New Study Finds Direct Link Between Ozempic and Gastroparesis

New Study Finds Direct Link Between Ozempic and Gastroparesis

If you are taking Ozempic or a similar medication and you are now facing a diagnosis of gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), this article contains important information you need to know. Over the past several years, the popularity of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist (RA) medications such as Ozempic has skyrocketed. While their ability to treat diabetes and assist with weight loss has been praised, there is a great deal of concern regarding potential Ozempic side effects, including gastroparesis.

Ozempic Stomach Paralysis Lawsuit Attorney Matt Dolman

In October 2023, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) examined adverse events associated with GLP-1 RA drugs used for weight loss in a research letter called "Risk of Gastrointestinal Adverse Events Associated With Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists for Weight Loss" where they concluded that studies had found increased risks of gastrointestinal adverse events, such as biliary disease, pancreatitis, bowel obstruction, and gastroparesis.

If you've been diagnosed with gastroparesis linked to Ozempic use, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. Contact an experienced Ozempic lawyer who can evaluate your situation to determine whether or not you may be eligible to seek financial compensation.

Don't wait any longer, call 866-535-9515 or submit your case for review today!

Ozempic and Gastroparesis: What is it?

As this article explains, there is a link between the popular medication Ozempic and a condition where the stomach becomes dangerously paralyzed, known as gastroparesis. The medication has become extremely popular because of its ability to cause rapid weight loss. So as you can imagine, there are millions of people taking the medication. Therefore, any serious or deadly side effects are really important to understand (and pssst...important to warn people about).

Gastroparesis is a condition that impacts the normal functioning of the stomach muscles. When the digestive system is working correctly, the stomach muscles contract and relax to break down food and slowly move it into the small intestine. However, when a person is suffering from gastroparesis, the stomach muscles become weak or even get paralyzed, causing food to move slowly through the digestive system or causing it not to move at all.

This causes serious pain and serious side effects, which can range from uncomfortable to painful to deadly.

How is Ozempic Linked to Gastroparesis?

Ozempic (the brand name for semaglutide) belongs to a class of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. These drugs work by mimicking a natural hormone in your body called GLP-1, which helps to regulate blood sugar and slows down stomach emptying. This medication helps people with diabetes for the obvious reason of lowering blood sugar, but also by delaying food leaving the stomach which also helps regulate blood sugar in diabetics.

However, when the hormone is added to the body by people who don't need it and in a synthetic form, it can sometimes cause excessive symptoms, leading to the symptoms of gastroparesis in some people.

Why is Ozempic Being Sued for Failing to Warn About Gastroparesis?

There have been a ton of lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of Ozempic (Novo Nordisk) and other makers of GLP-1 agonists for failing to warn patients about the potential risk of gastroparesis. Most everyday people need these kinds of side effects to not only be explained but explained well so they can make informed decisions.

Here's why the Ozempic and other defendants are being sued:

