FDA Safety Communication: FDA approves label changes to include intestinal problems (sprue-like enteropathy) linked to blood pressure medicine olmesartan medoxomil

Title FDA Safety Communication: FDA approves label changes to include intestinal problems (sprue-like enteropathy) linked to blood pressure medicine olmesartan medoxomil
Date
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Link
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Description

The purpose of this Drug Safety Communication is to inform the public and healthcare providers that the blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil (marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and generics) can cause intestinal problems known as sprue-like enteropathy. FDA has approved changes to the labels of these drugs to include this concern.

Symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss. The enteropathy may develop months to years after starting olmesartan, and sometimes requires hospitalization. If patients taking olmesartan develop these symptoms and no other cause is found, the drug should be discontinued, and therapy with another antihypertensive started. Discontinuation of olmesartan has resulted in clinical improvement of sprue-like enteropathy symptoms in all patients.

Olmesartan medoxomil is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) approved for the treatment of high blood pressure, alone or with other antihypertensive agents, and is one of eight marketed ARB drugs. Sprue-like enteropathy has not been detected with ARB drugs other than olmesartan.

 

FDA will continue to evaluate the safety of olmesartan-containing products and will communicate again if additional information becomes available.

 

Please see the FDA Safety Communication for further information.

Medical Product
olmesartan medoxomil (Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor, and generics)
Health Outcome
spruce-like enteropathy