Medical malpractice lawsuits provide a remedy when a patient is hurt by the negligence of a hospital, doctor, or other healthcare provider. Sometimes the problem is not the person providing the care, however. Sometime the treatment itself is the problem. This can be particularly true when it comes to problems with prescription drugs. While many drugs have save countless lives, other drugs are dangerous and have caused real injuries to the patients who take them. One potentially dangerous drug is called Benicar.
FDA Issued Warning About Benicar
Back in 2013 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about Benicar. Benicar is a blood pressure medication also known as olmesartan medoxomil. The FDA warned that this drug can cause intestinal problems. The symptoms of these intestinal problems include severe chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss. People who are affected may wind up hospitalized. In 2012 approximately 10.6 million prescriptions for this drug were dispensed to 1.9 million patients.
Symptoms are Similar to Celiac Disease
The symptoms experienced by those taking this drug are similar to the symptoms of celiac disease. People with celiac disease cannot eat food containing gluten without risking serious intestinal damage. According to ABC News at least fourteen patients had to be hospitalized between 2008 and 2011 because of celiac-like reactions to Benicar. Many of the patients were initially put on a gluten-free diet because celiac disease was suspected to be the cause of their symptoms, but the gluten-free diet did not improve their symptoms. When they were taken off Benicar, however, their symptoms improved dramatically.
There Are Likely More Patients Affected
This does not mean that every person who takes Benicar will wind up with these symptoms. What it does mean, however, is that there are likely patients who are taking Benicar and experiencing the symptoms but who have not made the connection between the symptoms and the drugs. People may be misdiagnosing themselves with gluten intolerances or be being misdiagnosed by doctors when the drug is really the root of the problem. Additionally, due to the nature of the symptoms some patients may not have been comfortable bringing the symptoms up to their physicians. Lawsuits have been filed regarding these drug reactions. If you have taken this drug and have experienced these symptoms, you may have a claim and you should speak with a medical malpractice attorney.
These Claims are Not Medical Malpractice Claims
While most injuries that patients suffer are handled in the medical malpractice system, injuries caused by drugs are not litigated as medical malpractice. Instead these drugs are treated like other products. The harms they cause are litigated in product liability cases. In these cases rather than suing a doctor, the injured patient sues the company that made the drug that caused the injury. If a drug kills a patient then the patient’s family members may be able to sue on the deceased patient’s behalf.
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