Ozempic Lawsuits Allege Drug May Lead to Dangerous Side Effects

Ozempic Lawsuits Allege Drug May Lead to Dangerous Side EffectsOzempic (a brand name for semaglutide) has been making the news as an effective anti-obesity drug along with other GLP-1 medications. However, it is also grabbing headlines for dangerous side effects like gastroparesis—paralysis of the stomach that makes it difficult to digest food. Anyone who used Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, generic semaglutide, or other weight loss drug, and subsequently developed gastroparesis or other gastrointestinal issues, should contact Wilt Injury Lawyers today.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a weekly injection that lowers blood sugar by helping the pancreas produce more insulin. Ozempic was approved in 2017 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help control type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood.

In those with type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, the body’s cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, or both. Drugs like Ozempic encourage the pancreas to release insulin and subdue the release of another hormone called glucagon to help control blood sugar levels and also act in the brain to reduce hunger and on the stomach to delay emptying so patients feel full for a longer period of time. These effects may lead to weight loss, which can be an essential part of managing diabetes.

That weight loss, however, is what led to the “Ozempic boom,” so to speak. As Forbes reports, “researchers at the University of Leeds discovered the drug could also be used to treat obesity. Just a few years later, in 2021, the FDA approved Wegovy for long-term weight management in adults who have at least one other weight-related condition.”

What other diabetes and weight loss drugs are associated with injuries?

There are currently three FDA-approved semaglutide products: Ozempic injection, Rybelsus tablets, and Wegovy injection. All three products are manufactured by Novo Nordisk; Wegovy is the only one approved exclusively for weight loss.

Mounjaro and Zepbound (brand names for tirzepatide) and Victoza (a liraglutide prescribed for Type 2 diabetes) have also been linked to gastroparesis, pancreatitis/gallstone disease, and/or bowel obstruction.. Mounjaro is manufactured by Eli Lilly; Victoza is another Novo Nordisk medication. Though Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro are the most well-known names, any of these medications can have severe side effects.

What are the side effects of Ozempic and other weight loss medications?

Ozempic, Mounjaro, and other medications have been associated with several dangerous side effects, including:

  • Lawsuits have linked Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, Mounjaro, and other weight loss drug use to gastroparesis, a chronic, incurable condition involving the weakening of the nerves and muscles of the stomach. This weakening makes it more difficult for the stomach to transfer food to the small intestine, leading to nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating and pain, severe dehydration, acid reflux, diarrhea, and intestinal blockage or obstruction.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation are the most common side effects of Ozempic and other similar medications. Patients are advised to eat slowly and stop when full, eat smaller portions, and avoid being too active immediately after eating to help avoid these side effects.
  • A lack of movement in the intestines can sometimes result in partial or complete bowel obstruction, known as ileus. The FDA added a warning about ileus to Ozempic’s label in September 2023, after 33 cases of ileus, including 2 deaths, were reported.
  • Gallbladder disease. According to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy are associated with an increased risk of gallbladder disease, primarily when used at higher dosages, for longer durations, and for weight management.

Novo Nordisk has released statements testifying to the safety of its products but also acknowledged that use of the drug might produce mild to moderate gastrointestinal side effects for a short period of time. However, Novo Nordisk has not included gastroparesis warnings in its prescription information. Neither has Eli Lilly.

Why gastroparesis is such a serious injury

The reason drugs like Ozempic, Mounjaro, and Wegovy work so well is that they slow down the body’s digestion; specifically, they slow down the time it takes for the stomach to empty. They do this, as CNN Health explains, “by mimicking a hormone that’s naturally made by the body, GLP-1. One of the roles of GLP-1 is to slow the passage of food through the stomach, which helps people feel fuller longer.”

However, in some cases, this causes severe gastroparesis: paralysis of the stomach. The condition is permanent, though treatable. The problem is that the effects of gastroparesis can be extreme, and they will continue even after you stop taking the drug. From CNN Health:

Emily Wright, 38, a teacher in Toronto, started taking Ozempic in 2018. Over a year, she said, she lost 80 pounds, which she’s been able to keep off. But Wright said she now vomits so frequently that she had to take a leave of absence from her job.


Wright said she has also been diagnosed with cyclic vomiting syndrome, which causes her to throw up multiple times a day.

Remember: neither Novo Nordisk nor Eli Lilly issued any warning that their medications could cause this incurable medical condition.

Who can file an Ozempic lawsuit?

Anyone who developed gastroparesis after taking drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Eli Lilly or Novo Nordisk, their doctors, or any third parties involved. As of February 2024, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) consolidated approximately 55 Ozempic lawsuits in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the number of cases is expected to increase.

Wilt Injury Lawyers is currently reviewing cases on behalf of folks who were prescribed medications like Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy, and other diabetes and weight loss medication, and who developed gatrstroparesis as a result. Our experienced lawyers in Louisville and Lexington can help you, too.

Injuries caused by medical malpractice are often sudden, devastating, and extremely costly. The experienced attorneys at Wilt Injury Lawyers have recovered more than $250 million for our personal injury and medical malpractice clients. We use our legal acumen and understanding of medical care to handle complex medical malpractice cases and aggressively pursue full and fair compensation for our clients.

If you have been wronged by a negligent or irresponsible medical professional, call us or fill out our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation today. Wilt Injury Lawyers has offices in Louisville and Lexington and proudly serves clients throughout Kentucky.