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Benicar Lawsuit Alleges Physical and Psychological Damage

Sep 30, 2016

In a lawsuit against drug maker Daiichi Sankyo, a man alleges that the blood-pressure medication Benicar (olmesartan) caused him psychological damage and a variety of physical injuries.

The lawsuit is a part of the multidistrict litigation (MDL) underway in New Jersey federal court, Top Class Actions reports. Nearly 1,700 similar lawsuits are currently in progress.

The plaintiff, Danny, is 60 years old. He began taking Benicar and/or Benicar HCT in April 2009. The lawsuit alleges that he suffered physical injuries and economic losses including: "nausea, abdominal pain, urgent diarrhea, bloody stool, weight loss, loss of appetite, dizziness, olmesartan associated enteropathy, symptoms and problems associated with irritable bowel syndrome." The economic impact includes lost earnings, lost earning capacity, and past, present, and future medical expenses. In addition, Danny said he suffers emotional distress and "loss of enjoyment of life," according to Top Class Actions.

Olmesartan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). The drug works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily. Olmesartan is the active ingredient in the brand-name drugs Benicar, Azor, and Tribenzor. Daiichi Sankyo refers to these four drugs as the Benicar Family. Olmesartan is prescribed alone and in combination medications like Benicar HCT.

Benicar lowers blood pressure by dilating blood vessels to allow the blood to travel more easily through the vessels, causing less strain on the heart. Known Benicar side effects include joint and muscle pain, back pain, weakness, dizziness, itchiness, rash and upper respiratory infections. Benicar's more severe side effects primarily involve the gastrointestinal tract.

Villous atrophy and sprue-like enteropathy, two of the serious side effects, can affect the body's ability to absorb nutrients, resulting in malnutrition. When patients taking Benicar have chronic, uncontrollable diarrhea, they lose vital nutrients and fluid. Some patients experience excessive weight loss and patients may have to be hospitalized for treatment of malnutrition and dehydration.

Patients who must deal with chronic diarrhea often develop fear and anxiety about the possibility of uncontrollable bowel movements when they are out in public. They often may isolate themselves and become afraid of leaving home because they may not have immediate access to a bathroom when they need one. Some people have to stop working because of the severity and frequency of the diarrhea. Many Benicar users with these debilitating conditions develop depression and anxiety.

Danny's lawsuit contains multiple counts, alleging design defect, failure to warn, negligence, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, breaches of express and implied warranties, and violation of Iowa consumer protection laws. H has requested a jury trial and seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, court costs, and any additional relief deemed proper by the court.

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