Trulicity Lawsuit Filed Over GLP-1 Gastroparesis Side Effects

Eli Lilly failed to warn users that side effects of Trulicity may cause gastroparesis, despite numerous studies, case reports and medical literature indicating that users may experience severe stomach paralysis.

A woman suffering due to gastroparesis side effects from Trulicity has filed a product liability lawsuit against Eli Lilly and Company, indicating that the drug maker failed to adequately warn consumers and the medical community about the risk that users may be left with painful and debilitating stomach paralysis complications.

Trulicity is a member of a class of diabetes and weight loss drugs known as glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), which also includes the blockbuster treatments Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy and Zepbound.

While the medications were initially approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, amid aggressive advertisements that promote the drugs’ weight loss benefits, GLP-1 medications have been increasingly prescribed in recent years for weight loss, and are now among the best-selling drugs on the market in the United States.

Side Effects of Trulicity Caused Gastroparesis

In a complaint (PDF) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa on April 5, Allee Smith indicates that she now suffers from severe and permanent injuries after using Trulicity, including persistent vomiting, diarrhea and extreme abdominal pain, which has resulted in multiple emergency room visits and continues to cause her to experience problems.

Although Eli Lilly has acknowledged that gastrointestinal events are a well known side effect of Trulicity and other GLP-1 RAs, the lawsuit indicates that the drug maker downplayed the severity and long-lasting nature of these problems, and never disclosed that some users develop a form of stomach paralysis known as gastroparesis, which can interfere with normal digestion, and has no cure.

Similar allegations have also been presented in hundreds of Ozempic lawsuits, Wegovy lawsuits and Mounjaro lawsuits currently being pursued by other users throughout the federal court system, which are current centralized as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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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 complaint, Smith was prescribed Trulicity by her doctor, and used the drug from May 2021 to January 2022. Smith indicates she developed permanent stomach paralysis from the medication, which affects the normal muscle movement in the stomach, preventing contractions that propel food through the digestive tract. As a result, her stomach’s motility has been permanently slowed down, or does not work at all, causing undigested food to harden and remain in the stomach, as well as acid reflux, changes in blood sugar, lack of appetite, malnutrition and overall decreased quality of life.

The lawsuit indicates Eli Lilly failed to provide adequate warnings to the medical industry and patients about the potential gastroparesis side effects from Trulicity, making false or misleading claims about the benefits and risks associated with their medication.

“Defendants knew or should have known of the causal association between the use of GLP-1RAs and the risk of developing gastroparesis and its sequelae, but they ignored the causal association,” Smith’s lawsuit states. “On information and belief, Defendant not only knew or should have known that their GLP-1RAs cause delayed gastric emptying, resulting in risks of gastroparesis, but they may have sought out the delayed gastric emptying effect due to its association with weight loss.”

GLP-1 Gastroparesis Side Effects

A study published in October 2023 found that GLP-1 RA medications like Ozempic, Mounjaro and Trulicity may triple 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.

April 2024 Ozempic Gastroparesis Lawsuit Update

Given common questions of fact and law raised in a growing number of complaints brought throughout the federal court system, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decided in February 2024 to centralize all gastroparesis lawsuits involving any GLP-1 medication before U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

As lawyers continue to review and file claims in the coming months, it is widely expected that thousands of Trulicity lawsuits, Ozempic lawsuits and other gastroparesis claims will be transferred to the 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 lawsuits involving gastroparesis side effects for early trial dates. However, if the parties are unable to negotiate GLP-1 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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