Lawsuits Explain How Wegovy and Ozempic Can Cause Stomach Paralysis Problems for Users

Novo Nordisk faces lawsuits over inadequate warnings about stomach paralysis caused by Ozempic and Wegovy, which outline how the GLP-1 semaglutide may permanently alter the stomach’s natural digestive function.

  • Ozempic and Wegovy have been widely advertised as a safe and effective weight loss drugs
  • Many users have reported severe stomach problems and persistent vomiting from Ozempic and Wegovy, which can be the result of stomach paralysis or gastroparesis
  • Lawsuits allege that many of these gastric illnesses are dangerous side effects of Ozempic and Wegovy, which were not fully disclosed on the drug labels
  • Former users may be entitled to financial compensation for Novo Nordisk failing to warn Ozempic may cause stomach paralysis

Ozempic (semaglutide) was first introduced in 2017 for treatment of Type II diabetes. However, as a result of substantial weight loss benefits seen in clinical trials and among early users, the drug has been widely prescribed off-label for obesity, and has now been used by millions of Americans.

To address the growing interest in Ozempic for weight loss, Novo Nordisk introduced another version of semaglutide under the brand name Wegovy, which has been specifically approved for use as a diet drug, containing higher doses of the same active ingredients in Ozempic.

As the drugs’ popularity began to surge over the past few years, reports of Ozempic gastroparesis side effects began to emerge, which left some users hospitalized and dealing with long-term stomach problems.

This has resulted in a number of Ozempic lawsuits and Wegovy lawsuits being filed against the drug maker, alleging that it knew or should have known about the gastroparesis risks, but placed a desire for profits before consumer safety by withholding accurate information about the problems from 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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Lawsuits describe a number of different stomach problems caused by Ozempic and Wegovy, including:

  • Excessive vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Gastrointestinal burning
  • Gastric obstruction
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Other Gastrointestinal injuries

While many of these symptoms are similar to temporary problems most users of Ozempic and Wegovy face at certain points during the treatments, the severity and long-term nature of the side effects caused by stomach paralysis or gastroparesis can leave users with permanent injuries.

The growing litigation has led to many questions among active users about how Ozempic causes stomach paralysis, and why these risks were not disclosed by the manufacturer.

Complaints point to a long history of information available to Novo Nordisk about the link between Ozempic and stomach paralysis, including studies, case reports and adverse events reported by users.

In this featured post, will outline the information presented in these lawsuits about the FDA warnings, adverse event reports and available medical literature, which explains why Ozempic may cause stomach paralysis symptoms for some users.

Does Ozempic Cause Stomach Paralysis?

Weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy work by mimicking the intestinal GLP-1 hormone to promote the pancreas to release more insulin when blood sugar rises. To prevent sudden post-meal blood sugar spikes and allow for a gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream, Ozempic also drastically reduces the stomach’s food emptying process.

For some users, this mechanism of action causes a completely paralyzed stomach, which is a serious medical condition known as gastroparesis. This can result in severe pain, hospitalization, obstructions and long-term gastrointestinal damage, since there is no cure for gastroparesis.

Lawsuits claim that while Ozempic’s mechanism of slowing gastric emptying is beneficial for diabetics, in moderating post-meal blood sugar spikes, it can be overly pronounced in some users, to the extent that it prevents the stomach from processing food naturally. However, the Wegovy and Ozempic warning labels fail to include information about this risk, and actually contain no mentions of the medical condition gastroparesis at all.

These complaints point to a growing body of medical research, which supports the allegations that delayed gastric emptying could cause many using Ozempic to experience stomach paralysis symptoms, including nausea, severe vomiting, bloating, and other serious side effects.

Evidence Linking Ozempic to Gastroparesis Risks

A recent Ozempic class action lawsuit filed by Suzanne Talbot in the Supreme Court of British Columbia highlights a recent piece of medical research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in October 2023, which found that Ozempic triples the risk of gastroparesis among users when compared to other oral weight loss medications, while also increasing the risk of pancreatitis and bowel obstruction.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada, analyzing the severe gastrointestinal side effects associated of Ozempic and other injectable GLP-1 agonist drugs including liraglutide (Victoza and Saxenda), and compared the rate of gastrointestinal problems reported among those using other weight loss drugs such as Contrave (bupropion-naltrexone), which is an oral medication prescribed for weight management.

The research predominantly centered on individuals using these medications to lose weight, indicating that those using Ozempic and Victoza showed a;

  • Nine-fold heightened risk of pancreatitis,
  • Four-fold increase in bowel obstruction risk, and
  • Over three times the risk of gastroparesis (stomach paralysis) when compared to Contrave users.

