Diabetes Lawsuit | Medical Drugs

Ozempic® Lawsuit

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People are filing Ozempic lawsuits alleging the drug can cause severe gastroparesis, ileus, intestinal blockages and death. The lawsuits claim drugmaker Novo Nordisk failed to warn patients of these risks. The first Ozempic lawsuits began in August 2023 and continue to be filed today.

Important Ozempic lawsuit updates (In re: Glugagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1 RAS) Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 3094)

May, 2024

  • May 2024: Motley Rice attorney Jonathan Orent appointed Co-Lead Counsel and Motley Rice attorney Sara Couch appointed Chair of Marketing Discovery, Plaintiffs Executive Committee for the Ozempic Multidistrict litigation (MDL).
  • April 2024: Motley Rice attorneys and those from other firms were appointed to a committee to help select leadership for Ozempic MDL.
  • April 2024: More actions were filed in the MDL 3094, bringing the total pending actions to 74.
  • March 2024: The first status conference in the GLP-1 MDL was held on March 14. The conference covered procedural details for the suits, leadership structure and establishment of facts.
  • February 2024: Attorneys, including Motley Rice litigator Jonathan Orent, successfully argued for the assignment of an Ozempic MDL to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

If you or someone you know experienced Ozempic side effects, Motley Rice attorneys can review your situation and determine if you are eligible to file an Ozempic lawsuit.

Key Ozempic lawsuit takeaways

  • Ozempic is a once-weekly injectable medication approved to treat type 2 diabetes. It has become popular for use as a weight loss drug. 
  • People are filing lawsuits after developing Ozempic side effects not listed on the drug’s warning and prescription label.
  • These lawsuits are part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL), and additional lawsuits continue to be filed today. Litigation is still in the beginning stages and no cases have been resolved yet.

Why is there a lawsuit against Ozempic?

People are filing Ozempic lawsuits alleging they developed unexpected and severe side effects from the drug, including gastroparesis and other gastrointestinal injuries.  These side effects were not included on Ozempic’s warning label. Lawyers filed a motion to consolidate these lawsuits into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in December 2023. 

What is the Ozempic MDL?

The Ozempic MDL is known as called IN RE: Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1 RAs) Products Liability Litigation, MDL #3094. MDL is a court procedure used to streamline multiple individual cases with some common defendants and facts into one docket. This can help the court move the cases more quickly. 

The Ozempic MDL was established in February 2024 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter is the presiding judge. As of May 1, 2024, 87 actions are pending in the MDL. 

The cases in the MDL also include other drugs in the same class as Ozempic. These drugs are called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). Other GLP-1 drugs involved in the MDL lawsuits include Wegovy®, Rybelsus®, Mounjaro® and Trulicity®. 

The lawsuits are against drug manufacturers Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly. Novo Nordisk is the maker of Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus. Eli Lilly manufactures Mounjaro and Trulicity.

These highly publicized lawsuits may open the door for other people harmed by Ozempic and similar drugs. In September 2023, our attorneys filed a lawsuit for a Pennsylvania woman who developed severe gastrointestinal issues and was hospitalized after taking Wegovy. Wegovy and Ozempic both contain semaglutide but are approved by the FDA for different usage. Wegovy is an injectable weight-loss medicine for adults with obesity. 

Many other people have filed similar lawsuits after developing unexpected semaglutide side effects. These lawsuits allege several similar facts:

  • Plaintiffs took a GLP-1 RA drug (this is the class of drugs containing Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, Mounjaro and Trulicity)
  • Plaintiffs were harmed by their GLP-1 RA drug
  • Plaintiffs experienced an injury not disclosed on the drug’s warning label at the time of prescription

If you or a loved one were harmed by Ozempic (or any other diabetes drug), you may have a case. Connect with an attorney to determine your eligibility for an Ozempic lawsuit.

Contact us

Complete this form or call 1.800.768.4026 to contact attorney Sara Couch for more information or to discuss a potential Ozempic claim.

Is there an Ozempic class action lawsuit?

No class action lawsuits have been filed against Ozempic. So far, hundreds of individual lawsuits have been consolidated in a federal MDL in Pennsylvania, but MDLs and class action lawsuits are very different. 

