Lawsuit Against Ozempic Manufacturers Claims Gastroparesis Side Effects Were Not Adequately Disclosed on Drug Label

Plaintiff notes that Novo Nordisk failed to include gastroparesis or its side effects in the "Warnings and Precautions" section of Ozempic drug label.

A Louisiana woman has filed a lawsuit against Novo Nordisk, indicating that gastroparesis side effects from Ozempic caused her to suffer severe vomiting and diarrhea, resulting in permanent injuries that were not properly disclosed on the Ozempic warning label.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Merlon Latham in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on Wednesday, joining a growing number of consumers who have filed similar lawsuits in recent weeks.

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, Latham 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 adequately warn about the risk of severe and long-lasting gastroparesis side effects.

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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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Latham states that she was prescribed Ozempic in August 2022, and received weekly injections until at least July 2023. However, side effects of the medication caused her to suffer severe vomiting and diarrhea, which resulted in multiple emergency room visits and the need for medication.

The lawsuit indicates that these Ozempic gastroparesis side effects left Latham with severe stomach paralysis, which constitutes a permanent injury and requires future medical monitoring. However, she claims that Novo Nordisk knew or should have known about the risk before promoting the widespread use of the medication, and intentionally misled consumers and the medical community about the true risks of gastroparesis from Ozempic.

“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 notes. “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.

January 2024 Ozempic Gastroparesis Lawsuit Update

Latham’s 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 gastroparesis 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 gastroparesis 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. The panel will hear oral arguments on the motion next month.

While the motion indicates there are currently less than two dozen cases filed in different U.S. District Courts, Ozempic gastroparesis 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, Latham’s lawsuit will be transferred to wherever the U.S. JPML centralizes the pretrial proceedings. However, if the parties fail to negotiate Ozempic settlements for gastroparesis injuries 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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  • SandraDecember 29, 2023 at 11:32 pm

    I am currently taking Ozempic injection weekly,I can not have a bowel movement at all,so I have to take Miralax,I also have a lot of vomiting and stomach pain ,I don't dare go past .50 mg, because I am scared to death of having an intestinal blockage

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