  • Recent Studies: While scientists and manufacturers were aware that gastroparesis was a known but rare side effect of GLP-1 drugs, recent studies suggest that it might be much more common than previously thought. These studies have found a correlation between the use of GLP-1 agonists and an increased chance of developing gastroparesis compared to other medications.
  • Lack of Sufficient Warnings: In the lawsuits, the defendants claim that the current warnings on Ozempic labels don't adequately inform patients about the severity and long-term consequences of gastroparesis.
  • Unforeseen Complications: Some of the lawsuits filed have alleged that the drug manufacturers might have downplayed the potential for gastroparesis to become permanent, which can completely uproot someone's life and require lifelong care.
  • Glucagon-like 1 (GLP-1) - Glucagon-like peptide 1, abbreviated to GLP-1, is a hormone naturally produced in the gut and released in response to food. It causes reduced appetite and the release of insulin.
  • Receptor agonist (RA) - An agonist is a chemical that activates a receptor in the body to modify what it is currently doing.
  • Gastroparesis - Gastroparesis is a condition that hinders the normal movement of the muscles in your stomach which helps move food through your body's natural process during digestion.
  • Zepbound, Mounjaro, Wegovy, and Ozempic - Zepbound, Mounjaro, Wegovy, and Ozempic are medications that similarly reduce appetite. These drugs activate important hormones in the body that help with food digestion. They are at the center of the lawsuits in question.
  • Semaglutide - Semaglutide is the generic name for the brand name drugs Wegovy and Ozempic. It was developed by Novo Nordisk in 2012 and approved for use in the US in 2017.
  • Tirzepatide - Tirzepatide is the generic name for the brand name drugs Zepbound and Mounjaro. It was developed by Eli Lilly and Company and approved for use in the US in 2022. Similar issues with stomach paralysis have led to the filing of Mounjaro stomach paralysis lawsuits.
  • Bowel obstruction - Bowel obstruction (aka intestinal obstruction) is a blockage that prevents food or liquid from passing through your intestines normally.
  • Peer-reviewed - A journal or study that other professionals in the field have reviewed to ensure its accuracy and methods.
  • Novo Nordisk - The manufacturer of Ozempic and Wegovy.
  • Eli Lilly & Company - The manufacturers of Mounjaro and Zepbound.
  • Biliary disease - Biliary disease refers to diseases affecting the bile ducts, gallbladder, and other body parts involved in the production and movement of bile. Bile is a fluid produced by the liver that aids digestion.
  • Insulin - Insulin is a hormone that helps blood sugar enter the body's cells to be used for energy. Insulin also signals the liver to store blood sugar for later use.

Other medications that have the same effects as Ozempic—like Wegovy and Mounjaro—have also risen in popularity among individuals using these drugs for the off-label purpose of losing weight. The craze first became known because of celebrities speaking out about using these drugs, including Elon Musk, Khloé Kardashian, Meghan McCain, and Charles Barkley. And, of course, it trickled down to the everyday person.

However, the use of Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro can lead to adverse events such as severe gastroparesis (paralyzed stomachs), abdominal pain, stomach pain, severe vomiting, gastrointestinal events, bowel obstruction, and other potential side effects.

Especially if you have never previously suffered from these conditions, a diagnosis of gastroparesis after taking Ozempic can be life-altering. Based on these recent studies, Ozempic users who are diagnosed with gastrointestinal problems may build a strong case to receive compensation from the drug makers.

Many More Ozempic-Gastroparesis Lawsuits are Expected

Now that these diabetic medications are being commonly used as weight-loss drugs, we expect many complaints of gastrointestinal issues to surface. In fact, at least 9 million prescriptions of these specific medications have been written, according to analytics firm Trilliant Health.

As mentioned above, in October 2023, a publication from the JAMA Network (an international peer-reviewed medical journal) corroborated an earlier but less rigorous clinical research study by establishing a connection between Semaglutide (Ozempic and/or Wegovy) used for weight management and a heightened risk of gastroparesis (stomach paralysis).

With patient safety in mind, many more studies will be published over the next few years.

As Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozepmic and Wegovy, prepares to face additional lawsuits for its failure to warn users of all the risks of taking a GLP-1 RA, the October study only further threatens to reverse the tremendous business progress and success the international pharmaceutical company has enjoyed.

Researchers Detect High-Risk of Gastroparesis in Semaglutide Users

With the heightened scrutiny surrounding the safety and efficacy of GLP-1 RA medications, researchers around the world have undertaken a concerted effort to determine the precise correlation between the use of popular diabetes drugs and severe gastrointestinal side effects. The most recent study to establish a definitive link comes from a group of physicians in an October edition of JAMA Network, a peer-reviewed medical journal in operation since 1883.

Relying on data from the PharMetrics Plus database, which contains the prescription records of tens of millions of patients, the researchers selected, at random, 16 million subjects from 2006 to 2020. After refining the selection criteria to exclude semaglutide and liraglutide users who also have diabetes or underlying medical conditions (including those with prior gastrointestinal conditions) which could increase an individual's risk factor for developing severe biliary or gastrointestinal diseases, the researchers then proceeded to track the rate of incidence of alarming complications.