Class action lawsuits are filed by a small group of individuals against the parties that allegedly wronged them. This small group is known as a “class.” The class represents the interests of a much larger group of people with the same injuries. 

For example, let’s say Company A leaked personal data for thousands of people. John and Jane Doe might be able to file a class action lawsuit against Company A representing the other thousands of people. Every person whose data was leaked does not need to file a lawsuit because they were all wronged by the same party in the same way and at the same time. If the class action lawsuit is resolved, the court will notify the “class” and distribute the funds between them.

Unlike a class action lawsuit, people with a lawsuit in an MDL have an individual case. If their individual case goes to trial and the case is decided in favor of the injured party (plaintiff), the MDL lawsuit award in that specific case goes only to that individual. Importantly, individuals retain their own lawyers, have their own rights of recovery and have their own burden of proof.

The Ozempic MDL also includes cases involving other GLP-1 prescription medicines. Those include Rybelsus and Wegovy, manufactured by defendant Novo Nordisk and Trulicity and Mounjaro, manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company.

How much is the Ozempic lawsuit going to payout?

Ozempic lawsuit payout amounts are unknown because there are no payouts, verdicts, settlements or awards yet. All semaglutide matters are still in the beginning stages of litigation. As the litigation progresses, award amounts may be decided and made public. At some point, defendants may agree to settlement awards to plaintiffs, which individuals can choose to accept or deny in favor of going to trial.

GLP-1 lawsuit plaintiff profiles

The plaintiff is the person filing the lawsuit. In this MDL, the plaintiff is the individual harmed by the prescription medicine they took. People who have been harmed by GLP-1 class drugs and filed lawsuits include:

  • A 48-year-old woman with Type 2 diabetes in May 2023. She experienced nausea, vomiting, bloating and diarrhea after each Ozempic injection. In August 2023, she was admitted to the hospital with abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing and rectal bleeding. She was diagnosed with chronic gastritis and reactive gastropathy. She stopped taking Ozempic in October 2023 and continued to suffer side effects. She filed a lawsuit against Novo Nordisk in December 2023.  - Motley Rice Case
  • A 37-year-old woman was prescribed Wegovy in January 2023. In July 2023, she began to experience severe stomach cramping, vomiting, nausea and fatigue. On July 30, 2023, she could neither eat nor drink. She was hospitalized the following day. She spent three days in the hospital and was diagnosed with gastroparesis and advised to stop taking Wegovy. Unfortunately, she continues to suffer from gastroparesis, which has no cure, and requires consistent medical care. She filed a lawsuit against Novo Nordisk in September 2023.  - Motley Rice Case
  • A 44-year-old woman was prescribed Ozempic during the summer months of 2022. She switched to Mounjaro in July 2023. Her use of these GLP-1 drugs caused her to experience severe gastrointestinal distress. This resulted in severe vomiting, stomach pain and gastrointestinal burning. She was hospitalized or went to the emergency room for stomach issues on several occasions. The severe vomiting caused her teeth to fall out, which required additional medical treatment. She filed a lawsuit against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly in August 2023. - Non-Motley Rice Case
  • An 81-year old man was prescribed Ozempic in 2022. In September of 2023 after getting an ultrasound to determine the cause of pain he was suffering, he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). He was hospitalized for three weeks, and was in the intensive care unit for 14 days. Due to the DVT, he underwent a thrombectomy and suffered a pulmonary embolism. During surgery, he coded twice and received two rounds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). During his time at the hospital he suffered from two fractured ribs, three cardiac arrests and had several blood transfusions. He has difficulty walking, is on blood thinners, his vocal cords were paralyzed and he continues to suffer from nausea and vomiting. He filed a lawsuit against Novo Nordisk in December 2023. - Motley Rice Case 

These are just a few examples of the thousands of people who have reported severe Ozempic side effects and the hundreds of people who have filed lawsuits. If you believe you were harmed by this drug, an Ozempic attorney may be able to help.

