Diabetes Lawsuit | Medical Drugs

Wegovy Side Effects

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Wegovy is a weight loss drug for treating obesity in adults and children over 12. It is manufactured by Novo Nordisk and approved by the FDA for weight loss. However, many risks are associated with Wegovy, and they can vary in severity. Learn about gastrointestinal issues and other Wegovy side effects.

Unexpected Wegovy side effects

Wegovy is a GLP-1 receptor agonist drug, like Ozempic. GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is a natural satiety hormone that helps regulate insulin release and tells the body when it’s full. Receptor agonist drugs mimic natural hormones. Wegovy works by mimicking the body’s natural hormones to regulate insulin and satiety. The drug’s active ingredient is semaglutide.

Wegovy was approved for treating weight loss in obese patients in 2021.  Since its approval, it has become hugely popular. Novo Nordisk has partnered with meal service and weight loss companies to further promote the drug.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is currently investigating Wegovy and other semaglutide drugs for unexpected side effects, such as acute, severe and long-lasting gastrointestinal symptoms.  Some alleged side effects were not listed on the original warning label for the drug. Many alleged Wegovy side effects can be long-term illnesses.

As a result, some people are filing Wegovy lawsuits. These cases claim Novo Nordisk knew about the risk of Wegovy’s long-term side effects like gastroparesis and malnutrition but failed to warn users.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

DVT is a condition stemming from blood clots formed deep in the body. It often occurs in the legs. DVT can spread to other areas of the body and cause potentially fatal embolisms.  One study analyzed 21 clinical trials of semaglutide drugs. The researchers found semaglutide increases DVT by 226% in the trial patients.

Symptoms of DVT include swelling, pain, cramping or soreness in the leg, changes in skin color, especially reddening or purpling, and a feeling of warmth beneath the skin.

Delayed gastric emptying, stomach paralysis, gastroparesis

Delayed gastric emptying, stomach paralysis and gastroparesis are all names for the same Wegovy side effect. It occurs when the ability of the stomach to move food (motility) slows down. This condition can lead to several other side effects and interfere with blood sugar levels and nutrient absorption.

Common symptoms of gastroparesis include:

  • A feeling of fullness after eating just a few bites
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Changes in blood sugar levels
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting, including undigested food eaten a few hours earlier
  • Weight loss and malnutrition

The drug label for Wegovy mentions “a delay of gastric emptying” in the drug interactions section. It warns that oral medication may not be absorbed properly as a result. However, it does not list the condition itself as a serious side effect. Gastroparesis should be treated seriously. If not, it can lead to hospitalization or other serious conditions like hypoglycemia and malnutrition.


Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines.  It can be caused by viruses  and medications.  Symptoms of gastroenteritis include: 

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Exhaustion
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea

These symptoms can lead to severe dehydration as well. Gastroenteritis is listed as a potential adverse reaction on Wegovy’s label.  However, it is not adequately highlighted.

Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies

One of the ways Wegovy stimulates weight loss is by suppressing appetite. For some users, prolonged periods of taking Wegovy may lead to malnutrition.  This side effect may be difficult for weight loss patients to come to terms with.  However, malnutrition should be taken seriously. Symptoms of malnutrition include:

  • Brittle hair, hair loss and hair pigment loss
  • Dry, inelastic skin, rashes and lesions
  • Frequent and severe infections
  • Irritability, apathy or inattention
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low body temperature
  • Low heart rate
  • Weakness, faintness and fatigue

Muscle loss

Wegovy users may also experience extreme muscle loss.  This can occur when people lose weight quickly but do not keep up with exercise. Severe muscle loss, or sarcopenia, can lead to death . Some common symptoms of muscle loss could include:

  • Decrease in muscle size
  • 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.  If you experience new or worsening symptoms while taking Wegovy, talk to your doctor right away. 

Contact a Wegovy lawyer today

If you or a loved one experienced a serious Wegovy side effect, you may be eligible to sue Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Wegovy and Ozempic.

