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A consumer advocacy group is asking the Food and Drug Administration to ban the sale of a widely prescribed blood pressure medication — as well as several generic versions — over concerns the drug can cause a gastrointestinal disorder that leads to severe and chronic diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and weight loss.

In a petition filed on Wednesday with the agency, Public Citizen argued that olmesartan medoxomil, which is marketed under the brand names Azor, Benicar, Benicar HCT, and Tribenzor, ought to be removed from the market. The group cited “overwhelming evidence” that the treatment causes severe sprue-like enteropathy, which is similar to celiac disease but does not improve with a gluten-free diet.

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  • full support for limiting Benicar et al from use unless it is proven to be the only medicine efficacious for a particular patient, and I can not imagine that being the case.
    We should not repeat the mistake made with reserpine which fell into disuse because of depression, a side effect a patient could easily report and be switched to a different antihypertensive. Reserpine works at the primary site needed, the peripheral arterioles, and is much safer even than hydrochlorthiazide et al.

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