Suits have been filed against the makers of Ozempic and Mounjaro over allegations that the well-known weight-loss medications can result in gastroparesis or stomach paralysis. The announcement of the lawsuit was on Wednesday. A copy of which was given to The Post, was brought by the personal injury company Morgan & Morgan against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co. for a failure to alert of the side effect. In addition, the lawsuit asserts that the businesses downplayed the severity of the gastrointestinal events brought on by taking the medications.
The case, which is being handled by Paul Pennock and Jonathan Sedgh, involves Jaclyn Bjorklund, 44, of DeRidder, Louisiana, who has taken both medications as directed by her doctor: first Ozempic, then Mounjaro. Prior to the complaint, Bjorklund stopped taking the drugs this summer after using them for a total of nearly a year and a half. She claims that the drugs led her to experience gastroparesis, which resulted in symptoms so severe that she had to visit the emergency department on numerous occasions, most recently just last weekend, and throw up so much that she lost teeth.
Bjorklund, whose gastroparesis has not yet received a formal diagnosis, is suing the drug companies for financial damages. According to Morgan & Morgan, the company has received 500 additional enquiries of a similar nature from consumers in 45 different states, along with complaints of injuries allegedly brought on by other weight-loss medications like Wegovy, Rybelsus, and Saxenda. A statement from Pennock says some of the injuries may be permanent.
Bjorklund, as well as the more than 500 customers in 45 states whose claims we continue to evaluate, have experienced continuing gastrointestinal problems that are frequently severe, incapacitating, and crippling. Filing the lawsuit is the first step in holding firms accountable for their alleged failure to warn patients about the significant risks posed by the drugs, he added. Novo Nordisk’s spokesperson informed The Post that they are not unaware of any lawsuit. Ozempic is a medicine that was created for Type 2 diabetics but is now commonly used for weight loss.
Rising Demand for Weight-Loss Medications Amid FDA Scarcity Alerts and Concerns over Long-Term Consequences
The FDA issued scarcity alerts as the weight-loss medications flew off the shelves as demand grew so dramatically in recent months. However, some experts have cautioned that they have not been around for long enough to investigate the long-term consequences and that some people may be abusing them to lose weight quickly. The medications function by imitating the natural hormone GLP-1, which slows the movement of food through the stomach and prolongs feelings of fullness.
However if the medications delay the stomach severely, some people experience gastroparesis. According to the National Institutes of Health, gastroparesis is a disorder that causes the food to travel more slowly or not at all from the stomach to the small intestine even when there is no obstruction. Uncomfort, nauseousness, vomiting, dehydration, and malnutrition are possible consequences.
The Food and Drug Administration also corroborated these claims, but they were unable to definitively verify whether the gastroparesis cases were brought on by the weight-loss medications or by some other illness. The FDA has received complaints regarding gastroparesis with semaglutide and liraglutide, a few of which recorded the adverse reaction as not recovered after discontinuation of the corresponding product at the time of the report.