A new lawsuit has been filed over Benicar, a medication used to treat patients with high blood pressure. An Oklahoma woman alleges that the drug, manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo, caused sprue-like enteropathy, intestinal problems causing chronic diarrhea. The lawsuit filed on her behalf alleges the plaintiff suffers from chronic intestinal damage and malnutrition resulting from Benicar use.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was prescribed Benicar in 2013 to treat her hypertension and lower the overall risk of cardiovascular events. She alleges that she took the drug as directed and was never informed about the risk of sprue-like enteropathy. After starting the drug, the plaintiff experienced nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, malabsorption, malnutrition, villous atrophy, sprue-like enteropathy, colitis and dehydration.
The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff underwent emergency intervention and faces substantial medical bills. The suit alleges that Daiichi Sankyo failed to warn the plaintiff or her physician about the risk of sprue-like enteropathy with Benicar.
In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that drugs like Benicar may present a risk of sprue-like enteropathy. The warning label was updated to reflect this risk. The agency identified 23 cases of late-onset diarrhea and significant weight loss associated with the use of Benicar and related drugs. In 2012, Mayo Clinic published a case series of patients who developed sprue-like enteropathy associated with Benicar; 22 patients were documented between 2008 and 2011.
The lawsuit is joining similar cases in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). An MDL is when many lawsuits with common allegations are brought together in one court before one judge; consolidating lawsuits in this manner helps make proceedings more efficient because it eliminates duplicate discovery.