Diabetes Lawsuit | Medical Drugs

Ozempic Side Effects

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Many people have turned to the increasingly popular semaglutide drug Ozempic® as a way to lose weight. This drug mimics hormones that reduce appetite and moderate insulin release. However, many expected and unexpected risks are associated with using Ozempic, and these risks can vary in severity. Learn about gastrointestinal issues and other alleged Ozempic side effects.

Wegovy Updates

03/01/2024

There have been several recent updates in Wegovy and Ozempic litigation. As of March 1, 2024, Judge Gene E.K. Pratter in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania presides over 58 personal injury lawsuits regarding obstruction, intestinal blockages and gastroparesis in MDL 3094 . Motley Rice was the first law firm in the country to file a Wegovy lawsuit, with attorney Jonathan Orent arguing for the assignment of an MDL in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Unexpected Ozempic weight loss side effects

Ozempic is a GLP-1 agonist prescription medication manufactured by Novo Nordisk. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017. Also known by its generic name, semaglutide, this Type 2 diabetes drug, which at times is prescribed off-label for weight loss, works by reducing appetite, sugar levels and glucose production, similar to its sister drug, Wegovy®.

Ozempic manufacturers disclosed some side effects on the medication guide and prescribing information. However, some reports of severe gastrointestinal events and other health problems were not included on the warning label. People are filing Ozempic lawsuits that claim Novo Nordisk knew or should have known about the risk of severe side effects like gastroparesis, gastroenteritis, intestinal blockage, blood clots and other severe health problems but failed to warn users.

Stomach paralysis aka gastroparesis (not on warning label)

Also known as stomach paralysis, gastroparesis slows down the movement of stomach muscles, preventing the stomach from emptying properly. This can lead to many debilitating symptoms and alleged Ozempic side effects, including:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Severe dehydrationa
  • Vomiting

Gastroparesis can be a very serious medical condition for which there is no cure. Motley Rice is currently representing a woman who developed severe gastroparesis after taking semaglutide medication. This ultimately led to painful cramping, nausea, and vomiting that required hospitalization.

Learn more about how to file an Ozempic lawsuit for gastroparesis.

Gastroenteritis (not on warning label)

Gastroenteritis occurs when the intestines and stomach become inflamed . Gastroenteritis, when viral, is also commonly referred to as the stomach flu. However, gastroenteritis may also be caused by certain types of medication . Some of the most common symptoms associated with gastroenteritis allegedly caused by Ozempic include:

  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting

Gastroenteritis can be far more severe than mild nausea and vomiting. The side effects of dehydration may require hospitalization, and continued symptoms can make it difficult to complete daily tasks.

Ileus (intestinal blockages)(added to warning label in September 2023)

Ozempic consumers have also reported obstructions and intestinal blockages that began after starting the medication for diabetes or weight loss . Potential signs and symptoms associated with intestinal blockages allegedly linked to Ozempic include:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Constipation
  • Dark color urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty having bowel movements
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Malaise (a feeling of illness or discomfort)
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Swelling
  • Vomiting
     

Intestinal blockages may initially manifest with mild symptoms. However, without treatment, blockages can quickly become serious medical events. Intestinal obstructions and blockages are considered medical emergencies that must be taken seriously. Failure to treat an intestinal blockage quickly enough could result in infection, intestinal perforation, or even death.

Muscle loss

Many consumers are unaware that taking Ozempic could lead to extreme muscle loss . This can occur when people lose weight quickly without maintaining exercise habits and a balanced diet. Also known as sarcopenia, severe muscle loss can lead to death . Some common symptoms of muscle loss could include:

  • Decrease in muscle mass
  • Difficulty performing daily activities
  • Falls
  • Loss of stamina
  • Poor balance
  • Trouble climbing stairs
  • Walking slowly

Sarcopenia can also lead to other severe side effects and conditions, including insulin resistance, reduced bone density and lowered metabolism.