Ozempic litigation is new and evolving. The first lawsuits were filed in 2023 and continue to progress through the court system. For a full Ozempic lawsuit update timeline, click here.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is an injectable medication approved for treating type 2 diabetes. It is manufactured by Novo Nordisk. It has become popular for off-label use as a weight-loss aid. Officially, Ozempic is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is also known by its generic name, semaglutide. Semaglutide medications work by:

  • Increasing insulin release
  • Slowing digestion
  • Telling the brain the stomach is full

These functions help balance blood sugar in diabetic patients. In non-diabetic patients, they can restrict appetite and lead to weight loss. Other notable semaglutide drugs include Rybelsus® and Wegovy®.

How was Ozempic created? 

Novo Nordisk created Ozempic after years of testing and developing GLP-1 drugs. Ozempic was approved for type 2 diabetes in 2017, but its origins at Novo Nordisk stretch back nearly a decade earlier. 

The first GLP-1 agonist was exenatide, approved for U.S. use in 2005. It was marketed as Byetta (produced by Eli Lilly & Amylin Pharmaceuticals). Byetta was successful at moderating blood sugar levels but had to be injected twice a day. 

Other pharmaceutical companies began developing their own GLP-1 drugs to improve upon Byetta. Novo Nordisk discovered liraglutide, another GLP-1 receptor agonist. In 2010, it received approval for the drug as a type 2 diabetes treatment and called it Victoza. 

Novo Nordisk researchers noticed that rats injected with liraglutide began to fast, nearly starving themselves. Humans responded similarly. Researchers found that people on an intravenous drip of liraglutide ate 12% less at a lunch buffet, compared to people receiving a placebo.

The company began to study GLP-1s for both diabetes and weight loss. Its second liraglutide formulation, Saxenda, was FDA-approved for weight loss in 2014. But Saxenda had drawbacks. It only led to modest weight loss and had to be injected daily. So Novo Nordisk went back to the drawing board and created semaglutide

It was approved for type 2 diabetes in 2017 as Ozempic. In 2021, it was approved for chronic weight management as Wegovy.

A table comparing 11 GLP-1 drugs. Table lists the drugs’ brand name, generic name, manufacturer, dosage type and frequency, what it’s approved for and initial FDA approval date.

How does Ozempic work?

Novo Nordisk claims that Ozempic works by helping your pancreas produce insulin during times of high blood sugar, preventing your liver from producing and releasing too much sugar into your body, and slowing down food before it can leave your stomach. However, no one knows specifically how it does this. 

Ozempic falls into a group of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). These drugs use peptides that mimic natural satiety hormones in our bodies. Semaglutide is one of these peptides. Other GLP-1 RAs may use different peptides, such as liraglutide or tirzepatide.

For non-medical professionals, medical jargon can be difficult to keep straight. Here’s a quick term glossary.

  • Glucagon-like peptide 1 or GLP-1: A naturally occurring peptide hormone in the human body. It increases insulin secretion and helps decrease blood sugar levels. It also promotes satiety, or a feeling of fullness.
  • Receptor agonists: Substances, often synthetic, that bind to and activate cell receptors. Cell receptors help stimulate biological responses.
  • GLP-1 RAs: A type of drug that uses synthetic GLP-1 hormones to release insulin and make people feel full for longer periods of time.
  • Semaglutide: The specific GLP-1 RA that makes up Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus.
  • Ozempic: A brand name for a version of semaglutide.
Image describes several terms relevant to Ozempic lawsuits. The sentence “Ozempic (semaglutide) is a GLP-1 receptor agonist” has arrows pointing to parts of the sentence to define each term.

By mimicking these hormones, the drug can help regulate appetite, food intake, insulin release and blood sugar levels. 

According to the FDA, the medication dose should be gradually increased weekly. Patients are expected to take the drug long term. According to some research, taking the drug long term may increase the risk of side effects.

What is the FDA’s role in approving Ozempic? 

The FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) evaluates new drugs before they go on the market. The evaluation process has several steps. 

  • First, the drug developer must test the new drug for its intended use. Animal testing is the first stage, human testing is the second stage.
  • The developing company then sends the test evidence to CDER.
  • CDER scientists evaluate the evidence. CDER has pharmacologists, chemists, doctors and other professionals to work on this stage of review. The evaluators look at the manufacturer’s data to determine if the drug is effective and its benefits outweigh its risks and side effects. CDER does not conduct its own testing.
  • If the drug passes CDER evaluation, it receives FDA approval.

Ozempic is not FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes. This means the FDA has not evaluated evidence of the drug’s safety as a weight loss medication. 

