The twin semaglutide medications manufactured and distributed by Novo Nordisk, Wegovy and Ozempic, once enjoyed mythic status as miracle Type II diabetes and weight management prescription drugs. Only in recent years have product liability lawsuits, clinical trials, professional warnings, and disturbing anecdotal reports exposed the potential dangers associated with these popular glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.
Wegovy has been frequently linked to the severe gastrointestinal disorder, gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), and other medical complications which Novo Nordisk failed to disclose to users. If you were prescribed the weight loss drug Wegovy or its Type II diabetes sister medication, Ozempic, and subsequently developed the life-altering symptoms of stomach paralysis, you may be eligible for compensation in an Ozempic stomach paralysis lawsuit.
What is Wegovy?
Wegovy (semaglutide) is part of a classification of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, which mimic the naturally occurring effects of the hormone GLP-1 in the small intestine. GLP-1 facilitates several important bodily functions like triggering the release of insulin in the pancreas and increasing a person’s sense of fullness (satiety) at mealtime.
One of the most common questions about semaglutide is why it is so effective in achieving weight loss in users. In an important research study published in 2017, professor Michael Camilleri, M.D., concluded that the GLP-1 RA medication, liraglutide, resulted in decreased gastric emptying and increased weight loss in the 19 participants who were randomly assigned the drug.
GLP-1 RA medications, akin to the naturally occurring GLP-1 hormone, slow the rate at which muscles in the stomach empty the organ of its contents. The result is a medicinally induced sense of satiety, which physicians believe may be partially responsible for the weight loss effects of GLP-1 drugs.
It was this discovery that prompted doctors and patients to use Ozempic for weight management, even though it is intended to treat the symptoms of Type II diabetes by regulating high blood sugar levels. Consequently, Ozempic found itself at the center of a pharmaceutical counterculture that repurposed the drug to assist in medicinal weight loss.
Are Wegovy and Ozempic the Same GLP-1 RA Medication?
Wegovy and Ozempic are both generically named semaglutide. However, their purpose and composition are different. The semaglutide levels in Ozempic, which received FDA approval in 2017 for the treatment of Type II diabetes, are lower than those in Wegovy.
After various high-profile and celebrity advertisements of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk noticed a considerable increase in demand for its drugs as physicians began to prescribe it for the treatment of obesity. In response to this, they undertook the production of Wegovy, which was designed to assist in weight management, absent a Type II diabetes diagnosis.
Upon receiving FDA approval in 2021, Wegovy grew in popularity and, by the Summer of 2023, experienced a supply shortage which Novo Nordisk has attempted to combat by restricting starter doses of the GLP-1 RA medication. An Ozempic shortage also occurred in the Spring of 2023, which resulted in drug compounders producing off-brand versions of semaglutide.
What Is Stomach Paralysis, And How Can Wegovy Cause It?
Stomach paralysis is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by dangerously slowed rates of gastric emptying. It can result in severe nausea, vomiting, and the accumulation of undigested food in the stomach. Those who suffer from it sometimes report being unable to swallow food after a few bites and may have to dedicate several hours over the course of the day to combating severe episodes of nausea intermittently interrupted by intense vomiting.
One of the side effects of GLP-1 RA medications, like Wegovy, is a decreased rate of gastric emptying which can devolve into full-blown gastroparesis, often with life-altering consequences. In more severe cases, unresolvable gastroparesis may even require surgery. For example, 37-year old Ozempic user, Joanie Knight, told CNN that after developing the debilitating condition of stomach paralysis, she had to resort to gastric bypass surgery.
Reasearch and Experts Connect Wegovy and Semaglutide in General to Gastroparesis
Gastroparesis specialist and researcher, Linda Nguyen, M.D., informed CNN that she has found that the use of liraglutide and other related medications can result in crippling delayed gastric emptying. Dr. Nguyen joins a growing chorus of experts warning Wegovy and Ozempic users of the harmful but undisclosed side effects of GLP-1 RA medications.
On top of the potential GLP-1 RA medications have to require surgery, they can even complicate it. In June 2023, the American Society of Anesthesiologists released an alarming letter informing patients of the possible risks associated with the use of GLP-1 RA medications and anesthetization. They discovered from authoritative expert reports that users of these medications were at a noticeably greater risk of regurgitation and aspiration while receiving surgery.
What are the Other Side Effects of Wegovy?
Looking at the side effects of Wegovy advertised by Novo Nordisk, one would think that the worst gastrointestinal problems to expect were nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. And yet, alarming reports of cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), cholelithiasis (gallstones), cholecystitis (gallbladder disease), and pancreatitis have prompted serious scrutiny into Novo Nordisk’s popular weight loss Type II diabetes medications.
