Lawsuit claims Ozempic and Mounjaro Cause Severe Gastroparesis. A recently filed lawsuit, claims that the newer type 2 diabetic drugs Ozempic and Mounjaro cause severe gastroparesis. Ozempic and Mounjaro drug makers are being sued alleging that these diabetic drugs cause gastroparesis, a severe paralytic stomach disorder that prevents the stomach from fully and timely emptying.
The lawsuit was filed against Novo Nordisk—the makers of Ozempic—and Eli Lilly, the makers of Mounjaro.
The lawsuit alleges that the diabetic drug makers knew of the link between these newer GLP-1 diabetic drugs and the risk of developing severe gastrointestinal issues.
The lawsuit further alleges that the diabetic drug makers put immense profits before patient safety, and failed to warn doctors and patients that these weight loss drugs can cause severe gastrointestinal and other serious side effects.
What are Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro?
Ozempic is generically known as semaglutide, and is developed and manufactured by Novo Nordisk based in Denmark.
Ozempic is a prescription once-a-week injectable-only medication, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in December 2017.
Ozempic’s mechanism of action for the treatment of type 2 diabetes is via glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist action. These GLP-1 receptor agonist classes of drugs lower blood sugar levels in the body by increasing insulin release by the pancreas, reducing sugar production and the release of sugar by the liver, and slowing down food leaving the stomach, according to Novo Nordisk.
Researchers noted that in addition to treating type 2 diabetes, these medications had an interesting side effect in that they also caused significant weight loss.
Novo Nordisk was approved by the FDA in 2019 for an oral version of semaglutide in daily tablet form for the treatment of type 2 diabetes called Rybelsus.
Mounjaro is also known as tirzepatide. Mounjaro works by targeting the body’s receptors for GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and GLP-1.
Wegovy is approved by the FDA for weight loss
The FDA-approved Wegovy injection (at a higher dose of semaglutide than Ozempic) which is also made by Novo Nordisk for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or overweight with at least one weight-related condition (such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol).
Wegovy is the first approved drug for chronic weight management in adults with general obesity or overweight since 2014.
Ozempic and Rybelsus Off Label Use
Ozempic and Rybelsus medications were approved to treat patients with type 2 diabetes only, but these drug sales exploded in off-label use (which occurs when a drug is used to treat a medical condition other than its FDA-approved specific criteria) once it was discovered that these medications also caused patients mild to modest weight loss.
Novo Nordisk’s aggressive multi-million dollar Ozempic marketing emphasized the weight loss benefits, and social media celebrity endorsers on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc. massively increased the popularity of Ozempic for weight loss purposes.
Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, and Mounjaro Serious Side Effects
Shortly after hundreds of thousands of patients used semaglutide for weight loss, many adverse reports surfaced about critical gastrointestinal (GI) side effects from Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelius, and Mounjaro. These include severe nausea, vomiting, and a severe medical condition called gastroparesis or stomach paralysis.
Patients suffering from gastroparesis may not have normal stomach content emptying leading to vomiting of undigested food and malnutrition. Undigested food can actually remain in the stomach for some time leading to the development of balls of undigested food known as bezoars similar to cat fur balls!
Did Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly Fail to disclose GI side effects?
According to some legal experts, it appears that Novo Nordisk knew or should have known about the risk of long-term Ozempic and Wegovy stomach problems, but failed to adequately disclose these GI side effects.
Ozempic and Mounjaro Lawsuits
Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro lawsuits are being investigated and filed for patients throughout the United States, noting that there is medical research evidence that has established a link between these GLP-1 medications and severe gastrointestinal side effects that may be permanent despite the stoppage of these drugs.
In a recent lawsuit, the plaintiff, Jaclyn Bjorklund, used Ozempic, for the treatment of her type 2 diabetes for more than a year before she was switched to Mounjaro in July 2023.
According to Bjorkland, she suffered from severe gastrointestinal events, including severe vomiting, stomach pain, and being hospitalized for stomach issues on several occasions, teeth falling out due to excessive vomiting, requiring additional medications to alleviate her excessive vomiting, and throwing up whole food hours after eating.
Gastroparesis slows or completely stops the emptying of food from the stomach to the small intestine, preventing the stomach from properly emptying—neither diabetic drug warns gastroparesis as a potential side effect.
In July, CNN released a report about patients who had been diagnosed with severe gastroparesis, and their physicians thought that the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic may be responsible for their side effects.
The patients noticed they were vomiting days-old food and doctors noted it was common for people on Ozempic to have stomachs full of food when doing an upper GI endoscopy.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) put out a warning in June asking patients to stop taking GLP-1 drugs at least a week before elective surgeries due to an increased risk of the drugs causing vomiting during operation.
The ASA has received reports that an “increased risk of regurgitation and aspiration of food into the airways and lungs during general anesthesia and deep sedation” was potentially being caused by the drugs’ ability to “delay” stomach emptying.
Gastroparesis, also called delayed stomach emptying, affects the movement of food even though there isn’t a blockage in the small intestine or stomach, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
It typically takes about six to eight hours for food to pass from the stomach to the small intestine, though the amount and type of food consumed can affect this.
With gastroparesis, the digestion process is extended, and symptoms include bloating, feeling full after starting a meal, feeling full long after finishing a meal, vomiting, heartburn, pain in the upper abdomen, and poor appetite.
Gastroparesis has many causes, including diabetes, which is the most common cause of gastroparesis.
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