Ozempic for weight loss: off-label use background

Ozempic has also become popular for off-label use as a weight loss drug. Off-label use of drugs is both common and legal. It allows doctors to use their judgment to treat a variety of conditions and can expand the usefulness of certain drugs. But, it can lead to unexpected or unadvertised side effects.

Soon after Ozempic hit the market in 2017, Novo Nordisk began to market the drug as a potential weight loss drug. It then developed Wegovy, a higher-dose version of Ozempic, to treat weight gain and obesity. Since then, both drugs have surged in popularity for weight loss, resulting in national shortages. Ozempic revenue reached $13.9 billion in 2023. 

While Ozempic has proven to work as an off-label weight loss aid, patients have reported unexpected and serious side effects, such as intestinal blockages and stomach paralysis or gastroparesis. For many people, Ozempic is not a safe weight loss aid.

Will I gain weight back if I stop Ozempic? 

Many patients do regain weight after they stop taking Ozempic. One study showed that patients who stopped taking Ozempic regained two-thirds of the weight they had previously lost within one year. 

However, Ozempic can have serious, long-term side effects that can impact your ability to live normally. Ceasing Ozempic may be a way to help manage these side effects. If you are taking Ozempic, consult your doctor to determine if you should, or need to, stop.

Are other versions of Ozempic available?

Yes, other versions of Ozempic (semaglutide) are available. Novo Nordisk has two other versions: Rybelsus and Wegovy. All three versions have been linked to severe side effects. Compounded versions of semaglutide are also available.

Drug compounding is the process of mixing different medications or substances together. Compounding pharmacists may do this to tailor a drug to a specific patient’s needs. These versions of semaglutide are not FDA-approved or reviewed by the drug’s maker and can be even more dangerous. 

Compounding pharmacies have begun selling unregulated versions of semaglutide. These may be attractive to patients for two reasons:

  1. There are shortages of Ozempic and Wegovy. A compounded semaglutide drug may seem like an easy way to get around the shortage issue. 
  2. Compounding pharmacies may sell their products at a cheaper price, leading to savings for a patient.

However, the FDA has advised patients not to take these products.  Compounded semaglutide drugs may use the salt form of the hormone, including semaglutide sodium and semaglutide acetate.  While similar in name, the salt forms are not the same active ingredient as the approved base version of semaglutide. The FDA has urged patients not to take these drugs because they are not safe for weight loss or any other use of Ozempic.

“Patients should be aware that some products sold as ‘semaglutide’ may not contain the same active ingredient as FDA-approved semaglutide products and may be the salt formulations. Products containing these salts, such as semaglutide sodium and semaglutide acetate, have not been shown to be safe and effective.”
-    U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Health issues related to Ozempic

Ozempic has been connected to a variety of health risks. Many of the most serious conditions are not listed on the drug’s warning label. Health issues related to Ozempic include intestinal blockages, gastroenteritis and stomach paralysis/gastroparesis.

The FDA is currently investigating reports of these health issues filed through its FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). FAERS allows people to report product issues directly to the agency. 

FDA investigations have led to the Ozempic warning label being updated several times. 

  • March 2022: Ozempic’s warning label was updated to include gallbladder disease.  
  • September 2023: Ozempic’s warning label was updated to include ileus and intestinal blockages.  

However, thousands of people were prescribed the drug before these warning label updates. Still other risks are not disclosed on the Ozempic label at all. Ozempic use has also been linked to hundreds of deaths.  Death occurring after taking Ozempic may be due to a condition the drug caused or due to a pre-existing condition the drug worsened.

If you or a loved one have experienced Ozempic side effects that were not disclosed on the warning label (or were added after you started the drug), you may be eligible for an Ozempic lawsuit.

Injuries named in Ozempic side effects lawsuits

People who have experienced serious Ozempic reactions are filing lawsuits. These side effects were not listed or adequately listed by the manufacturer of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk.

Blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE)

Studies are starting to link semaglutide drugs to other serious health issues, including blood clots that can cause deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

  • Blood clots are semi-solid lumps of blood cells stuck together. They help stop bleeding in wounds, but, they can be dangerous inside the body, where they may cut off blood flow.  The medical term for a blood clot is thrombus. 
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms deep in the body, most often in the legs. Some patients may experience leg pain or swelling, others may not have any symptoms. DVTs can be dangerous when they break off and head toward essential organs, like the lungs. A DVT in the lungs can cause pulmonary embolism. 
  • Pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that restricts blood flow to the lungs. DVTs are one of the main causes of PE. This type of blood clot can be life-threatening. 

A 2021 analysis of semaglutide clinical trials found an increased risk of DVTs in patients who took the drug. The analysis found semaglutide drugs like Ozempic increased the risk of DVT by 266%.  Blood clots, DVT and PE are very serious side effects. Patients should discuss these risks with their doctor before beginning a semaglutide drug. 

Learn more about Ozempic, blood clots and related conditions.

Gallbladder diseases 

Gallbladder disease was added to semaglutide warning labels in March 2022. In August, the FDA published an investigation into reported cases of acute cholecystitis (AC).  AC is a gallbladder disease that occurs when the organ is inflamed.  

The FDA investigation into AC and GLP-1 RA drugs reported: 

  • The median age for people who developed AC was 55 years old
  • Of the people who developed AC, 53% were female
  • After starting the drug, 47% of patients developed AC within 90 days

Cholelithiasis, or gallstones, was also added to the approval label. The Ozempic warning label reports: 

  • 1.5% of patients taking 0.5mg Ozempic developed cholelithiasis
  • 0.4% of patients taking 1mg Ozempic developed cholelithiasis

The updated label urges anyone who develops abdominal pain, jaundice, fever or clay-colored stools to seek a healthcare provider’s help right away.

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is not on Ozempic’s warning label. However, the FDA has received dozens of reports of gastroenteritis from people taking semaglutide drugs.  

Gastroenteritis can be caused by viruses, medications or chemicals. This condition is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.  Viral gastroenteritis may be known more commonly as the stomach flu and has similar symptoms to medication-caused gastroenteritis.

Symptoms include: 

  • Diarrhea (typically watery but not bloody)
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea
  • Occasional muscle aches or headache
  • Stomach cramps and pain
  • Vomiting

The vomiting and diarrhea are the largest concerns, as patients can quickly become dehydrated. Dehydration can have serious effects on the human body.

Gastroparesis/stomach paralysis

Doctors have also reported patients experiencing stomach paralysis, also called gastroparesis or delayed gastric emptying. Stomach paralysis prevents the stomach’s nerves and muscles from working properly. This results in food sitting too long in the stomach. Some patients may experience mild discomfort, while others may need hospitalization, surgery and feeding tubes to manage the condition. Common symptoms of gastroparesis include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Blood sugar fluctuation
  • Constipation
  • Feeling full very quickly    
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Nausea
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Vomiting

Any patients taking Ozempic (or any other GLP-1 RA) should speak with their doctor immediately if these symptoms arise.

Gastroparesis is not included on the Ozempic warning label as a risk or side effect. It is briefly mentioned in the “Drug Interactions” section to say the drug “causes a delay of gastric emptying, and thereby has the potential to impact the absorption of concomitantly administered oral medications.”  It is also briefly mentioned in the “Pharmacodynamics” section, which describes how the drug works. 

Neither of these mentions adequately discloses the severe risks of gastroparesis. They do not quantify how many patients might experience stomach paralysis or how impactful it can be on a person’s daily life. People are filing gastroparesis lawsuits after taking GLP-1 drugs that led to hospitalization for stomach paralysis.

Learn more about Ozempic and stomach paralysis.

Ileus and intestinal obstruction

Ileus and intestinal obstruction were not included on Ozempic’s warning label for many years. Intestinal obstructions may also be referred to as bowel obstructions. 

A May 2023 letter to the editor in the research journal Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B (APSB) discussed these issues. The letter authors urged clinicians to be aware of the adverse effects of drugs like Ozempic on the small intestine.
According to the letter, the effects have so far been insufficiently studied in clinical settings because the trials do not last long enough. 

The authors found that the high occurrences of intestinal obstruction emerge 1.6 years after GLP-1 RA treatments, but that most GLP-1 RA clinical trials have not lasted for more than a year. They also cited a study of more than 25,000 subjects that found a 3.5-fold increase in intestinal obstruction rates for people who took GLP-1 RA drugs.