Other potential off-label side effects of Ozempic

Consumers have reported many other label side effects after starting Ozempic or Wegovy, including:

  • Malnutrition: You can become malnourished when your body is deprived of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Symptoms of malnutrition include skin pigmentation changes, soft bones, bleeding gums, pale skin, rashes, thinning hair, achy joints and easy bruising.
  • Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis: Blood clots are coagulated clumps of blood. A 2021 study reported that Ozempic use increased the risk of deep vein thrombosis, a condition caused by blood clotting deep in the body. DVT can be a very serious condition and can lead to pulmonary embolism.

Anyone taking Ozempic or any semaglutide drug should not hesitate to contact their physician if they experience new or worsening side effects. It may also be in your best interests to connect with an Ozempic lawyer to explore your legal options.

Unexpected Ozempic side effects lead to lawsuits

The side effects not included on the Ozempic warning label are alarming. Thousands of people have allegedly been harmed, and records indicate manufacturer Novo Nordisk knew about these risks.Ozempic’s predecessor, Saxenda, caused similar side effects and was approved in 2014.

As of March 2024, tens of thousands of reports of health problems after taking Ozempic have been filed with the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System . Some noteworthy lawsuits include the following people affected by Ozempic:

  • A 52-year-old woman taking weekly semaglutide injections experienced gastroparesis symptoms within one month of starting Ozempic.
  • A 57-year-old woman taking dulaglutide injections every week for over a year began experiencing nausea, vomiting and bloating associated with delayed gastric emptying within three months of starting the prescription medication. These side effects improved when the patient stopped taking the dulaglutide. 
  • A 39-year-old woman needed to be hospitalized with significant gastrointestinal issues that have continued to affect her life even after she stopped taking Ozempic.

Patients suffering extreme side effects associated with Ozempic use have said the symptoms made it difficult or impossible to complete daily tasks or live life as they did before beginning Ozempic.

Legal action against Novo Nordisk may offer justice and compensation for affected people. Compensation can help people cover financial losses, medical expenses and other relevant economic and non-economic damages.

Learn more about Ozempic lawsuits here

Consult Our Ozempic Attorneys

Submit our quick contact form or call our office at 1.800.768.4026 to learn more or discuss a potential Ozempic lawsuit. 

On-label Ozempic side effects

Like any prescription medication, Ozempic has many restrictions, precautions and side effects listed on the label. Some of the most notable warnings and precautions include organ injuries and tumors.

  • Acute kidney injury: his condition may also be called acute renal failure. It can occur when the buildup of waste makes it difficult for your kidneys to maintain balance. Symptoms may include reduced urine output, swelling, seizures and coma.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: This eye condition can cause blindness and vision loss in people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to other serious conditions affecting the eyes.
  • Gallbladder disease: Gallbladder disease describes any blockage or infection in the bile duct that backs up into your gallbladder. It can affect other digestive system organs as well. There are several types of gallbladder disease. Common symptoms associated with gallbladder disease include yellowing of the skin (jaundice), abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting. (Added to warning label in March 2022)
  • Hypoglycemia: This condition means your blood sugar levels are lower than the standard range. Symptoms might include irritability, shakiness, illness, nausea or hunger, rapid heartbeat, sweating, lightheadedness and headache. Worsening symptoms can include slurred speech, blurred vision and seizures.
  • Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis occurs when enzymes or digestive juices attack the pancreas, causing inflammation. Pancreatitis symptoms often include fever, nausea, severe abdominal pain that worsens after eating, lowered blood pressure, jaundice and fluid buildup.
  • Thyroid tumors: Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) forms inside the medulla or thyroid gland. Symptoms of MTC often include enlarged glands, difficulty breathing or swallowing and changes in thyroid activity.

Adverse reactions

The most common adverse reactions reported on Ozempic’s warning label include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you are currently taking Ozempic or any other semaglutide drug and are experiencing new or worsening side effects, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Medical treatment could reduce the severity of the side effects, but some Ozempic users find their symptoms continue even after they stop taking the drug.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ozempic Side Effects

What are the side effects of Ozempic?

