Wegovy Gastroparesis Lawsuit Filed By Woman Who Required Stomach Emptying Procedure

Lawsuit claims Novo Nordisk failed to warn that the risk of Wegovy gastroparesis side effects was dose-specific, meaning the higher the dose, the more likely stomach paralysis would occur.

Novo Nordisk faces a product liability lawsuit brought by a New York woman, who alleges that the drug maker failed to adequately warn users and doctors about the true risk of gastroparesis from Wegovy, indicating that she required surgery to empty the contents of her stomach due to side effects of the weight loss drug.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Jenny Bryant on April 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, presenting claims against Novo Nordisk for negligence, failure to warn, defective design and deceptive and unfair marketing practices.

Wegovy (semaglutide) is a higher-dose version of the blockbuster diabetes drug Ozempic, which is part of a new class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs). Although Ozempic has only been approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes, the drug has been widely prescribed as a diet drug in recent years, leading Novo Nordisk to introduce Wegovy in June 2021, featuring the same active ingredient.

Although advertisements promote the drugs as safe and effective, with few serious health risks, Bryant now joins a growing number of other former users pursuing Ozempic lawsuits and Wegovy lawsuits against Novo Nordisk, each raising similar allegations that a large number of users are experiencing long-term side effects, including intestinal blockages, gastroparesis and other injuries.

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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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The Wegovy gastroparesis lawsuit indicates Bryant was prescribed the diet drug in April 2023, and began receiving once-weekly injections to promote weight loss. However, the dosing schedule called for an increase in the injections from .25 mg to 2.4 mg.

“The higher the dose of the GLP-1 agonist, the more extreme the effects,” the lawsuit notes. “Defendants did not warn about the true and dangerous side effects including but not limited to acute and chronic gastrointestinal issues, deep vein thrombosis, sarcopenia, malnutrition, compromised body composition, hospitalization, and death.”

According to the complaint, after each injection Bryant experienced vomiting, bloating and upper abdominal pain. Her doctor prescribed antinausea medications, including Zofran and Reglan, to aid her discomfort.

Although Bryant stopped taking the injections in August 2023, she continued to experience severe gastrointestinal symptoms. An endoscopy in December revealed Bryant had a food bolus, and underwent a stomach emptying test in January, which revealed she was suffering from severe gastroparesis.

Bryant is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages for her injuries.

May 2024 Ozempic and Wegovy Lawsuit Update

Given similar claims presented in a rapidly growing number of GLP-1 lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decided to centralize all gastroparesis lawsuits involving users of Wegovy, Ozempic, or other similar medications, such as Mounjaro, Zepbound and Trulicity.

Since February 2024, the litigation has been consolidated for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, who is presiding over discovery into common issue that impact all claims and is expected to schedule a series of early “bellwether” test cases for trial.

Given the widespread use of these medications in recent years for weight loss, it is widely expected that thousands of claims will be transferred to the Ozempic and Wegovy litigation as lawyer continue to review and file claims in the coming months, as some estimates indicate nearly 2% of the U.S. population has been prescribed one of the GLP-1 medications, either for diabetes treatment or weight loss.

On June 14, 2024, Judge Pratter will hold a science day to review information on the gastroparesis risks associated with Wegovy, Ozempic and other GLP-1 drugs, at which time the parties will each have an opportunity to educate the court on issues that will come up during the litigation.

Following coordinated discovery and any early bellwether cases, if the parties are unable to negotiate settlements or another resolution for the litigation, Judge Pratter may later remand each case back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial.

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