The results indicate that patients taking GLP-1s face a greater risk of these conditions compared to those on other weight loss medications with different mechanisms of action.

Ozempic For Weight Loss Increases Gastroparesis Risks

In the same study published in JAMA in October 2023, researchers warned that the population taking Ozempic and other versions of the semaglutide drug that have been approved for weight loss, such as Wegovy, may be at even heightened risks of gastroparesis than diabetics using the same drugs.

The authors warned;

“Given the wide use of these drugs, these adverse events, although rare, must be considered by patients who are contemplating using the drugs for weight loss because the risk-benefit calculus for this group might differ from that of those who use them for diabetes.”

While the caution provided in the researchers’ conclusion does not explicitly state the reasoning for non-diabetic semaglutide users increased risk of gastroparesis, it does point out that semaglutide doses for weight loss are much higher than the doses administered for Type II diabetes treatment.

Higher Doses of Ozempic Linked To Increase Side Effects

Lawsuits have even pointed to the manufacturers own clinical trial data which showed a correlation between higher semaglutide doses for weight loss versions of Ozempic, and increased gastroparesis side effects.

While Ozempic was the first version of semaglutide approved by the FDA, Novo Nordisk subsequently introduced Wegovy as a secondary version of semaglutide, which has been approved by the FDA for the primary purpose of treating weight loss.

Although both versions of the drug contain semaglutide, the most noticeable differences are that Ozempic is administered in up to 1.0 mg doses, while Wegovy for weight loss doses are more than double, reaching 2.4 mg doses.

In semaglutide clinical trials, 44% of Wegovy users felt nausea, and a quarter reported vomiting, symptoms common in gastroparesis, while years prior during Ozempic clinical trials, 20% of Ozempic users experienced nausea and 10% reported vomiting.

These findings have added support not only to the allegations raised in Ozempic lawsuits that the manufacturer was aware of gastroparesis side effects, but that the drug manufacturer doubled down on a second version designed as a weight loss drug, with two times the amount of semaglutide.

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Ozempic Warning Label Update Adds Support to Gastroparesis Lawsuits

With thousands of gastroparesis symptoms being reported to the FDA since Ozempic was introduced in 2017, officials recently released a new label warnings for Ozempic in 2023, now indicating for the first time that the drug can increase the risk of intestinal blockages, through a condition known as ileus.

While the FDA Ozempic warning still does not list stomach paralysis as a side effect of Ozempic, both gastroparesis and ileus share common symptoms, including nausea, vomiting undigested food, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, severe dehydration, feeling full after only a few bites, undigested food hardening in the stomach, acid reflux, fluctuating blood sugar levels, lack of appetite, weight loss, malnutrition and decreased quality of life.

Many of the side effects outlined in the updated FDA label mirror the gastroparesis-like side effects raised in the first Ozempic gastroparesis lawsuit filed by Jacklyn Bjorklund in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in early August 2023.

In Bjorklund’s complaint, she claims she used Ozempic for more than a year, and consistently suffered severe gastrointestinal events, including vomiting, stomach pain, gastrointestinal burning and repeated hospital emergency room visits for stomach issues. Bjorklund states that the severity of the vomiting events she endured while taking Ozempic were so great that several of her teeth fell out, and she was prescribed additional medication to prevent throwing up food hours after eating.

Growing Number of Ozempic Stomach Paralysis Lawsuits

Throughout late 2023 and early 2024, a growing number of Ozempic stomach paralysis lawsuits are being filed in courts throughout the U.S., each raising similar allegations that users could have avoided permanent and long-lasting gastrointestinal damage if Novo Nordisk had adequately disclosed the link between Ozempic and gastroparesis.

The U.S. Jucidial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) is currently considering whether to consolidate and centralize the litigation before one judge, as part of a federal MDL, or multidistrict litigation. This will allow the court to coordinate discovery into common issues that impact all of the claims, and avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges.

Ultimately, it is expected that thousands of lawsuits will be added to the litigation throughout 2024, and lawyers will have the opportunity to obtain and review internal documents from Novo Nordisk to further support their claims.

Who qualifies for an Ozempic lawsuit?

Individuals who received any number of Ozempic injections and suffered any of the following injuries could be eligible for financial compensation through a future Ozempic lawsuit or Wegovy lawsuit settlement.

  • Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis)
  • Ileus (intestinal blockage)
  • Severe vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea

Attorneys are providing free Ozempic lawsuit evaluations and consultations for individuals who believe their gastrointestinal problems may have been caused by Ozempic, Wegovy or any other form of semaglutide drug. To start a free claim evaluation, submit information on the form below to have reviewed by a lawyer to see if you qualify.

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