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    Should Benicar Be Banned?


    Jefferson Adams


    • Respected consumer advocacy group Public Citizen is calling for the FDA to ban the sale Benicar, due to the potential for side effects to which Public Citizen refers as 'life-threatening.'


    Image Caption: Photo: CC--Vince

    Celiac.com 01/23/2018 - Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil) is a hypertension drug used for high blood pressure, and which is known to cause numerous side-effects in patients, including dangerous celiac sprue-like enteropathy, and is the subject of numerous lawsuits, and a $300 million settlement.


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    Now the respected consumer advocacy group Public Citizen is calling for the FDA to ban the sale Benicar, due to the potential for side effects to which Public Citizen refers as "life-threatening." According to Public Citizen, originally founded by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, olmesartans risks outweigh any benefits.

    In a November 15 press release following their 20-page petition to the FDA, the organization warned that "Keeping the medication on the market would continue to put hypertension patients' lives at risk for the sake of corporate profits."

    While the FDA has formally acknowledged receiving the petition, there is no indication that any action is forthcoming any time soon. The agency can sometimes take years to act.

    Numerous drug experts note the availability of comparable hypertension drugs that are equally effective in lowering blood pressure without such dire side effects as the sprue-like enteropathy that "leads to severe and chronic diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and weight loss…that often lands a patient in the hospital," noted the petition.

    Sometimes this sprue-like enteropathy is misdiagnosed as a celiac disorder, when in reality it is due to olmesarten use.

    Benicar, together with Azor, Benicar HCT, and Tribenzor, are unique in their association with sprue-like enteropathy. It is why so many plaintiffs reference Benicar defective products in their allegations, and why Public Citizen wants them off the market.

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    Guest posterboy

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    Benicar should definitely be banned! And not only Benicar but the whole class of Artan drugs. See this thread about how Losartan probably caused Villi Blunting in one Celiac. https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/119462-what-else-can-cause-villi-blunting-has-any-body-had-expereince-with-losartan-and-villi-blunting/ Here is the research from AP&T about this topic. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/apt.14176/fullrwhere they conclude quoting "In conclusion, the clinicopathological findings in patients taking ARBs other than olmesartan are similar to those described in olmesartan-associated enteropathy. Therefore, we suggest the possibility of a class effect. Clinicians and pathologists should be aware of ARB-induced gastrointestinal injury because its identification has a drastic impact on the patient's health with no other intervention than ARB suspension."Artan's for BP have a "Class Effect" for those who take them. Olmesartan is also known as Benicar for those who are not aware of this fact if you are confused by the name.

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    Dyani Barber
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    http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/04/12/1123724/bread-seller-lied-jurors-find.html

    Gryphon Myers
    Celiac.com 06/25/2012 - If you have received a celiac disease diagnosis while taking heart pressure medication, it turns out you might not actually have celiac disease. An investigation led by Dr. Joseph Murray has shown that certain blood pressure medication can cause symptoms not unlike those commonly attributed to celiac disease, and going off the drug can stop the symptoms.
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    Sources:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/blood-pressure-drug-olmesartan-linked-gi-side-effects/story?id=16620314#.T-SpQLUXLR9 http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2012-rst/6956.html?rss-feedid=1
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/09/2014 - Does the blood pressure medication Benicar (Olmesartan medoxomil) trigger celiac-like gut symptoms?
    The law firm Levin, Papantonio has filed a lawsuit claiming just that, on behalf of a Texas man who allegedly developed a rare gastrointestinal condition known as sprue-like enteropathy while taking Benicar.
    According to the complaint, Benicar caused the plaintiff to suffer severe gastrointestinal symptoms, including chronic diarrhea, weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration. These symptoms are commonly associated with a rare sprue-like enteropathy.
    The lawsuit comes as Benicar faces scrutiny following a Mayo Clinic study linking the popular drug to rare sprue-like enteropathy in users.
    The connection between Benicar and the sprue-like enteropathy symptoms was first noted by Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, Dr. Joseph Murray, after he observed two patients taking Benicar experience relief from symptoms thought to be associated with Celiac disease. Upon discontinuing the use of Benicar, the gastrointestinal symptoms vanished.
    Dr. Murray then conducted a three-year study of 22 people who experienced celiac-like symptoms while taking Benicar. He found that 14 of those patients had symptoms so severe that hospitalization was required.
    Moreover, none of the 22 original patients responded to a gluten-free diet, and none showed any detectable levels of tissue transglutaminase in the blood, which would point to celiac disease.
    After discontinuing the Benicar treatments, the intestinal symptoms disappeared in each of the 22 patients, and they all regained lost weight.
    In 2013, in keeping with Dr. Murray’s findings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration changed Benicar’s label to include a warning that the drug may trigger sprue-like enteropathy and symptoms similar to celiac disease.
    If you think you may have suffered adverse effects from Benicar, check with your doctor, and possibly with a lawyer.
    Sources:
    Mayo Clinic: Study on Benicar and sprue-like enteropathy FDA Safety Communication Concerning Label Change on Benicar, 2013. digitaljournal.com.

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
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    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
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    Whatever the reason that stuttering has not been reported in the medical literature in association with gluten ingestion, a number of personal disclosures and comments suggesting a connection between gluten and stuttering can be found on the Internet. Abid Hussain, in an article about food allergy and stuttering said: “The most common food allergy prevalent in stutterers is that of gluten which has been found to aggravate the stutter” (10). Similarly, Craig Forsythe posted an article that includes five cases of self-reporting individuals who believe that their stuttering is or was connected to gluten, one of whom also experiences stuttering from foods containing yeast (11). The same site contains one report of a stutterer who has had no relief despite following a gluten free diet for 20 years (11). Another stutterer, Jay88, reports the complete disappearance of her/his stammer on a gluten free diet (12). Doubtless there are many more such anecdotes to be found on the Internet* but we have to question them, exercising more skepticism than we might when reading similar claims in a peer reviewed scientific or medical journal.
    There are many reports in such journals connecting brain and neurological ailments with gluten, so it is not much of a stretch, on that basis alone, to suspect that stuttering may be a symptom of the gluten syndrome. Rodney Ford has even characterized celiac disease as an ailment that may begin through gluten-induced neurological damage (13) and Marios Hadjivassiliou and his group of neurologists and neurological investigators have devoted considerable time and effort to research that reveals gluten as an important factor in a majority of neurological diseases of unknown origin (14) which, as I have pointed out previously, includes most neurological ailments.
    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/14/2018 - Refractory celiac disease type II (RCDII) is a rare complication of celiac disease that has high death rates. To diagnose RCDII, doctors identify a clonal population of phenotypically aberrant intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs). 
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    Source:
    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023