Benicar Class Action Lawsuit

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public that the blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil—sold under the brand names Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and as generic olmesartan—might cause an intestinal problem called “sprue-like enteropathy.” Olmesartan is a member of the angiotensin II receptor antagonist class of blood pressure drugs. Angiotensin is a chemical produced by the body that causes constriction of blood vessels. Olmesartan blocks the vascular cells’ receptors that angiotensin binds with (AT­­1 receptors), which prevents blood vessels from constricting and raising blood pressure.


In a July 2013 drug safety communication, the FDA announced that olmesartan might cause an intestinal problem known as sprue-like enteropathy, a condition that is similar in character to Celiac disease. The agency arrived at this conclusion after investigating adverse event reports it received that included 23 cases of patients who had been diagnosed with sprue-like enteropathy. Symptoms include:

  • Severe diarrhea
  • Chronic diarrhea (symptoms that don’t stop over time)
  • Substantial weight loss

These symptoms can develop months or years after olmesartan use begins.


Patients who have taken Benicar and suffered serious adverse side effects are suing the manufacturer to demand compensation for their injuries. It remains to be seen whether a class action will be begun… but a class action might not be in the best interests of victims. More often than not, individual lawsuits—each brought by a single victim—result in the most money for each person who has been injured.