According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) 67 million people in the United States have a problem with high blood pressure, and doctors now prescribe a range of medications to help people deal with this problem. Olmesartan medoxomil is a prescription medication that many doctors use to treat high blood pressure, but some people have suffered injuries as a result of using the drug. Learn more about the effects olmesartan medoxomil can have on your body, and find out what you need to do if the drug causes an injury.
The dangers of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the biggest medical challenges in the United States. According to the CDC, around 1,000 Americans die every day because of high blood pressure. The condition can lead to a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease or chronic heart failure, so it's vital that you take steps to prevent or control the problem.
Some people are at higher risk of blood pressure problems than others. People who smoke, eat foods that are high in sodium or drink too much alcohol are more likely to get high blood pressure. In other cases, underlying health conditions like diabetes can increase the risk.
How olmesartan medoxomil works
Olmesartan is one of several drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB). Angiotensin II is a protein that your body releases. Once in your system, angiotensin makes your blood vessels narrow, which raises your blood pressure and makes it more difficult for your heart to pump blood around the body. Angiotensin II also increases sodium levels, which further increases blood pressure.
Olmesartan blocks angiotensin II and helps keep the blood pressure under control. Doctors also prescribe the drug to treat heart failure and diabetic nephropathy, a kidney disease that affects people with diabetes. The medication cannot cure high blood pressure and only alleviates symptoms. People using the drug will normally also have to make other lifestyle changes to deal with blood pressure.
People who shouldn't take olmesartan
Pregnant women should not take olmesartan, especially during the last six months of pregnancy. The drug can seriously injure or kill an unborn baby. For people who also have diabetes, olmesartan can interact with other types of medication, including aliskiren. The drug can also cause problems if you are taking other medications or vitamins, so you should always check with your doctor before using the drug.
Olmesartan can cause side effects. Many patients experience dizziness, but this will normally subside after a short period. Some people who use olmesartan complain of more serious side effects.
The most severe side effect that olmesartan patients complain of is a gastrointestinal problem. The drug can cause severe diarrhea, stomach pain and discomfort, and can lead to a condition that closely resembles Celiac disease. In some cases, these symptoms continue for some time, and some patients experience significant weight loss.
If tests for Celiac disease prove negative, doctors often diagnose an intestinal inflammation called sprue-like enteropathy. A 2012 study found a link between patients using olmesartan and this intestinal problem. In all cases, doctors ruled out Celiac disease, and the symptoms all went away when the patients stopped using olmesartan.
What the FDA says
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety announcement in 2013, warning healthcare professionals of the risk of sprue-like enteropathy for patients who use olmesartan. The FDA also approved changes to the warning label for the medication, to alert patients to this potential problem.
The FDA also completed a safety review to investigate claims that olmesartan led to increased cardiovascular problems in diabetic patients. The FDA's review found no evidence of this claim, but the Administration instructed manufacturers to add details of the studies on drug labels.
When to talk to a personal injury attorney
Olmesartan can cause painful, long-term symptoms that can negatively impact your life. Over time, you may need to pay for more medical treatment, and you may also have to take time off work. A personal injury attorney can help you file a lawsuit to recover these costs.
Drug manufacturers must make sure their products are safe to use. These companies must take steps to tell patients of any side effects their products can cause. People who used olmesartan before 2013 may not have realized that the drug could cause serious side effects. As such, many people have successfully filed lawsuits against the drug manufacturers.
Olmesartan medoxomil is a popular prescription medication that doctors use to help combat the effects of high blood pressure, but the drug can cause serious side effects. If you suffer an injury from this medication, talk to a personal injury attorney for more advice.