Other studies have also linked Ozempic to intestinal blockages. Intestinal blockage signs and symptoms may include: 

  • Abdominal cramps and swelling
  • Constipation
  • Trouble having a bowel movement or passing gas
  • Vomiting

Intestinal obstruction may be caused by ileus. Ileus is a condition where the intestines do not work properly. Similar to stomach paralysis, ileus occurs when the intestines stop being able to move food through the body.  
In September 2023, the warning label was updated to mention ileus in the “Postmarketing Experience” section. The warning reads:

“The following adverse reactions have been reported during post-approval use of semaglutide, the active ingredient of OZEMPIC.

Gastrointestinal Disorders: Ileus”
-Ozempic warning label, as of April 2024

The warning label still does not mention the potential harms of ileus, like blockages and obstruction. Patients with intestinal blockages may need surgery to fix the problem. 

Learn more about Ozempic and intestinal obstructions.

Intraoperative pulmonary aspiration  

Intraoperative pulmonary aspiration occurs when patients under anesthesia choke, typically on regurgitated food. The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) published a press release on the risk of aspiration to people taking Ozempic. 

The press releases noted an increased risk of aspiration because semaglutide delays gastric emptying, making food sit in the stomach longer.

“We’ve received anecdotal reports that the delay in stomach emptying could be associated with an increased risk of regurgitation and aspiration of food into the airways and lungs during general anesthesia and deep sedation.”
-    ASA President Michael W. Champeau, M.D., FAAP, FASA.

The Ozempic warning label does not mention this risk or include a warning to healthcare providers. The ASA recommends patients hold off on the weekly dose of Ozempic before undergoing surgery and disclosing their GLP-1 status to their surgeon and anesthesiologist. 

Listed Ozempic side effects 

Many side effects are listed on Ozempic’s label. These side effects vary from mild nausea to serious organ injuries and cancer. Patients should consult their doctor before beginning Ozempic to learn about these side effects. Listed side effects and reactions to Ozempic include:

  • Abdominal and stomach pain: Pain in the abdomen is one of the most common Ozempic side effects. It may come from stomach upset or may indicate a more serious condition like gastroenteritis, intestinal obstruction or gallbladder disease.
  • Acute kidney injury (AKI): AKI is listed as a possible adverse reaction to Ozempic. One section of the warning label links the possibility of AKI to severe dehydration from gastrointestinal distress like vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Anaphylaxis and Angioedema: Anaphylaxis and angioedema are more commonly known as allergic reactions or “hypersensitive reactions.” Patients who have been allergic to other GLP-1 drugs should not take Ozempic.
  • Constipation: Constipation is one of the most common side effects of Ozempic. This may occur because the drug delays gastric emptying.
  • Diabetic retinopathy complications: Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition in diabetic patients  that can cause vision impairment and blindness.  The warning label reports an increase in diabetic retinopathy complications for diabetic patients taking the drug.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is one of the most common Ozempic side effects. It may come from stomach upset or may indicate a more serious condition like gastroenteritis, intestinal obstruction or gallbladder disease. It can also lead to dehydration, which can be a risk factor for AKI and other conditions.
  • Gastrointestinal reactions: Many gastrointestinal and digestive reactions are linked to Ozempic use, including dyspepsia (upset stomach), eructation (burping), flatulence and gastroesophageal reflux disease. 
  • Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is another common reaction to Ozempic. It is more likely in diabetic patients who are also taking insulin. Hypoglycemia can lead to dizziness, loss of consciousness, seizure, coma and even death.
  • Nausea: Nausea is the most common reaction to Ozempic. In clinical trials, up to 20.3% of patients experienced nausea. 
  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis. Ozempic’s warning label warns that severe cases may arise. Pancreatitis may present with severe pain in the stomach, abdomen or back that will not go away. The warning label urges patients experiencing these symptoms to stop using Ozempic and call their doctors immediately. 
  • Thyroid tumors: Semaglutide drugs may increase a patient’s risk for thyroid tumors.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting is one of the most common Ozempic side effects. Unfortunately, the label does not indicate that vomiting may be frequent and may indicate a more serious condition like gastroenteritis, intestinal obstruction or pancreatitis. It can also lead to dehydration, which can be a risk factor for AKI and other conditions.

