Benicar, Azor (Olmesartan)
The law firm of Bennerotte & Associates, P.A., is currently investigating the serious side effects of Olmesartan (sold as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Tribenzor, or Azor). These side effects include dehydration, malnutrition, chronic diarrhea and/or substantial weight loss after prolonged ingestion of Benicar.
Benicar was approved in 2002 by the FDA for treatment of high blood pressure. In June 2012, researchers from the Mayo Clinic released a study of 22 patients who presented for unexplained chronic diarrhea while on Olmesartan. The results of the Mayo study were alarming. Fourteen of the 22 study participants required hospitalization because of chronic diarrhea. The average weight loss was 39 pounds for each person in the study. Stool frequency was extremely high as well, with an average of 6 evacuations per day. The average length of time that study participants were on Olmesartan was 19 months.
The Mayo study and subsequent studies concluded that Olmesartan caused villous atrophy and mucosal inflammation as shown by biopsies of the small intestines of study participants. The villous atrophy in turn leads to dehydration, malnutrition, chronic diarrhea and/or substantial weight loss. However, this and other studies indicate that these side effects will subside within 12 months of discontinuing use of Olmesartan. There are numerous medications other than Olmesartan that can be used to control high blood pressure that do not cause these health issues.
After the Mayo Clinic study and other studies (including the American College of Gastroenterology) showed the definite link between Olmesartan and diarrhea, the FDA ordered the drug manufacturer to add a stronger warning label to this drug regarding these issues in July 2013.
If you have suffered or are suffering from dehydration, malnutrition, chronic diarrhea and/or substantial weight loss while on an Olmesartan drug (Benicar, Benicar HCT, Tribenzor, or Azor), we encourage you to seek medical attention first. Then, we invite you to contact an attorney with the law firm of Bennerotte & Associates, P.A., for a free consultation.