence
regarding Benicar-related heart disease, nonetheless the FDA asked Benicar’s
manufacturer to include information related to the cardiovascular risk
research. Many of the current complaints lodged against Benicar manufacturer,
Daiichi Sankyo, allege failure to disclose known dangers of Benicar.
Doctors Unaware of the Link between Benicar and Sprue-Like Enteropathy
Doctors were unaware of the link between Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy
for many years, thus the misdiagnosis of Celiac disease among those with
symptoms of rapid weight loss and chronic diarrhea. According to the Mayo
Clinic, Celiac disease is an immune response to gluten in the diet. Patients
with Celiac disease will find their symptoms greatly relieved once gluten
is removed from their diet. Unfortunately, removing gluten from the diet
of a person suffering sprue-like enteropathy from Benicar, will not receive
any relief from their symptoms by removing gluten from their diet.
Contact Our National Benicar Lawsuit Lawyers
If you or a loved one has experienced severe gastrointestinal issues, such
as sprue-like enteropathy, chronic diarrhea, or significant weight loss
after taking Benicar, it could be beneficial to speak to one of our knowledgeable
Benicar attorneys in order to ensure your rights are protected. To learn
more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call
the Philadelphia class action lawyers at Golomb & Honik today at
1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential
The national dangerous drug lawyers at Golomb & Honik have successfully
represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
throughout the United States.