The JAMA study concluded that users of semaglutide for weight management were at a heightened risk of developing “pancreatitis, gastroparesis, and bowel obstruction.” The study's goal was to fill the gaps in prior clinical research about the correlation between semaglutide and liraglutide use and gastrointestinal complications. The ultimate recommendation in the JAMA study was these results should “be considered by patients who are contemplating using the drugs for weight loss.”

Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis) is a severe medical complication that extensive clinical research is beginning to connect to the use of popular GLP-1 RA (also known as GLP-1 agonists) medications, particularly Ozempic and Wegovy. It is characterized by dangerously slow rates of gastric emptying, which is the rate at which the stomach empties its contents.

In severe cases, gastroparesis has been known to prevent people from eating food after only a few bites, thereby seriously inhibiting the natural digestion process. Although the severity of the symptoms connected with gastroparesis caused by the use of Ozempic and Wegovy varies, common symptoms of the condition include: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Heightened satiety - feeling full quickly
  • Acid reflux
  • Fluctuations in blood sugar levels 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms while taking one of these medications, you should speak to your healthcare professional right away.

Although there is little evidence to suggest that Ozempic-induced gastroparesis continues after a person stops taking the drug, some diagnoses are so severe that they require surgical intervention in the form of gastric bypass to fix the damage and restore bodily equilibrium. 

As we are learning, gastrointestinal issues are common side effects of medications in the GLP-1 class.

The information provided in this article is for general knowledge and education purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. You should consult with a healthcare professional or your doctor for personalized medical advice.

The Science Behind GLP-1 Receptor Agonist Drugs Like Ozempic

Although the most recent study from JAMA Network is likely to influence decisions by physicians and patients alike, it also provides crucial evidence for a common suspicion that medical professionals have long held about the safety of GLP-1 RA medications. The drugs, which were originally designed for the treatment of Type II diabetes, are now being used extensively for weight management.

The primary reason for this peculiar but unsurprising turn of events is the science behind GLP-1 RAs. As receptor agonists, they mimic the effects of naturally occurring GLP-1 produced in the lower intestine

GLP-1 is a tremendously important hormone that helps the body to do many things, including:

  • Produce insulin
  • Control blood sugar levels
  • Increase satiety 
  • Slows gastric emptying (slows the movement of food in the digestive tract) 

Given the paramount importance of regulating blood sugar levels in diabetics, GLP-1 RA enjoyed great success upon its introduction to the international drug market. Nevertheless, even the most stringent of FDA approval requirements could not predict the long-term effects of the drugs, and the administration has had to rely upon post-marketing reviews and anecdotal reports of stomach conditions to determine their safety and efficacy.

The safety of GLP-1 drugs (anti-diabetic drugs) as weight loss medications has not been established. And it seems the FDA is aware that adverse event reports will only continue to increase.

Exposé Reporting Reveals the Gastrointestinal Side Effects of Ozempic & Wegovy

Exposé reporting from CNN in the summer of 2023 cast a light on the serious but undisclosed side effects of Ozempic and Wegovy use among American and Canadian users. Several interviewees described horrifying incidents of excessive vomiting and stomach paralysis so severe that they missed work or needed surgical intervention.

Based on the recent slew of clinical research and an unnerving letter from the American Society of Anesthesiologists warning about potential GLP-1 RA use complicating surgical procedures, CNN exposed how the once-acclaimed drugs have become nightmare-inducing medications. 

The common side effects associated with GLP-1 medication make sense for people with diabetes. However, the side effects make less sense for those using these drugs as a weight loss medication. There have been numerous reports of cyclic vomiting syndrome following the use of Ozempic and Wegovy. Multiple bariatric surgeons have called for additional studies to determine the link between Ozempic and gastroparesis and other gastrointestinal issues.

Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co. Named in First Ozempic Lawsuit

In August 2023, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Company, the manufacturers of Ozempic and Mounjaro, respectively, were named as defendants in the first of many product liability lawsuits. The Louisiana plaintiff in that case, alleges that after taking Ozempic for one year and, subsequently, Mounjaro, she developed severe gastrointestinal complications, which resulted in tooth loss from profuse vomiting. 

The 44-year-old received a definitive diagnosis of stomach paralysis (gastroparesis) and struggles with an undiagnosed vomiting condition requiring temporary hospitalization to treat her dehydration.

Although Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co. deny any wrongdoing, this Ozempic lawsuit claims the drug manufacturers “failed to warn” users of the potential risks involved with these GLP-1 RA medications.

Over the last 5 years since Ozempic was approved for use in the U.S., Google searches for Ozempic have increased by nearly 5000%. Clearly, many people are interested in learning more about Ozempic, but they need to know the whole story.

While the promise of rapid weight loss may entice the general public, anecdotal reports of adverse events warrant further attention from medical professionals.  We anticipate the publication of large epidemiological studies over the next few years, which will shed more light on the link between Ozempic or Mounjaro and stomach paralysis

To learn if you can demand compensation for your damages, consult a seasoned product liability attorney. Contact our dedicated legal staff at 866-535-9515 or complete our contact form for your free consultation today.

Don't wait any longer, call 866-535-9515 or submit your case for review today!

What Common Damages are Available in Ozempic Litigation?

The ongoing Ozempic litigation is still in a preliminary phase. Also, each case involves unique circumstances and medical concerns. As a result, it is challenging to calculate precise Ozempic lawsuit settlement figures. Any lawyer making predictions about case values at this stage is simply guessing. Nevertheless, in personal injury law, damages tend to be divided into three overarching categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic damages are designed to reimburse plaintiffs for the out-of-pocket financial losses they have sustained on account of an injury caused by a negligent party and commonly address:

  • Lost wages and income
  • Medical expenses – past, present, and future
  • Transportation costs

Non-economic damages are more subjective in nature but provide compensation to individuals who have suffered a severe injury for their:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Mental anguish 

Punitive damages are awarded at the discretion of the court in instances where a company or organization was egregious or intentional in their negligent misconduct.

Given the severity of the gastrointestinal injuries and illnesses caused by Ozempic and Wegovy, we expect demands for extensive economic, non-economic, and punitive damages from current and potential plaintiffs in these defective drug lawsuits.

If you were prescribed Ozempic or other semaglutide medications and subsequently received a diagnosis of gastroparesis or developed the symptoms of other affiliated conditions, consider speaking with an experienced product liability attorney today. 

If you are facing gallbladder issues or you've developed gallstones after taking Ozempic, read more about the Ozempic Gallstone Lawsuit or contact an Ozempic Gallbladder Lawyer today.

Contact a Qualified Ozempic Stomach Paralysis Lawyer Today

Novo Nordisk has recently become the most valuable company in Europe. With a stranglehold on the GLP-1 RA market in the United States and ambitious plans to expand worldwide, it has seen incredible growth and success due to Ozempic prescriptions. 

Unfortunately, the speed at which Novo Nordisk rose to such preeminence parallels the hastiness with which it designed, manufactured, and tested its drugs—all with seeming disregard for the long-term consequences and health complications they could cause.

We believe that transparency and honesty from pharmaceutical companies are a cornerstone for well-informed and healthy consumers. 

This is why our team of experienced Ozempic lawyers is on standby to get you the compensation you deserve and to hold Novo Nordisk accountable for its irresponsible business practices.

We offer free consultations for prospective clients where we can discuss your situation and assist you in determining the viability of your claim and the strength of the evidence. We also accept dangerous drug cases on a contingency fee basis, so you won't pay us until we successfully resolve your Ozempic claim.

For more information about your eligibility to file an Ozempic lawsuit and pursue justice for the gastroparesis and other severe injuries you sustained from Novo Nordisk’s powerhouse drug, contact us today. Call 866-535-9515 or submit your case for review now!


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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