Complete this webform or call 1.800.768.4026 to contact attorneys Sara Couch and Jonathan Orent for more information or to discuss a potential Wegovy claim.

Other Wegovy side effects

All drugs come with side effects listed on the FDA approval label. These side effects can vary in severity and likelihood. Wegovy’s FDA approval lists several warnings, precautions and potential adverse reactions.

Common side effects of Wegovy

The most common Wegovy side effect is nausea, reported in 44% of clinical trial participants. Other common Wegovy reactions include gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea (30%) and constipation (24%). The following side effects were reported in 5% or more of patients taking Wegovy:

  • Nausea (44%)
  • Diarrhea (30%)
  • Vomiting (24%)
  • Constipation (24%)
  • Abdominal pain (20%)
  • Headache (14%)
  • Fatigue (11%)
  • Dyspepsia, or upset stomach (9%)
  • Dizziness (8%)
  • Abdominal distension, or swelling (7%)
  • Eructation, or burping (7%)
  • Hypoglycemia (6%)
  • Flatulence (6%)
  • Gastroenteritis (6%)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (5%)

These side effects may appear mild at first but can escalate in severity or by symptoms of more serious side effects. For example, acid reflux may just be acid reflux. Or, it could be a warning sign of gastroparesis. All side effects should be reported to your doctor. Doctors can evaluate the severity of the condition and help you decide how to proceed. 

Serious advertised side effects of Wegovy

Besides the non-advertised side effects listed above, several other potentially serious conditions are associated with Wegovy. These include:

  • Acute gallbladder disease (added to warning label in March 2022)
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema
  • Diabetic retinopathy complications in patients with type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart rate increase
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Possible thyroid tumors, including cancer
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

If you are taking Wegovy or any other semaglutide drug, contact your doctor if you experience new or worsening side effects. These Wegovy long-term side effects may require ongoing care to treat and manage.

Frequently asked questions about Wegovy side effects

How long do Wegovy side effects last?

The duration of Wegovy side effects varies based on the type of side effect and its severity. Some may resolve within a few weeks as the body adjusts to the drug. Others will continue for the entire time a patient takes Wegovy, and some will become lifelong health conditions for patients to manage.

Do the side effects of Wegovy go away?

Wegovy injection side effects may go away after patients adjust to the drug or cease taking it. However, some side effects are permanent once developed. For example, Wegovy may lead to gastroparesis, which does not have a cure.

Are Wegovy and Ozempic the same drug?

Wegovy and Ozempic have the same active ingredient, semaglutide. Wegovy is a higher dose semaglutide injection that is FDA-approved to treat obesity. Ozempic is a lower dose semaglutide injection that is FDA-approved to treat Type 2 diabetes.

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, our attorneys 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
  • Review the adequacy of the manufacturer's warning to you about potential side effects
  • Recognize 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. Wegovy and Ozempic remain approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

  1. ABC News Go. Noom Joins Weight Watchers in Offering Medications Like Wegovy for Weight Loss: What To Know.
  2. Cleveland Clinic. Malnutrition. 
  3. Klein SR, Hobai IA. Semaglutide, Delayed Gastric Emptying, and Intraoperative Pulmonary Aspiration: A Case Report. Can J Anaesth. Mar. 2023;70(8):1394-1396.
  4. Mayo Clinic. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  5. Mayo Clinic. Viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu).
  6. Mayo Clinic. Gastroparesis.
  7. Merck Manual. Overview of Gastroenteritis.
  8. Merck Manual. Drug-Related Gastroenteritis and Chemical-Related Gastroenteritis.
  9. The New York Times. An Extreme Risk of Taking Ozempic: Malnutrition.
  10. Novo Nordisk. FDA Approves Once-Weekly Wegovy® Injection for the Treatment of Obesity in Teens Aged 12 Years and Older. 
  11. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. April - June 2022 | Potential Signals of Serious Risks/New Safety Information Identified by the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS).
  12. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Chronic Weight Management, First Since 2014.
  13. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WEGOVY (semaglutide) injection, for subcutaneous use. 
  14. 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. Endocrine Journal

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