Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Sandy Fazili, Esq.
The Ozempic Lawsuit is an active lawsuit
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Ozempic and Gastroparesis Overview

Litigation is pending against Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, for failing to disclose that gastroparesis is a potential side effect of the drug. Gastroparesis is a severe stomach disorder that can result in constant nausea and vomiting. Lawsuits against the manufacturer allege that Novo Nordisk knew of the risks of severe gastrointestinal issues with taking their drug and failed to warn consumers. Gastroparesis is not listed as a potential side effect of the GLP-1 drug.

Ozempic’s generic name is semaglutide. Semaglutide is a GLP-1 receptor agonist (RA) drug, primarily affecting the brain’s hunger signals and appetite suppression. It is widely used to treat Type 2 diabetes in adults and off-label for weight loss. Numerous patients have reported gastrointestinal issues after taking the drug, including gastroparesis or stomach paralysis.

A 2023 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) report highlighted the risk of adverse gastrointestinal events from taking GLP-1 RA drugs such as Ozempic. It found that the drug may be linked to an increased risk of biliary disease, pancreatitis, bowel obstruction, and gastroparesis.

Individuals who have been diagnosed with these or other gastrointestinal disorders after taking Ozempic are strongly encouraged to contact an attorney. At King Law, we have extensive experience handling gastroparesis cases. Our firm will help determine whether you qualify to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer and how to take legal action.

Recent News Reports Linking Ozempic Usage to Gastroparesis

January 2024: CBS News reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) disclosed in its quarterly report an investigation into several potential health issues and side effects linked to semaglutide, prompted by an increasing number of complaints from users.

October 2023: NBC News reports on the potential adverse effects of taking Ozempic and other semaglutides after the JAMA research is published.

July 2023: CNN reports on three women across the country who have taken Ozempic to help treat Type 2 diabetes or manage weight gain and have experienced stomach paralysis. The women report severe side effects that, in two cases, continued for at least a year after discontinuing the use of the drug.

Recent Studies Linking Ozempic to Gastroparesis

January 2024: A case report filed with the National Library of Medicine detailed a patient’s development of gastroparesis after taking semaglutide for weight loss. 

November 2023: A report filed in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a link between taking Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1 RA) and an increased risk of adverse gastrointestinal events such as gastroparesis. 

June 2023: The American Society of Anesthesiologists issue a press release suggesting withholding the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists prior to elective surgery to reduce the risk of complications.

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What Is Gastroparesis From Ozempic?

Ozempic is the brand name for semaglutide. The drug, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, is approved for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes but has been increasingly used for weight loss. It is not recommended for patients already experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating and nausea due to the potential aggravation of these symptoms. 

Patients have reported a number of adverse gastrointestinal events after taking semaglutide, including gastroparesis. Gastroparesis involves the severe slowing or even paralysis of stomach muscles, which impedes the movement of food to the small intestine. This slowed movement is known as delayed gastric emptying or gastric stasis. The condition is commonly associated with diabetes, accounting for approximately one-third of all cases. 

Despite growing concerns over the link between semaglutide and gastroparesis, it is not listed as a potential side effect on the drug’s label. In order to diagnose gastroparesis, a medical professional must usually insert a scope to confirm delayed stomach emptying and rule out mechanical obstruction. Treatment is focused on symptomatic relief through prokinetic agents and ensuring nutrition through small, frequent meals.

Can Ozempic Cause Gastroparesis?

A 2023 JAMA study associates GLP-1 agonists with an increased risk of several conditions including gastroparesis. Experts believe that as the popularity of Ozempic and other GLP-1 agonists continues to grow, so will the number of people who report adverse gastrointestinal events such as gastroparesis. 

The specific mechanism by which semaglutide may cause gastroparesis remains unclear; however, it is well-established that GLP-1 receptors (which semaglutide stimulates) are involved in the regulation of stomach emptying and motility. The stimulation of these receptors may cause delayed emptying, leading to gastroparesis.

How Does Ozempic Cause Gastroparesis?

Ozempic belongs to a class of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA). It works by mimicking the effect of the naturally occurring hormone GLP-1, which is crucial for triggering insulin release from the pancreas, enhancing the feeling of fullness (satiety), slowing down stomach emptying, and inhibiting glucagon secretion.  

It is believed that Ozempic’s stimulation of GLP-1 receptors may cause a temporary delay in gastric emptying. While the delay is usually short-term, the effects can be devastating. Gastric motility is generally expected to return to normal once the effect of the medication wears off.

Gastroparesis Symptoms and Side Effects

Gastroparesis can cause a wide range of symptoms, from bloating and pain to bouts of severe nausea and vomiting. It can also result in serious complications, including bezoars, severe dehydration, and unpredictable blood sugar changes. Individuals who are taking Ozempic and begin experiencing adverse gastrointestinal issues are encouraged to seek medical treatment immediately. 

Symptoms and complications of gastroparesis:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pain
  • Early satiety
  • Acid reflux
  • Vomiting undigested food
  • Changes in blood sugar levels
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Formation of bezoars (hardened masses that can block the digestive tract)
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn

Any adverse gastrointestinal issues experienced while taking Ozempic should be evaluated by a medical professional. It is important to note that the severity of gastroparesis is not directly correlated with the amount of pain you experience. In some cases, you may not have significant pain or discomfort despite having a serious condition.

How Common Is Gastroparesis With Ozempic Users?