There are many on-label and alleged off-label side effects of Ozempic use. Advertised side effects associated with Ozempic include nausea, constipation, organ injuries and thyroid tumors. Possible health problems not included on Ozempic’s warning label include gastroparesis, gastroenteritis, intestinal blockages, blood clots, pancreatic cancer and intraoperative pulmonary aspiration.

What are the most common side effects of Ozempic?

There are several side effects included on Ozempic labels. Some of the most common side effects of Ozempic include abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. However, several more severe side effects have also been associated with Ozempic. Discuss all potential reactions with your doctor before taking Ozempic.

How long do Ozempic side effects last?

The side effects of Ozempic can significantly impact daily life. People experiencing mild symptoms may see these resolved after a few days or weeks. However, Ozempic users experiencing severe side effects may find that these symptoms last significantly longer or become a regular part of their daily lives. Severe side effects may also be life threatening.

Do Ozempic side effects go away?

If you are experiencing side effects related to Ozempic, they may initially be mild. These mild side effects may resolve in several days or weeks but may continue with ongoing use of Ozempic or Wegovy. If you experience on- or off-label side effects that can significantly impact your life, talk with your doctor and seek medical attention.

Our medical drug litigation experience

Our law firm has years of experience representing the interests of patients who became seriously ill and endured debilitating side effects associated with prescribed medications. We now represent Wegovy and Ozempic patients. If you or someone you love experienced severe symptoms related to the use of these diabetes and weight loss drugs, our personal injury attorneys may be able to help. We have the knowledge and resources to help you demand justice. Our team can help you:

  • Investigate whether Ozempic could be the cause of your gastroparesis, intestinal blockages or other side effects
  • Review whether Novo Nordisk failed to warn you about the potential off-label side effects adequately
  • Help build and file your case if you qualify

Read more on our medical drug experience.


If you are currently taking Wegovy or Ozempic, consult your physician before you stop taking the prescription medication. Without your physician's instruction, discontinuing these medications could result in worsening illness, injury, or death. Ozempic and Wegovy remain approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Sources 
  1. American Cancer Society. Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer.
  2. Cleveland Clinic. Bowel Obstruction.
  3. Cleveland Clinic. Gallbladder Disease. 
  4. Cleveland Clinic. Medullary Thyroid Cancer (MTC).
  5. Cleveland Clinic. Sarcopenia.
  6. Healthline. Ozempic Can Cause Major Loss of Muscle Mass and Reduce Bone Density
  7. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Malnutrition.
  8. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Pancreatitis.
  9. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Understanding an Intestinal Obstruction.
  10. Kalas MA, Galura GM, McCallum RW, Medication-Induced Gastroparesis: A Case Report, J Investig Med High Impact Case Rep. 2021 Jan-Dec; 9
  11. Mayo Clinic. Gastroparesis
  12. Mayo Clinic. Hypoglycemia.
  13. Mayo Clinic. Intestinal Obstruction
  14. Mayo Clinic. Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu)
  15. Merck Manual. Drug-Related Gastroenteritis and Chemical-Related Gastroenteritis.
  16. National Eye Institute. At a Glance: Diabetic Retinopathy.
  17. National Kidney Foundation. Acute Kidney Injury (AKI).
  18. Ozempic. Frequently Asked Questions.
  19. PR Newswire. Novo Nordisk receives FDA approval of higher-dose Ozempic® 2 mg providing increased glycemic control for adults with type 2 diabetes
  20. Reuters. Novo Nordisk to more than double U.S. supply of lower Wegovy doses
  21. University of Pennsylvania Health System. Blood Clots Symptoms and Causes.
  22. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) Public Dashboard.
  23. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ozempic Highlights of Prescribing Information.
  24. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. OZEMPIC (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use Initial U.S. Approval: 2017
  25. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Saxenda Highlights of Prescribing Information.
  26. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Transfer Order, MDL No. 3094.
  27. 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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