Intestinal Damage from Blood Pressure Drug: Benicar Gets Warnings Change

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

As drug product litigation lawyers, we always want to disseminate important news about dangerous drugs. On July 3, 2013, the FDA issued a safety warning regarding the blood pressure lowering drug Benicar (generic name olmesartan medoxomil), as causing a medical condition called sprue-like enteropathy. This is an extremely severe medical condition involving intestinal damage which is hard to cure.

We are working up for a suit against the manufacturer of Benicar, Daiichi Sankyo, the case of man who had used Benicar for several years and suddenly was stricken with uncontrollable diarrhea. Several doctors were unable to diagnose the cause until a well-read gastroenterologist matched his symptoms with a major article by doctors at the Mayo Clinic. Mayo reported on 22 patients who had developed this severe sprue enteropathy who had used Benicar. (cite 6/21/12 Mayo Clinic Proceedings). These people had mucosal inflammation, villous atrophy and collagen deposits.

We would welcome hearing about other Benicar cases since the injury seems to be a signature one which can be easily traced to the use of Benicar, and with few alternative causes. It remains to be seen when the manufacturer first became aware of this side effect, and it puts them in a bad light liability-wise that the FDA forced them to warn about it. Daiichi Sankyo is one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in Japan, with its US headquarters in New Jersey.

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