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Do You Think You Have Celiac Disease? Taking Benicar For High Blood Pressure?

French study confirmed a previously reported link between the drug Benicar and severe gastrointestinal problems. Reported in Family Practice News last June and discussed during the annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference held in Chicago last year, the study indicates that users of Benicar have a higher risk of developing severe intestinal damage called sprue-like enteropathy. The symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy mimic those of celiac disease. The symptoms include: dehydration, malnutrition, substantial weight loss, and severe chronic diarrhea.

Benicar was approved by the FDA in April of 2002 for the treatment of high blood pressure. in June 2012 researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota published a case series in Mayo Clinic Proceedings reporting their findings that 22 hospital patients who presented to the Mayo Clinic with unexplained chronic diarrhea, weight loss and enteropathy all were taking Benicar for hypertension. In response, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication warning that Benicar could cause sprue-like enteropathy and in 2013 the FDA required a label change to include this concern.

The manufacturer of Benicar, Daiichi Sankyo, is facing lawsuits filed on behalf of patients who developed sprue-like enteropathy.

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