Around 70 million adults in America have high blood pressure. That equates to one in three adults, and about half of these people use medication to control their hypertension. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, chronic heart failure, and kidney disease.
Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) is a common prescription drug used to control hypertension. While the drug does lower the risk of cardiovascular problems, this may come at a higher cost than anyone anticipated.
Benicar has been linked to severe gastrointestinal problems. The conditions caused by Benicar include sprue-like enteropathy and villious atrophy, which destroys the finger-like villi in the intestinal that absorb nutrients from food. Symptoms can include chronic diarrhea, malnutrition and weight loss.
The side effects of Benicar are very similar to Celiac disease. Because of this, doctors can misdiagnose these side effects, which can have serious long-term health effects. A Food and Drug Administration report based on data from the Mayo Clinic called Benicar’s side effects “life-threatening.”
Signs and symptoms
While symptoms improved after stopping use of the drug, damage to the gastrointestinal system can be permanent. In addition to these severe effects, Benicar has been associated with:
- Abdominal pain
- Kidney damage
- Liver damage
- Chest pain
- Hair loss
- Angioedema (swelling of the skin)
Damage caused by the medication is not only serious in the short term, resulting in severe weight loss and malnutrition, but the long-term effects can accrue medical bills staggeringly quickly. When the villi of the intestine are damaged, it can become impossible for you to absorb necessary nutrients from food. In extreme cases, malnutrition can result in permanent organ damage and death.
Furthermore, Benicar may lead to fetal toxicity, making the drug especially dangerous to pregnant women. If the drug passes through the placental membrane, it could lead to developmental defects later. It could also potentially cause the death of your child.
If you are taking Benicar, we advise you talk to your doctor immediately. Other medications with less severe side effects are available. If you have experienced any of the side effects listed above from prescription Benicar and have found it necessary to seek medical attention, Crandall & Pera Law is here to help you. Please contact our firm to schedule a consultation at one of our multiple office locations throughout Ohio and Kentucky.