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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Should Benicar Be Banned?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      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.'


    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.

    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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    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/forums/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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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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