Benicar (olmesartan) is prescribed for the treatment of hypertension and one of the 10 most widely prescribed drugs in the United States. However, Benicar can cause severe and permanent gastrointestional problems including villous atrophy, or a destruction of the villi lining the small intestines, and sprue-like enteropathy, often misdiagnosed as Celiac’s Disease. Symptoms present as chronic diarrhea, vomiting, severe dehydration, malnutrition and staggering weight loss.
On July 3, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration issued a Safety Communication, highlighting the dangers Benicar and other olmesartan products can cause. In 2014, several lawsuits against Daiichi Sankyo, the maker of Benicar, were filed in both state and federal court, and that number is expected to grow, as Benicar remains on the market.