Taking Laxatives While Using Ozempic, Wegovy, or Mounjaro: What You Need To Know

Taking Laxatives While Using Ozempic, Wegovy, or Mounjaro: What You Need To Know

Estimated Reading Time: 20 minutes

Whether or not it’s safe to take laxatives while you are using Ozempic, Wegovy, or Mounjaro for weight loss is a common question because of the potential health risks. These medications have been making headlines recently for causing stomach issues, like stomach paralysis and constipation. This has led to a string of lawsuits against Ozempic and other drug manufacturers for failing to warn consumers and for the injuries and deaths that it has caused. 

Because stomach paralysis weakens your stomach muscle contractions, it slows down your ability to digest food and pass it on to your intestines. This leads to food sitting in your stomach for too long and eventually severe forms of stomach problems, especially constipation. 

This article gives an in-depth look at constipation caused by Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro, what causes it, how it can be treated safely, and whether or not laxatives can reduce the effectiveness of these medications.

This article’s goal is to help you make informed decisions about the side effects of Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro so that you can better understand your situation and what questions to ask your doctor.

This article does not substitute for advice from a medical doctor or healthcare provider.

Box of Ozempic behind two packages of laxatives
Box of Ozempic behind two packages of laxatives

Understanding Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro

Ozempic is a medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs called GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA), which work by mimicking the natural hormones in the body that signal the release of insulin and reduce the production of glucose in the liver. 

Ozempic first gained popularity because of its effectiveness in controlling blood sugar levels.

However, one of its main side effects is substantial weight loss. This quickly led to the drug being approved by the FDA for weight loss and prescribed off-label to patients who were not diabetic but were looking to lose weight. 

Wegovy is made by the same pharmaceutical giant as Ozempic, the Danish company Novo Nordisk. The only difference is it contains a higher dose of the same active ingredient, semaglutide.

In clinical trials, semaglutide helped patients lose an average of 12.4% of their body weight when taken with diet and exercise.

Mounjaro, which is the brand name for tirzepatide, is similar to Ozempic and Wegovy since it is used to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes and is prescribed for weight loss.

In a study that compared semaglutide to tirzepatide, the data showed that tirzepatide resulted in an average weight loss of 17.8%.

Mounjaro box and injection pen

Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro Flood the World, But with Serious Risks

The demand for these weight loss drugs is astronomical. Due to social media, celebrities dropping 30 pounds seemingly overnight, and word of mouth about a ‘miracle’ weight loss drug, everyone is talking about Ozempic and its sister drugs.

According to a CNN interview with the CEO of Novo Nordisk, Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen, it could take years before Novo Nordisk has fulfilled [the] demand for its highly popular weight loss drugs (Ozempic and Wegovy).

More than 100 million Americans are dealing with obesity and “many of those would like to be on treatment”, the CEO said.

On Wegovy, patients are supposed to gradually increase their dose over time because of the higher strength. This gives them time to adjust to the side effects like nausea, vomiting, and constipation. But Novo Nordisk is limiting the availability of those lower doses “in an effort to support continuity of care for existing patients.” It’s unclear whether patients would be allowed to skip the gradual increase.

Wegovy is only available in the US, Denmark, and Norway, and just recently became available in Germany and the UK.

“In Denmark, we have 1% of the population on Wegovy,” Jorgensen bragged.

But in case the serious side effects weren’t enough, these drugs cost $850 to $1,350 a month in the US before insurance, and studies have shown that people must keep taking them to maintain the weight loss.

As the demand continues to rise and more people than ever are taking the drug for longer and longer periods, there is real concern about the potential safety risks, both short-term and long-term.

Line graph showing the popularity of Ozempic prescription by year, rapidly increasing from 0 to 375,000 from 2018 to 2023
Line graph showing the dramatic rise of Ozempic and similar drugs - Graphic originally from CNN

What are the Side Effects of Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro?

Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro have lots of usual side effects, just like any medication. But for the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on the stomach-related side effects caused by Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro. In particular, how laxatives interact with constipation and other side effects caused by these drugs. 

Understanding a medication’s side effects is crucial for ensuring your safety and being able to make informed health decisions.

All Known Side Effects Caused by Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro

The following are the common side effects caused by semaglutide and tirzepatide, in general. In the next section, we will look specifically at the side effects related to stomach issues.

Ozempic and Wegovy (semaglutide) Side Effects and Risks

The following side effects and risks have been attributed to Ozempic and Wegovy either by the manufacturer or the FDA.

