Olmesartan (brand name Benicar) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of hypertension on April 5, 2002. Since that time, FDA has conducted a number of safety reviews based on independent research and post-marketing experience obtained through the FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS). FDA warns of several severe and potentially life-threatening side effects of this drug, and among them are anaphylactic reactions.
If you or your loved one has been harmed by a severe allergic reaction or other serious side effect of Benicar, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation. Speak with a knowledgeable pharmaceutical litigation attorney to find out if you have a case.
At Farah & Farah, we have dedicated our practice exclusively to representing people who have been harmed by dangerous drugs and devices. Our pharmaceutical litigation lawyers are investigating cases nationwide for individuals or the families of patients who have suffered serious injuries from Benicar.
What Is Anaphylactic Reaction?
As described in the Merck Manual, an anaphylactic reaction is a sudden, widespread, severe, and potentially life threatening allergic reaction to a drug, insect sting, food, or substance. Anaphylactic reactions do not usually occur with the first exposure to a drug or allergen, but after subsequent exposure.
The reaction typically begins within 15 minutes of exposure, but in rare cases, it can start in an hour after the person takes a medication or is otherwise exposed to an allergen. In some cases, symptoms may recur 4 to 8 hours or more after exposure. Symptoms of anaphylactic reaction vary from person to person, but tend to be consistent for each individual. They may include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Uneasiness and agitation
- Sudden drop in blood pressure
- Pins-and-needles tingling sensations
- Runny nose
- Flushed, itchy skin
- Angioedema (swelling under the skin)
- Wheezing and difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
Anaphylactic reactions can happen so quickly that the victim collapses, stops breathing, has seizures, and loses consciousness within one or two minutes. Without emergency medical treatment, a severe allergic reaction can be fatal.
Drugs are the Leading Cause of Fatal Allergic Reactions
In a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers evaluated deaths in the U.S. caused by anaphylactic reactions from 1999 to 2010. Of the 2,458 anaphylaxis-related fatalities studied, 58.8 percent were caused by allergic reactions to medications.
Researchers found a significant association in the incidence of anaphylactic deaths caused by drugs, food, and unspecified allergens with elderly people and the African American race. They also found a significant increase in the number of deaths resulting from allergic reactions to medications in the 12-year period from 1999 to 2010. The study concluded that this increase in medication-related deaths from anaphylaxis can be attributed to increased use of medications and radiocontrast (imaging agents, such as iodine or barium compounds), enhanced diagnosis, and coding changes.
Benicar Information about Allergic Reactions
Side effects listed on the Benicar website include allergic reactions to thiazide diuretic, an ingredient in Benicar HCT. Among its listed adverse events, the company reports that HCTZ, a component of Benicar HCT and Tribenzor, can cause hypersensitivity reactions in patients with no history of bronchial asthma or allergy.
In its safety warnings about adverse reactions to Benicar, FDA lists anaphylactic reactions under the headings, “Adverse Reactions” and “Post-Marketing Experience.” This indicates that, after Benicar was approved by FDA and released on the market, reports were received of allergic reactions to this drug.
WebMD instructs patients taking Benicar to seek medical attention immediately if symptoms of allergic reaction appear, including:
- Itching or swelling (particularly of the tongue, throat, or face)
- Severe dizziness
- Difficulty breathing
Benicar Pharmaceutical Litigation Attorney
At Farah & Farah, our Benicar allergic reaction lawyers believe that drug manufacturers have a responsibility to the public to ensure that their products are safe before a release onto the market. They have a duty to adequately test medications in advance, and to warn patients and physicians of any and all potential side effects.
When dangerous drugs cause serious allergic reactions, with injuries or death to patients, we believe that pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable. Allergic reactions are reportedly rarer in occurrence than other serious Benicar side effects. However, like all anaphylactic reactions, they can be life-threatening or prove fatal.
Call us at (800) 533-3555 if you or someone you love has experienced a severe allergic reaction or other serious side effect from Benicar. We can evaluate your case free of charge and advise you of your options under the law. You can have confidence that your Benicar product liability claim is in good hands with our firm.