If you experience any of these reactions, tell your doctor. Even mild reactions should be reported and monitored. 

Ozempic lawsuit updates timeline

Below is a timeline of Ozempic side effects, developments with the drug’s approval status and legal updates. Please note that the legal updates reflect the work of several firms, not just Motley Rice.

2024 updates

  • May 2024: Motley Rice attorney Jonathan Orent appointed Co-Lead Counsel and Motley Rice attorney Sara Couch appointed Chair of Marketing Discovery, Plaintiffs Executive Committee for the Ozempic Multidistrict litigation (MDL). 
  • April 2024: A Motley Rice lawyer, along with attorneys from other firms, appointed to lead Ozempic MDL. Judge Pratter appointed these attorneys to a “plaintiffs’ committee” to help guide and lead litigation. 
  • April 2024: More actions filed in the MDL, bringing the total actions pending to 74.
  • March 2024: The first status conference in the GLP-1 MDL was held on March 14. The conference covered procedural details for the suits, leadership structure and establishment of facts.
  • February 2024: The MDL was established in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania with U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter as the presiding judge. Louisiana cases were transferred to the Pennsylvania MDL. 
  • January 2024: The FDA announced it was investigating claims that GLP-1s contribute to suicidal thoughts, hair loss and intraoperative pulmonary aspiration.  

2023 updates

  • 2023 year-end total adverse events: 6,487 total cases, including 89 deaths. 
  • December 2023: Plaintiff lawyers filed a motion to consolidate nine GLP-1 lawsuits into an MDL in Louisiana.
  • December 2023: Judge James Cain, Jr. denied Novo Nordisk’s motion to dismiss. Judge Cain granted the dismissal of express warranty claims but not failure to warn claims. 
  • November 2023: Novo Nordisk filed a motion to dismiss the Bjorklund lawsuit.  
  • September 2023: Ozempic’s warning label was updated to include ileus and intestinal blockages.  
  • August 2023: Summons were issued to Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly for the Bjorklund case.
  • August 2023: A 44-year-old woman filed one of the first Ozempic lawsuits, Bjorklund v. Novo Nordisk et al. Jaclyn Bjorklund’s case claims Ozempic and Mounjaro caused her gastroparesis. 

2022 updates 

  • 2022 year-end total adverse events: 3,754 total cases, including 42 deaths. 
  • August 2022: The FDA published an analysis of gallbladder disease reports in patients taking Ozempic.
  • March 2022: Ozempic’s warning label was updated to include gallbladder disease.  

2021 and prior updates

  • 2021 year-end total adverse events: 2,784 total cases, including 32 deaths. 
  • 2020 year-end total adverse events: 2,339 total cases, including 30 deaths. 
  • 2019 year-end total adverse events: 1,244 total cases, including 22 deaths. 
  • 2018 year-end total adverse events: 1,059 total cases, including 7 deaths. 
  • 2017: Ozempic receives its FDA approval and goes on the market.

This timeline reflects the growing number of adverse events, deaths and lawsuits related to Ozempic. If you have experienced your own Ozempic side effects and were not made aware of them by the drug’s label, you may have a case. All Ozempic cases are filed against Novo Nordisk, the medication’s manufacturer. Pursuing an Ozempic case does not mean you are suing your doctor, pharmacist or any other medical provider. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Ozempic

What are the side effects of using Ozempic?

The most common reported Ozempic side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation. These adverse reactions may be precursors to more serious side effects like stomach paralysis (gastroparesis) and intestinal blockages. Some Ozempic side effects and reactions may be life-threatening.

Is Mounjaro the same as Ozempic?

Mounjaro is not the same as Ozempic. They have different active ingredients but belong to the same class of drugs, GLP-1 receptor agonists. Mounjaro’s active ingredient is tirzepatide and Ozempic’s is semaglutide. Both are approved for Type 2 diabetes but have gained popularity as weight loss drugs. Mounjaro is manufactured by Eli Lilly. Ozempic is manufactured by Novo Nordisk. 

How do I join the Ozempic lawsuit?