  • Gastrointestinal issues (stomach and intestines)
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Severe constipation
  • Reduced appetite
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney issues
  • Delay in gastric emptying
  • Severe dehydration
  • Acid reflux
  • Malnutrition
  • Undigested food hardening in the stomach
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Stomach paralysis (gastroparesis)

Mounjaro (tirzepatide) Side Effects and Risks

Because semaglutide drugs are so similar to tirzepatide drugs, the side effects are very similar.

  • Gastrointestinal issues (stomach and intestines)
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Severe constipation
    • Abdominal pain
    • Bloating
  • Reduced appetite
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Kidney issues
  • Delay in gastric emptying
  • Severe dehydration
  • Acid reflux
  • Malnutrition
  • Undigested food hardening in the stomach
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Stomach paralysis

Serious Side Effects Caused by Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro

Two side effects in particular have caused major problems recently, leading to an Ozempic Stomach Paralysis Lawsuit and an Ozempic Gallbladder Lawsuit. 

Wegovy and Mounjaro are also being sued in these mass tort lawsuits for the same reasons. 

Ozempic is facing lawsuits primarily surrounding allegations that they failed to warn patients about the more serious side effects.

Gallstones and Gallbladder Issues

Your gallbladder is a small organ very close to your stomach that is responsible for making and releasing stomach bile to help break down your food.

Gallstones occur when the bile that forms in your gallbladder hardens. They can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. 

Gallstones usually develop without you even noticing and show no signs or symptoms. But, if a gallstone gets lodged in a bile duct and causes a blockage, it will prevent your stomach from operating normally and cause severe pain. 

Studies have shown an increased risk of developing gallstones while taking Ozempic, with some users even needing to have their gallbladder removed (cholecystectomy).

Gastroparesis (Stomach Paralysis)

Gastroparesis (also called delayed stomach emptying) is a condition that affects the normal contraction of the muscles in your stomach. In a healthy gastrointestinal system, the muscles in your stomach push food through your digestive tract. But with stomach paralysis, the movement of food is slowed down or doesn't move at all, preventing your stomach from emptying properly.

Gastroparesis can prevent normal digestion, cause nausea and vomiting, and severe abdominal pain. It can also cause problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition. 

The exact cause of gastroparesis is unknown but doctors do know some risk factors, including complications from diabetes and taking certain medications, like opioids, some antidepressants, high blood pressure medicine, allergy medications, and of course, GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro.

Gastroparesis diagram compared to a healthy stomach
Visual comparison of a healthy stomach vs. a stomach experiencing gastroparesis

Intestinal Blockage 

Intestinal obstruction or intestinal blockage is a condition that keeps food or liquid from moving through your small intestine or large intestine like it’s supposed to. 

adhesions in the abdomen that form after surgery, hernias, colon cancer, certain medications, or complications of conditions like Crohn's disease.

Your small intestine and large intestines play an important function in processing the foods you eat and taking nutrients from food.

Without treatment, the blocked parts of the intestine can lose blood flow and die, leading to serious problems. However, intestinal blockage can be treated by a surgeon if the situation goes on for a long time.

Intestinal blockages have been reported in people taking Ozempic. Why GLP-1 RA drugs cause intestinal blockage isn’t clear yet but it is known that drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro, among other things, can increase your risks.

In addition to intestinal blockage, these medications can also cause ileus, a condition where the intestines stop being able to move food through the digestive system, leading to constipation.

Ozempic's severe side effects—along with the medications’ heightened popularity due to celebrities, influencers, and the need for a quick fix—have led to more scrutiny of these medications and the problems they cause. Plus, the manufacturers may failed to warn users of these possible side effects which has resulted in these lawsuits. 

It's important to note that the lawsuits against Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro are still evolving. For the latest information read: Ozempic Stomach Paralysis Lawsuit - Updated for 2024.

How Do Laxatives Work and Can They Help with Constipation Caused by Ozempic?

Laxatives help people who are constipated to have a bowel movement. Since Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro cause such severe constipation, it is becoming more and more common for people taking these drugs to turn to laxatives. 

Different types of laxatives work in different ways to help relieve constipation and ease bowel movements. Here's a breakdown of the most common types of laxatives and how they work:

Bulk-forming laxatives

Bulk-form laxatives are the equivalent of eating enough fiber but in a concentrated form. This type of laxative (like Metamucil, FiberCon, Citrucel) acts like tiny sponges in your intestines, pulling more water into your stool and causing it to bulk, which makes it easier to pass. This is one of the slowest-acting laxatives.

Osmotic laxatives

Osmotic laxatives (like Miralax) draw water into your intestines from the surrounding intestinal tissue, softening your stool and making it easier to pass. This also is a slower-acting laxative but in some people, they work within a few hours.