Research indicates that gastroparesis occurs in about 1% of Ozempic users. The number of global users makes this number significant, with cases expected to rise as more people begin using the drug. 

Due to its popularity, consumers must be fully informed of the potential risk of serious side effects from using the medication. Studies show that gastroparesis may be one of many significant risks associated with the use of GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic; however, these studies are not conclusive. More research, including longer-term studies with a greater number of participants, is needed to ensure that all of the potential risks associated with semaglutide are discovered.

Is Gastroparesis From Ozempic Reversible?

While gastroparesis caused by medications such as Ozempic is typically reversible, there is some evidence to suggest that it may continue for some time after the drug is discontinued. In rare cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to restore the stomach to normal functioning. Patients have even reported having to undergo gastric bypass as a result of severe medication-induced gastroparesis.

How to Prevent Gastroparesis With Ozempic

While more research is needed to determine if gastroparesis can be prevented while using Ozempic, there may be strategies that can help alleviate certain symptoms. It is essential to get evaluated as soon as possible if you begin experiencing gastrointestinal issues while taking Ozempic. Your doctor may recommend a care and treatment plan, including changing your dose or making dietary adjustments. 

Ways to prevent gastroparesis with Ozempic:

  • Dietary and lifestyle changes (if gastrointestinal symptoms are mild)
  • Adjust dosage
  • Stop taking Ozempic (if symptoms are severe)
  • Maintain a stable dose
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals
  • Avoid high-fat, fried, or sugary foods
  • Avoid eating close to bedtime
  • Maintain hydration
  • Use of prokinetic medications to help manage nausea and vomiting

Due to the mechanism of action of semaglutide, delays in gastric emptying are expected side effects of Ozempic; however, they can be severe, leading to gastroparesis. If you are diagnosed with gastroparesis, you should speak with an attorney.

Other Semaglutide Drugs Linked to Gastroparesis

In addition to Ozempic, Novo Nordisk manufactures other drugs like Rybelsus and Wegovy where semaglutide is the active ingredient. Additionally, Eli Lilly manufactures a similar drug in Mounjaro that reportedly has similar severe side effects, but the active ingredients are not the same. The mechanism of action of semaglutide is known to cause some gastrointestinal issues and delays in gastric emptying. In severe cases, this may lead to a more serious condition known as gastroparesis or paralysis of the stomach. 

Have You Experienced Gastroparesis While Taking Ozempic?

Individuals who have experienced gastroparesis while taking Ozempic are strongly encouraged to contact King Law to discuss their right to compensation. Our office can help you understand your rights and work to ensure you receive the largest recovery possible based on the circumstances of your case. 

Contact an Ozempic Gastroparesis Lawyer

If you were diagnosed with serious gastrointestinal issues, such as gastroparesis, after taking Ozempic, you may be entitled to compensation. At King Law, we are well-versed in helping individuals take legal action against the manufacturers of dangerous and defective drugs. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Find answers to any major questions you have regarding side effects from Ozempic below.

Is Ozempic linked to gastroparesis?
More research is needed to determine whether there is a direct link between Ozempic and gastroparesis. However, there have been a number of patients who have reported the severe stomach disorder after taking the drug.
What are the long-term side effects of Ozempic?
Long-term side effects of Ozempic may include gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), cyclical vomiting, cardiovascular concerns, intestinal blockages, and an increased risk of developing C-cell thyroid tumors.
Does Ozempic mess up your digestive system?
The mechanism of action for semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, is a GLP-1 Receptor Agonist. Research suggests that these types of drugs may cause gastrointestinal issues, including delayed emptying of the stomach. In some cases, this can be severe, leading to full paralysis or gastroparesis.
Is gastroparesis a side effect of Ozempic?
Gastroparesis may be a side effect of Ozempic, although it is not listed on the drug’s label. There have been reports of people taking the medication and having serious gastrointestinal issues, including paralysis of the stomach.
Does Ozempic give you gastroparesis?
Additional long-term studies are needed to determine whether Ozempic can give a person gastroparesis or if it may exacerbate an underlying condition.
What is the risk of getting gastroparesis with Ozempic?
Approximately 1% of Ozempic users get gastroparesis. While this may seem like a small amount, the widespread use of this drug makes the number of people who may experience this serious side effect significant.
Does semaglutide cause delayed gastric emptying?
The mechanism of action of semaglutide is known to cause delayed gastric emptying.
Is gastroparesis a side effect of semaglutide?
Gastroparesis may be a side effect of semaglutide. An increasing number of people have reported experiencing stomach paralysis after taking medications like Ozempic.
Why does Ozempic cause gastroparesis?
It is believed that Ozempic’s stimulation of GLP-1 receptors may cause a temporary delay in gastric emptying. In some instances, this may be severe, causing gastroparesis.
Can Ozempic cause permanent gastroparesis?
While the delay in gastric emptying is expected to alleviate once a person stops taking the medication, some patients have reported continued adverse health effects for at least one year after they discontinued use.
Does gastroparesis go away after stopping Ozempic?
Typically, gastroparesis goes away shortly after stopping Ozempic; however, some users have reported continued discomfort, including nausea and vomiting, for up to a year after they stopped taking the drug.
Is Ozempic gastroparesis reversible?
It is unclear whether Ozempic gastroparesis is reversible. However, in most cases, the condition begins to alleviate once the use of the medication is discontinued.