Can Wegovy Cause Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)?
Of the various adverse consequences associated with the use of Wegovy and other GLP-1 RA medications, cyclic vomiting syndrome is one of the most disturbing. In Wegovy users, cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) typically results in:
- Recurrent episodes of intense vomiting
- Severe nausea prior to an episode
- Abdominal pain
- Light sensitivity
Novo Nordisk states in its Wegovy side effects disclosure that the drug can result in gastrointestinal issues, but does not go so far as to claim that its medication can cause cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS). This may leave the company open to prosecution in an Ozempic lawsuit.
Is Wegovy Linked to Gallstones and Gallbladder Disease?
In March 2022, JAMA Internal Medicine published a meta-analysis of 76 randomized clinical trials examining the potential for GLP-1 RA medications to cause or exacerbate gallbladder or biliary diseases. The study concluded that there was a probable connection between GLP-1 RA drugs, commonly produced by Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co., and serious gallbladder complications.
At the same time that Liyun He, M.M., Jialu Wang, M.M., and Fan Ping, M.D., were carrying out their important research, Ozempic users were already filing product liability lawsuits against Novo Nordisk after they developed cholelithiasis (gallstones). The symptoms of gallstones from Wegovy use may include:
- Pain or cramping in the upper right or upper middle abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Clay-colored stools
Once again, the manufacturer of Wegovy, Novo Nordisk, did not inform its users that they were at a heightened risk of developing cholelithiasis (gallstones) or gallbladder disease, whose symptoms range from biliary colic to gastrointestinal discomfort.
Are There Ozempic and Wegovy Product Liability Lawsuits?
The various exposés and FDA reports revealing the connections between popular GLP-1 RA medications and a slew of severe medical conditions have also been attended by mounting Wegovy and Ozempic product liability lawsuits. One of the most recognizable of these cases was filed by Jaclyn Bjorklund, a 44-year-old Louisianan, who developed severe gastrointestinal complications after taking Ozempic.
Across the country, long-term users of Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co.’s antidiabetic and weight loss drugs have filed similar suits that confront the pharmaceutical companies’ failure to inform the public about the side effects of their medications.
The courts have yet to rule in any of the current Ozempic stomach paralysis lawsuits. However, the magnitude of the injuries users allege indicates a potential upheaval in the uncharted legal landscape concerning GLP-1 RA medications.
Damages Caused by Wegovy Side Effects
Treating gallstones, gallbladder diseases, gastroparesis, cyclic vomiting syndrome, and more after taking Wegovy can be an exhausting experience. Between doctor appointments, you may be struggling to deal with the mounting medical expenses, the dramatic changes in your day-to-day life, and the natural distress they cause.
After contending with the difficulties Wegovy-related illnesses can cause, experienced Ozempic attorneys near you can provide assistance in determining the scope of your injuries and the compensation you may be entitled to seek in an Ozempic lawsuit.
Common damages in personal injury lawsuits include:
- Lost wages or income
- Medical expenses
- Transportation costs
- Pain or suffering
- Decreased quality of life
How Long You Have to File a Wegovy Lawsuit
The potential value of Ozempic lawsuits is difficult to determine given the lack of rulings and the preliminary nature of the product liability litigation. Nevertheless, it is imperative to file suit at the earliest possible date to satisfy the statute of limitations for product liability lawsuits in your state.
These statutes establish a period of time in which your claims are eligible in a court of law. In Florida, the statute of limitations for product liability lawsuits is 2 years and begins on the date of an injury or upon the diagnosis of a medical condition.
Experienced Ozempic and Wegovy Attorneys Can Help You Today
Emily Wright, a 38-year-old Tortontan, told CNN in July that she had to take time off of work after developing both gastroparesis and cyclic vomiting syndrome. 42-year-old Brenda Allen was hospitalized after undiagnosed but severe episodes of vomiting and Joanie Knight, 37, had to receive stomach bypass surgery to treat her Ozempic-induced gastroparesis.
If the struggles of Wright, Allen, Bjorklund, and Knight sound familiar, you may be eligible to pursue an Ozempic product liability lawsuit against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co. for their failure to warn you of the devastating side effects of their GLP-1 RA medications.
Local product liability attorneys are dedicated to defending your rights against the irresponsible business practices of multinational pharmaceutical companies. They offer free consultations and can assist you in determining the extent of your damages, the liability of the manufacturer, and your eligibility in court. With the recent groundswell of Ozempic lawsuits, the time is now to safeguard your rights. Although it may be too late to change the past, you can protect your future.