Stimulant laxatives

Stimulant laxatives (like Ex-Lax, Senokot, and castor oil) work by stimulating the muscles in your intestines to contract, forcing your body to have a bowel movement. This medicine can work in 1-12 hours

Stool softeners

Stool softeners (like Colace and mineral oil) work by increasing the water content within your stool, making it softer and more lubricated and therefore easier to pass. They take 1-3 days and are not effective for severe constipation.


Lubricants (like mineral oil and docusate sodium) coat the stool and the lining of your intestines, making it easier for the stool to slide through. Again, they take 1-3 days and are not effective for severe constipation.

These laxatives can help relieve constipation associated with Ozempic and similar drugs, which if you are in that situation can be a big relief, but you need to be careful with laxatives. 

It's important to note that laxatives should really be used as a last resort. They are also not a long-term solution for constipation. Instead, professionals recommend that you address the underlying cause of your constipation, like changing your diet to include more vegetables and fruits, exercising, and drinking plenty of water. 

Using laxatives to treat constipation caused by Ozempic, Wegovy, or Mounjaro can also be dangerous because overuse can lead to dependence, which will make your constipation worse. These medications also can cause severe dehydration and some laxatives, like osmotic laxatives, can draw water away from your body and make dehydration worse.

Always consult your doctor before taking any laxatives, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Wegovy injectable in a box on a pharmacy counter

Is It Safe to Take Laxatives with Drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro?

There is no known contraindication or negative interaction between laxatives and medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro. 

But, it's important to understand that laxatives can change how well medications are absorbed into your system. Specifically, laxatives can decrease the absorption time of important medications that you are prescribed. 

Certain laxatives can also lead to an imbalance in electrolytes, like potassium, which is related to the risk of dehydration mentioned above. These are about the only risks associated with Ozempic and laxatives. 

The best advice you can get when it comes to taking any laxatives is to drink more water than you think you should—then drink some more. And try to use laxatives sparingly so that they do not make things worse. 

Signs You Are Taking Too Many Laxatives

If you are taking laxatives due to constipation caused by medicines like Ozempic, you may be wondering how you know if you are taking too much. Here are some signs that you might be taking too many laxatives:

  • Diarrhea: This is an obvious sign since you have gone past constipation all the way to the other side of the spectrum.
  • Dehydration: As mentioned earlier, laxatives can cause fluid loss. If you notice extreme thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, or headaches, it may be time to back off.
  • Electrolyte imbalance: Laxatives can also deplete electrolytes as the water is removed from your system. This can cause muscle cramps, weakness, and irregular heartbeat. Take a few days off and drink lots of water that contains minerals.
  • Dependence: If you find that your body is reliant on laxatives to have a bowel movement, you are taking too much or too often.

If you want to skip the laxatives altogether, first speak to your doctor, but you can also try:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids to keep things lubricated.
  • Eating a fiber-rich diet, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Getting regular exercise to help stimulate your digestive system.
  • Managing your stress, since it can contribute to constipation

Free Ozempic Lawsuit Evaluation

Our team of lawyers is handling hundreds of Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro lawsuits. We can provide you with a free consultation and claim evaluation to help you determine if your case qualifies for the lawsuit. You may be able to get financial compensation through the Ozempic Lawsuit or a claim against whichever drug manufactured caused you to suffer injuries, health problems, or the wrongful death of a family member.

To request a free consultation and claim evaluation, contact the Lawsuit Legal News team below.

Questions about a possible Ozempic case?
Call 866-535-9515 or contact us online today!

Reporting Adverse Side Effects to the FDA

If you are experiencing serious or abnormal side effects while taking any of these medications, you should report them to the FDA so that they can gather data and look into the claims. 

To report suspected adverse reactions caused by any of these medications, report them to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch

Frequently Asked Questions

Is constipation a side effect of taking Ozempic?

Yes, constipation is a known and fairly common side effect of Ozempic. In clinical trials, approximately 4% to 12% of people taking Ozempic experienced constipation. The likelihood seemed to go up for people taking the medication for weight loss versus diabetic treatment. 

Can I take laxatives while taking Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, or any other semaglutide or tirzepatide medication?

Yes, just make sure your doctor is aware that you are experiencing constipation from the medications. And, only do so if you have severe constipation; minor constipation can be solved with some simple lifestyle changes.

Does the use of laxatives impact Ozempic's effectiveness?

No, there is no direct evidence indicating that laxatives make Ozempic less effective. However, since laxatives can alter the absorption of certain medications, it’s advisable to speak with your prescribing doctor to make sure that it’s the best path for you.

Yes, start with a gentle laxative and work your way up, because you want to take the least amount necessary. Tell your doctor you are considering taking laxatives because of Ozempic-induced constipation and let them guide you.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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