You may be able to file an Ozempic lawsuit if you were harmed by the drug. Attorneys with prescription drug lawsuit experience can determine if you are eligible. If you are, they can help build your case, file it and litigate it. Reach out to 1.800.768.4026 to learn more about Ozempic lawsuit eligibility.

Is Ozempic safe?

Ozempic is not 100% safe. Like all drugs, it is associated with specific side effects. However, many of the most severe Ozempic risks are not disclosed on the drug’s warning label. Many people have not been safe from serious side effects after taking Ozempic.

Our medical drug litigation experience

Our medical attorneys have represented thousands of patients seriously hurt by dangerous prescription and over-the-counter drugs. We understand that as a patient or family member, what you know about your or a loved one’s medications may be limited. 

If you believe a medicine made you sick or hurt you, attorneys at our law firm have the resources needed to thoroughly investigate and:

  • Identify potentially harmful medicines
  • Investigate if the medicine hurt you
  • Review the medicine manufacturer’s compliance with FDA regulations
  • Examine the adequacy of the manufacturer's warning to you about potential side effects
  • Review other issues that could affect your potential claim

Learn more about our medical drug experience here.


Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor's advice can result in injury or death. Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, Rybelsus and Trulicity remain approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Sources
  1. American Society of Anesthesiologists. Patients Taking Popular Medications for Diabetes and Weight Loss Should Stop Before Elective Surgery, ASA Suggests.
  2. Axios. Ozempic maker now worth more than $500 billion.
  3. Cleveland Clinic. Blood clots.
  4. Health. FDA Adds New Gastrointestinal Side Effect Warning to Ozempic Label.
  5. Justia. Bjorklund v. Novo Nordisk A/S et al.
  6. Klein SR, Hobai IA. Semaglutide, delayed gastric emptying, and intraoperative pulmonary aspiration: a case report. Can J Anesth/J Can Anesth. 2023 Aug;70(8):1394–6.
  7. Lu J, Liu H, Zhou Q, Wang MW, Li Z. A potentially serious adverse effect of GLP-1 receptor agonists. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B. 2023 May;13(5):2291–3.
  8. Mayo Clinic. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  9. Mayo Clinic. Gastroparesis.
  10. Mayo Clinic. Pulmonary embolism.
  11. Mayo Clinic. Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu).
  12. Merck Manual. Drug-Related Gastroenteritis and Chemical-Related Gastroenteritis.
  13. National Eye Institute. Diabetic Retinopathy.
  14. The New York Times. We Know Where New Weight Loss Drugs Came From, but Not Why They Work
  15. Ozempic. How Ozempic® Works.
  16. StatPearls. Acute Cholecystitis.
  17. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Compounding and the FDA: Questions and Answers.
  18. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Development & Approval Process | Drugs.
  19. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) Public Dashboard.
  20. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. July - September 2023 | Potential Signals of Serious Risks/New Safety Information Identified by the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS).
  21. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Medications Containing Semaglutide Marketed for Type 2 Diabetes or Weight Loss.
  22. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. OZEMPIC (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use Initial U.S. Approval: 2017.
  23. United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania. MDL 3094 In Re: Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP-1 RAS) Products Liability Litigation. About.
  24. United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. In Re: Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (Glp-1 Ras) Products Liability Litigation Transfer Order
  25. United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Report Date: 4/1/2024 MDL Statistics Report - Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by Actions Pending.
  26. United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Report Date: 4/1/2024 MDL Statistics Report - Docket Summary Listing.
  27. WebMD. Ileus: What is it?
  28. Wilding JPH, Batterham RL, Davies M, Van Gaal LF, Kandler K, Konakli K, et al. Weight regain and cardiometabolic effects after withdrawal of semaglutide: The STEP 1 trial extension. Diabetes Obesity Metabolism. 2022 Aug;24(8):1553–64.
  29. Woronow D, Chamberlain C, Niak A, Avigan M, Houstoun M, Kortepeter C. Acute cholecystitis associated with the use of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists reported to the us food and drug administration. JAMA Intern Med. 2022 Oct 1;182(10):1104.
  30. Yin DG, Ding LL, Zhou HR, Qiu M, Duan XY. Comprehensive analysis of the safety of semaglutide in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of the SUSTAIN and PIONEER trials. Endocr J. 2021;68(6):739–42.

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