Ozempic Side Effects Led to Stomach Paralysis, Severe Pain, Emergency Room Visit, Lawsuit Claims

Plaintiff says Novo Nordisk downplayed the potential stomach paralysis side effects from Ozempic, by failing to accurately describe the extent of the risk on the medication's label and prescribing information.

According to allegations raised in a recently filed product liability lawsuit, Novo Nordisk has failed to adequately warn consumers and the medical community about the risk of severe Ozempic side effects, which could cause users of the diabetes and weight loss drug to experience severe stomach paralysis from delayed gastric emptying.

In a complaint (PDF) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on December 1, Holly Jones indicates that Ozempic left her with a medical condition known as gastroparesis, in which the stomach becomes paralyzed, leading to severe vomiting, persistent diarrhea, constant indigestion and pain so severe that it resulted in an emergency room visit.

Ozempic (semaglutide) was initially approved for the treatment of people with Type 2 diabetes. 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, there have been rising concerns over long-term gastrointestinal issues linked to the medications, and a number of former users are now pursuing Ozempic lawsuits and Wegovy lawsuits against Novo Nordisk, each raising similar claims that the drug maker has provided false and misleading information to users and the medical community.

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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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According to the lawsuit, Jones, of New York, began taking Ozempic for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and to control her blood sugar in April 2022. She continued to take the weekly injection through at least November 2022.

After just over six months of use, Jones began suffering from an increasingly common side effects often referred to as Ozempic stomach paralysis, which resulted in severe vomiting, persistent diarrhea, constant indigestion, bloating and stomach pain. The pain became severe enough that Jones had to be treated in an emergency room, the lawsuit states.

Jones indicates that Novo Nordisk knew or should have known about the risk of users developing gastroparesis, and provided a more complete warning about the potential side effects of Ozempic on the drug’s label and prescribing information.

“The Ozempic label lists nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation as common adverse reactions reported in Ozempic patients, but it does not include these adverse reactions in its ‘Warnings and Precautions’ section, nor does it warn that these adverse reactions are symptoms of more severe conditions, including gastroparesis,” the lawsuit states. “In fact, gastroparesis is not mentioned at all in the label.”

Ozempic Gastroparesis Side Effects

Gastroparesis is a painful condition that impacts the stomach muscles and prevents proper stomach emptying. It is also sometimes referred to as stomach paralysis, gastric stasis or a gastric obstruction, and typically resulting in persistent nausea, vomiting and other complications, which often require repeated hospitalizations or medical visits.

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.

December 2023 Ozempic Stomach Paralysis Lawsuit Update

Jones complaint comes as a growing number of nearly identical complaints are being filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide, each describing similar circumstances were users experienced permanent injuries from stomach paralysis caused by Ozempic side effects.

Given common questions of fact and law raised in the cases, a group of plaintiffs filed a motion to centralize all Ozempic stomach paralysis lawsuits on December 1, asking the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to transfer claims brought throughout the federal court system to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, for coordinated management before one judge during discovery and pretrial proceedings.

While the motion indicates there are currently less than two dozen cases filed in different U.S. District Courts, and Ozempic stomach paralysis lawyers are currently investigating more than 10,000 additional claims that may be filed in the coming months and years.

In complex pharmaceutical litigation, where large numbers of claims are brought by users of the same medication or medical product, each experiencing the same or similar injuries, it is common for the U.S. JPML to centralize the litigation to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues that will arise in all claims, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of certain witnesses and parties who will be required to testify in each of the lawsuits.

If an MDL is established Jones’ lawsuit will be transferred to the Western District of Louisiana or wherever the U.S. JPML centralizes the pretrial proceedings. However, if the parties fail to negotiate Ozempic settlements for stomach paralysis during the MDL proceedings, each individual claim may later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial.

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