The Nature of the Drug: Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) is a blood-pressure medication manufactured by the Japanese company Daiichi Sankyo Company Limited. The FDA approved Benicar in 2002, making it one of several blood-pressure medications (including Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and some generics) that contain the same active ingredient. Benicar is an Angiotensin Receptor Blocker (ARBs), which is a class of drugs that prevent the hormone angiotensin from constricting blood vessels so as to raise blood pressure.

The Hazards of Benicar: Benicar can lead to a dangerous intestinal condition called sprue-like enteropathy, which mimics Celiac disease. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, nausea, and substantial weight loss; victims can starve to death if not given proper medical care.

Dr. Joseph Murray of the Mayo Clinic helped link sprue-like enteropathy to Benicar use. He studied twenty-two patients who took Benicar and experienced symptoms of Celiac disease. The patients did not respond to a gluten-free diet (a treatment for Celiac disease), and they lacked a crucial blood marker of Celiac disease. But all patients experienced symptom relief when they discontinued Benicar. In turned out that the risk of the drug’s causing sprue-like enteropathy is so great that in 2013, the FDA required Daiichi Sankyo to provide a warning label with Benicar.
Another potentially deadly, though rare, side effect of Benicar is villous atrophy. The condition occurs when the intestine loses its texture because its tissue decays, thereby diminishing the sufferer’s ability to absorb nutrients. Malnutrition and starvation can result if the malady is left untreated.

Many former Benicar users have filed suit against Daiichi Sankyo since 2014.

To Obtain Legal Relief: Persons who have taken Benicar and experienced sprue-like enteropathy, villous atrophy, or other injuries that they suspect Benicar caused, may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.