Lawsuit Alleges Ozempic Caused Gastrointestinal and Digestive Problems, Resulting in Hospitalization

Claim joins a growing number of Ozempic Lawsuits being pursued by users, alleging that the drug maker failed to adequately disclose the severity of gastrointestinal side effects and long-term problems users may experience.

As the popularity of Ozempic continues to grow in the U.S., an alarming number of former users are coming forward to report that they were left with severe gastrointestinal and digestive problems after injecting themselves with the diabetes and weight-loss drug.

In a complaint (PDF) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on June 4, plaintiff Larry Gene Cooper indicates that he was hospitalized multiple times after using Ozempic for approximately ten months, claiming that the drug caused extreme vomiting, severe abdominal pain and other events, which have left him with permanent injuries.

Ozempic (semaglutide) has become one of the most widely used prescription medications on the market in the United States, since it was introduced by Novo Nordisk for treatment of type 2 diabetes in December 2017. As a result of the benefits the drug provides promoting weight loss, it has been widely used off-label as a diet drug.

The medication is part of a new class of drugs, known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA), which also includes Wegovy, Mounjaro, Zepbound and Trulicity. The drugs promote weight loss by delaying gastric emptying, and making users feel full longer. However, some users have experienced a severe and painful side effect from Ozempic, known as gastroparesis or stomach paralysis, which can lead to long-term complications.

As a result of an alleged failure to warn about the severity of these side effects, Novo Nordisk now faces a rapidly growing number of Ozempic lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system, which is ultimately expected to involve tens of thousands of lawsuits that may be brought in the coming months and years, as lawyers continue to review and investigate claims.

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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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Cooper indicates that he began using Ozempic in January 2023, and continued to inject the drug until October 2023. As a result of the Ozempic injections, Cooper developed severe gastrointestinal and digestive events, including extreme vomiting and severe abdominal pain, which he alleges were not adequately disclosed to users or the medical community.

“[Novo Nordisk] acknowledges that gastrointestinal events are well known side effects of the GLP-1 class,” Cooper states in the lawsuit. “However, Defendants have downplayed the severity of the gastrointestinal events and digestive events caused by Ozempic, never, for example, warning of the risk of gastroparesis (paralyzed stomach) or gastroenteritis, and never warning of the risk of gall bladder removal surgery and associated complications.”

Ozempic Gastroparesis Risks

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.

As the popularity of the drugs began to rise, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) issued new Ozempic surgery guidelines inJune 2023, warning against use of Ozempic or Wegovy before elective surgery, due to the risk of vomiting and aspiration during anesthesia.

The warning was followed by study published last October  that backed up the anesthesiologists’ concerns, finding 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.

June 2024 Ozempic Lawsuit Update

In February 2024, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation appointed U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter to preside over coordinated pretrial proceedings for all GLP-1 RA drug lawsuits, centralizing claims brought throughout the federal court system in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.

As the parties were working with the court to establish a case management schedule, Judge Pratter passed away on May 17, causing a brief delay in the proceedings. However, last week the U.S Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) reassigned the Ozempic MDL lawsuits to U.S. District Judge Karen S. Marston, who met with lawyers involved in the litigation for the first time this week.

As part of the coordinated management of the growing litigation, it is expected that Judge Marston will direct the parties to identify a small group of “bellwether” cases to prepare for early trial dates, which will help help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the claims.

Following coordinated discovery and any early bellwether cases, if the parties are unable to negotiate settlements or another resolution for the litigation, the claim filed by Cooper and each other individual plaintiff may later be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for a separate trial date.


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1 Comments

  • KristenJune 13, 2024 at 1:56 pm

    Stomach pain and abdominal pain and vomiting and diarrhea too I have a question about injection trulicity

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