Product News and Recalls

Blood pressure drug Benicar linked to problems

A report from the Mayo Clinic links blood pressure drug Benicar to stomach problems including chronic diarrhea, vomiting, intestinal inflammation and weight loss, according to ABC News.

In some cases, the symptoms were so bad that patients required hospitalization.

The story describes the symptoms as being similar to those of celiac disease. The typical treatment for treating celiac disease is putting patients on a gluten-free diet.

But in the case of Benicar, that had no effect. And the patients’ symptoms improved dramatically once they stopped taking the medication.

Benicar is the brand name for the drug olmesartan. The story describes it as part of a class of high blood pressure treatments called angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 68 million Americans have high blood pressure. Pharmacies dispensed the drug to about 1.2 million Americans in 2010.

The report quotes a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist as saying the side effects occurred “almost exclusively” in patients taking olmesartan, but not other ARBs.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns, and before making any changes in medication. You should also consult with a lawyer if you have injuries connected with Benicar.

See the story here:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/blood-pressure-drug-olmesartan-linked-gi-side-effects/story?id=16620314