Ozempic Intestinal Blockage Lawsuit Filed Over Failed To Disclose Extent of Serious Stomach Risks

Illinois woman required multiple emergency visits due to an Ozempic intestinal blockage, according to a lawsuit filed against the drug maker over inadequate warnings provided about the potential stomach side effects

Novo Nordisk faces a product liability lawsuit brought by an Illinois woman, which indicates that the popular diabetes and weight loss drug Ozempic caused an intestinal blockage, which left her with severe and permanent gastrointestinal injuries.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Mary Arredondo on February 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that information about the potential Ozempic stomach risks have not been adequately disclosed to users and the medical community.

Ozempic (semaglutide) was initially approved for the treatment of people with Type 2 diabetes, and it is part of a popular new class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs). However, amid aggressive advertisements that promoted the weight loss benefits, Ozempic has been increasingly prescribed as a diet drug in recent years, making it a blockbuster treatment that is now used by millions of Americans.

As a result of the popularity of Ozempic for weight loss, Novo Nordisk has introduced a higher dose version under the brand name Wegovy, which is specifically approved as a diet drug. However, it contains the same active ingredient.

Although advertisements promote the drug as safe and effective, with few long-term side effects, Arredondo and other former users are now pursuing Ozempic lawsuits and Wegovy lawsuits against Novo Nordisk, each raising similar allegations that the widespread use of the drugs has made it clear that the drug label fails to disclose the risk of intestinal blockages, stomach paralysis and other long-lasting side effects.

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Were You Injured by Ozempic, Wegovy or Mounjaro?

Lawyers are pursuing Ozempic lawsuits, Wegovy lawsuits and Mounjaro lawsuits over gastroparesis or stomach paralysis, which can leave users with long-term gastrointestinal side effects

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Ozempic Intestinal Blockage Injuries

According to the lawsuit, Arredondo began using Ozempic in July 2021, after being prescribed the diabetes drug by her physician. However, the lawsuit indicates that side effects caused her to develop gastroparesis, which involves delayed emptying of the stomach, leading her to develop an intestinal blockage from Ozempic.

Intestinal blockages occur when digested food from the stomach cannot pass normally through the bowels. This can be caused by surgeries or some medications, involving severe symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and constipation. The condition can be treated through the use of a tube that is surgically inserted to relieve the pressure, but in some cases more extensive surgery is needed.

Arredondo’s lawsuit indicates she exerienced severe vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, dizziness, and stomach pain after taking Ozempic. In addition to needing to take medications to treat the condition, the complaint indicates Arredondo required multiple emergency room visits for her intestinal blockage.

“Defendants knew or should have known of the causal association between the use of GLP-1RAs and the risk of developing gastroparesis and its sequelae, but they ignored the causal association,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants not only knew or should have known that their GLP-1RAs cause delayed gastric emptying, resulting in risks of gastroparesis, but they may have sought out the delayed gastric emptying effect due to its association with weight loss.”

A study published in October found that Ozempic triples the risk of the stomach paralysis among users when compared to users of non-injectable weight loss drugs. The research compared the gastrointestinal side effects of Ozempic and other injectable GLP-1 agonists like liraglutide (Victoza and Saxenda) against those experienced by users of Contrave (bupropion-naltrexone), an oral weight management medication.

The findings indicated that about 1% of Ozempic users developed stomach paralysis, compared to 0.7% of liraglutide users and around 0.3% of those on Contrave. The study highlighted that injectable semaglutide and liraglutide were significantly more likely to cause stomach paralysis and bowel obstruction than Contrave.

February 2024 Ozempic Lawsuit Update

Earlier this month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued an order consolidating all Ozempic intestinal blockage lawsuits together with claims against the manufacturers of other GLP-1RA medications, which have been centralized before U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

As part of the coordinated management of the litigation, it is expected that the parties will select small groups of bellwether claims involving representative injuries, to prepare for a series of early bellwether trials to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated by multiple plaintiffs.

Following any early bellwether trials, if the parties are unable to reach Ozempic settlements or another resolution for intestinal blockage lawsuits being pursued by former users, the claim filed by Arredondo and other individual plaintiffs may later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial.

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