Gastroparesis Lawsuit Filed Over Side Effects of Ozempic and Trulicity

Despite reported problems dating back to 2010, Novo Nordisk failed to warn doctors and users of Ozempic and Trulicity about the risk of gastroparesis, lawsuit warns.

A Pennsylvania woman has filed a product liability lawsuit against the makers of Ozempic and Trulicity, indicating that gastroparesis side effects linked to the diabetes drugs caused her to suffer severe and painful injuries, including bowel obstruction and severe nausea.

Danielle Kindrew filed the complaint (PDF) against Novo Nordisk and its subsidiaries on February 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, indicating that the drug manufacturer failed in its duty to warn the medical community about the full risks of Ozempic and Trulicity, both of which belong to a class of diabetes and weight loss medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs), which also include drugs like Mounjaro, Zepbound, Victoza and Byetta.

Initially approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, aggressive advertisements that promoted Ozempic’s weight loss benefits have led to GLP-1 drugs being increasingly prescribed for weight loss in recent years.

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, Kindrew and other former users are now pursuing Ozempic 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 gastroparesis, intestinal blockages, and other severe injury risks.

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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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Gastroparesis Lawsuit Filed Over Severe Injuries

Kindrew indicates that she was first prescribed Trulicity from January 2021 to July 2021, and then Ozempic from January 2022 to July 2023.

As a result of her use of the two diabetes drugs, Kindrew developed a medical condition known as gastroparesis, which is associated with severe delayed gastric emptying or stomach paralysis, leading to persistent vomiting, bowel obstruction and stomach pain. As a result of the gastroparesis side effects, Kindrew indicates she required multiple emergency room visits and the need for additional medical treatment.

The lawsuit claims Novo Nordisk knew about the potential gastroparesis side effects for years, but failed to provide adequate warnings to patients and healthcare providers.

“Because the risk of gastroparesis, ileus, intestinal obstruction, or their sequelae is common to the entire class of drugs, any published literature regarding the association between gastroparesis and any GLP-1RA should have put Defendants on notice of the need to warn patients and prescribing physicians of the risk of gastroparesis, ileus, intestinal obstruction, or their sequelae associated with these drugs,” her lawsuit states. “In addition to pancreatic effects, the published medical literature shows that GLP1 slows gastric emptying and intestinal motility. As early as 2010, a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism indicated this effect.

GLP-1 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 2023 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.

March 2024 Ozempic Gastroparesis Lawsuit Update

Last month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued a transfer order calling for all stomach paralysis lawsuits involving any GLP-1 medications to be consolidated for coordinated pretrial proceedings under U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

To establish the organizational structure for the growing litigation, Judge Pratter will hold an initial Ozempic lawsuit status conference on March 14, at which time the Court is expected to review the selection of a small group of plaintiffs’ lawyers who will serve in leadership roles throughout the litigation, taking certain actions that benefit individuals who experienced gastroparesis from Ozempic or other GLP-1 medications.

As lawyers continue to review and file claims in the coming months, it is widely expected that thousands of claims will be transferred to the Ozempic MDL, as nearly 2% of the U.S. population has been prescribed one of the GLP-1 medications, either for diabetes treatment or weight loss.

To help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation, Judge Pratter will likely establish a bellwether process to prepare a small group of gastroparesis lawsuits for early trial dates. However, if the parties are unable to negotiate Ozempic settlements or another resolution for the litigation after the bellwether trials, the Court may later remand each case back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial.

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