Ozempic Lawsuit - Wegovy Rybelsus Lawsuits - Stomach Injury Settlements
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.
Levin Papantonio Rafferty has been handling lawsuits against drug manufacturers since 1955. Our firm is listed in Best Lawyers in America and The National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame. You can trust us to handle your Ozempic/Wegovy/Rybelsus lawsuit for gastroparesis/stomach paralysis.
What Do We Know About Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis Lawsuits?
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 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received adverse event reports of gastroparesis/stomach paralysis from individuals who took the GLP-1 Receptor Agonists (RA) drugs.
The first such GLP-1 RA drug lawsuit filed involved a woman who began receiving Ozempic injections in the spring of 2022. According to the plaintiff, within two years’ time, she was suffering from severe stomach paralysis. Switching to another medication, Mounjaro, did not alleviate her symptoms.
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.
How Much Compensation Can You Get in an Ozempic, Wegovy, or Rybelsus Settlement for Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis?
The compensation you could recover in a verdict or settlement in these semaglutide gastroparesis/stomach paralysis lawsuits depends on the type and extent of your injuries. Generally, a settlement in this type of case could cover several types of damages, including (but not limited to):
- Medical treatment costs (past and future), including surgery
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost income (past and future)
- Pain and suffering related to injuries, treatment, and recovery (past and future)
- Loss of enjoyment of life (past and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Possible punitive damages
Our attorneys will fight to get you the maximum financial compensation to cover the losses you have suffered from gastroparesis/stomach paralysis after taking Ozempic, Wegovy, or Rybelsus diabetes weight loss drugs.
How Are Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus Used?
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.
The Semaglutide Class
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.
How the Weight-Loss Drugs Differ
Patients receive Ozempic and Wegovy as a subcutaneous injection. The key difference between the two drugs is that Ozempic is designed for treatment of type 2 diabetes at doses of 0.5 to 1 mg weekly, while Wegovy has been FDA-approved as a weight loss drug with a weekly dosage of 2.4 mg. Like Ozempic, Rybelsus is designed to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the patient takes this medication daily in the form of an oral tablet.
Can I File a Lawsuit for Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis After Taking Ozempic?
Our law firm is 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.
What Are the Main Legal Issues Involving These Semaglutide Drugs and Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis?
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.
What is Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis?
Gastroparesis is a medical condition in which the patient’s stomach does not empty properly. According to Mayo Clinic, strong muscles in a healthy stomach contract to move food through the digestive tract. The motility in a patient with gastroparesis, however, slows down. In some cases, the muscles do not work at all.
As a result, the patient’s stomach does not empty—or fails to empty to the extent it should—meaning food stays in the stomach longer than it should, rather than moving on for digestion in the small intestine.
How Common Is Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis?
A study published in 2009 issue of Gastroenterology scientific journal reported only one in 100,000 people have gastroparesis (Jung HK, Choung RS, Locke GR III, et al. The incidence, prevalence, and outcomes of patients with gastroparesis in Olmsted County, Minnesota, from 1996 to 2006. Gastroenterology. 2009;136(4):1225–1233.).
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis?
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
What Is the Treatment for Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis?
There is no cure for gastroparesis. Treatments for the condition appear to offer only temporary benefits, according to MedlinePlus, the authoritative source that gathers health information from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.
Complications From Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases lists a range of complications that can arise from gastroparesis:
- 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:
- Decreased quality of life
If a bezoar keeps food from moving to the small intestine, gastroparesis can be life-threatening.
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The Timeline Important to the Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus Lawsuits
- 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 Durg Shortages list.
- 2023: Lawsuits are filed against Novo Nordisk on behalf of patients who took the drugs and developed gastroparesis/stomach paralysis problems
Pop Culture "Weight Loss" Phenomenon Is Paralyzing People's Stomachs
FDA, Scientific Studies and Literature on Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus Gastroparesis/Stomach Paralysis
The below studies constitute a small sampling of the scientific literature and studies published on the diabetes weight-loss drugs and gastroparesis/stomach paralysis:
Jensterle et al (2023): Semaglutide delays 4-hour gastric emptying in women with polycystic ovary syndrome and obesity
This was a small clinical trial of 20 obese female patients with polycystic ovary syndrome who were given semaglutide or placebo. From baseline to the study end, semaglutide increased subjects’ estimated retention of gastric contents after eating radioactively labelled solid meals as follows:
1 hour - by 3.5%
2 hours – by 25.5%
3 hours – by 28.0%
4 hours – by 30.0%
The time it took for half the radiolabeled meal to empty from the stomach was significantly longer in the semaglutide group than the placebo group (171 vs. 118 min; P less than 0.001).
Kalas et al (2023): Frequency of GLP-1 receptor agonists use in diabetic patients diagnosed with delayed gastric emptying and their demographic profile
In this retrospective chart review, GLP-1 RA use was associated with delayed gastric emptying in patients who had diabetes for less than 10 years. Twenty-four percent of patients with diabetes with delayed gastric emptying were taking a GLP-1 RA.
Klein & Hobai (2023): Semaglutide, delayed gastric emptying, and intraoperative pulmonary aspiration: a case report
This case report detailed retained food in the stomach of a patient taking semaglutide despite following preoperative fasting guidelines, resulting in intraoperative pulmonary aspiration.
Preda et al (2023): Gastroparesis with bezoar formation in patients treated with glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists: potential relevance for bariatric and other gastric surgery
This research involved the study of 100 patients who underwent routine gastroscopy before sleeve gastrectomy. Four out of 23 patients on GLP-1 RAs manifested bezoars, compared with 0 out of 77 of the patients who were not on GLP-1 RAs. One to three weeks after the GLP-1 RA therapy was stopped, the delayed emptying of the stomach and bezoars resolved.
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
Twenty patients were given semaglutide or a control, with the following results after an 8-hour fasting period:
- Supine position: 70% of semaglutide participants and 10% of control participants had solids present on gastric ultrasound.
- Lateral position: 90% of semaglutide participants and 20% of control participants had solids identified on gastric ultrasound.
- Two hours after consuming clear liquids: 90% of control group participants were rated as empty, while only 30% of semaglutide group participants were rated as empty in the supine position.