Our law firm is investigating cases where individuals have suffered gastroparesis/stomach paralysis after using the weight loss drugs Ozempic, Wegovy, or Rybelsus because the manufacturer of these drugs failed to adequately warn patients and doctors of the risk of these dangerous gastrointestinal side effects.
Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus belong to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA). All three drugs share the same common active ingredient: semaglutide.
Semaglutide is a class of prescription drug used to control high blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is classified as a GLP-1 Receptor Agonist Analog-Type drug. The medication mimics a natural human glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) to slow the passing of food through the stomach.
- Once weekly subcutaneous injection
- Designed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes
- Doses of 0.5mg to 1.0mg weekly
- Once weekly subcutaneous injection
- FDA-approved as a weight loss drug
- Weekly dose of 2.4mg, ramping up over time from 0.25mg
- Once daily oral tablet
- Designed to treat type 2 diabetes
- Daily dose of 7mg or 14mg
CNN wrote about the problems some users of these diabetes drugs are experiencing and reported that doctors are coming forward with reports of gastroparesis/stomach paralysis from patients who took these weight-loss medications. The FDA has received adverse event reports of gastroparesis/stomach paralysis from individuals who took the GLP-1 Receptor Agonists (RA) drugs.
Lawsuits have been filed against Novo Nordisk, the maker of Rybelsus, Ozempic and Wegovy, alleging the company failed to properly warn users about the risks of these medications.
In one September 2023 case, a Pennsylvania woman filed a Wegovy lawsuit after she was hospitalized and diagnosed with gastroparesis following regular injections of Wegovy.
Another woman filed an Ozempic lawsuit in Louisiana after she allegedly suffered severe gastrointestinal issues that led to multiple emergency room visits, permanent injuries, and emotional distress.
Novo Nordisk, the maker of these weight-loss drugs, does not include warnings about the increased risk of gastroparesis/stomach paralysis for people who consume the medications or receive GLP-1 RA treatments.
Gastroparesis/stomach paralysis is a medical condition in which the patient’s stomach does not empty properly. Gastroparesis can negatively impact a patient’s blood sugar levels and nutrition. The condition can also impede healthy digestion. Symptoms of gastroparesis include:
- Bloating of the abdomen
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling full after eating very little
- Alterations in blood sugar levels
- Acid reflux
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
There is no cure for gastroparesis. Treatments only offer temporary benefits. Complications that can arise from gastroparesis include:
- Dehydration from repeated vomiting
- Malnutrition stemming from poor nutrient absorption
- Difficulty controlling blood sugar (blood glucose) levels
- Low-calorie intake
- Bezoars (solid mass of food in the stomach, preventing digestion), which can cause:
- If a bezoar keeps food from moving to the small intestine, gastroparesis can be life-threatening.
- Decreased quality of life
- 2012: Novo Nordisk researchers develop semaglutide as a diabetes therapy offering a longer-acting alternative to liraglutide.
- 2016: Clinical trials of Ozempic begin.
- 2016: The FDA New Drug Application is filed.
- 2017: Clinical trials of Ozempic are completed in May.
- 2017: Ozempic is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December as an injectable form of semaglutide to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
- 2017: University of Leeds researchers and Novo Nordisk report that semaglutide can be used to treat obesity.
- 2018: Ozempic is approved in the European Union, Japan, and Canada.
- 2019: Novo Nordisk’s Rybelsus (a form of semaglutide taken by mouth) is approved for medical use in the U.S.
- 2020: Rybelsus is approved for medical use in the European Union.
- 2021: FDA approves Wegovy, Novo Nordisk’s semaglutide injection for long-term weight management in adults.
- 2021: More than 10,000 semaglutide-related adverse events are reported to the FDA Adverse Reporting System (FAERS).
- 2023: Ozempic and Wegovy are listed on FDA’s Drug Shortages list.
- 2023: Lawsuits are filed against Novo Nordisk on behalf of patients who took the drugs and developed gastroparesis/stomach paralysis problems
The primary legal issue could be whether the Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus manufacturer Novo Nordisk knew or should have known about the heightened risks for gastroparesis/stomach paralysis that these drugs posed to users and failed to warn doctors and patients of this risk.
We are currently investigating cases on behalf of individuals who received Ozempic, Rybelsus, or Wegovy brand GLP-1 RA treatments (in pills or via injections), and:
- Are 75 years of age or younger; and
- Received a diagnosis of gastroparesis, stomach paralysis or gastric obstruction while taking these drugs or within 30 days of stopping use; and
- Required an emergency room visit or hospital admission.
Jensterle et al (2023): Semaglutide delays 4-hour gastric emptying in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and obesity
Sherwin et al (2023): Influence of semaglutide use on the presence of residual gastric solids on gastric ultrasound: a prospective observational study in volunteers without obesity recently started on semaglutide
What does it cost to find out if I have a case?
Nothing. If you or a loved one used Ozempic, Wegovy, or Rybelsus and developed any of the symptoms described above, or if you have been diagnosed with gastroparesis/stomach paralysis, call us toll free at (877) 704-7674 for a free case evaluation. If you took any of these drugs and have experienced any of the symptoms described above, you should immediately report these symptoms to your doctor. Do not discontinue the use of any prescription medication without consulting your physician.
This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits. Attorneys David Summers and Aaron Johnson are licensed in Missouri and Kansas; however our attorneys have handled cases nationwide, including mass tort claims that are filed in federal courts.* Always consult your doctor before making any change in medication.
* In order to represent clients in states where the attorneys are not licensed, they must be granted admission pro hac vice or associate with local counsel.