A personal injury lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a woman who alleges that she suffered stomach paralysis and severe vomiting after taking two different blockbuster diabetes drugs that are also used for weight loss.
Attorneys for the 44-year-old Louisiana resident Jaclyn Bjorklund filed the lawsuit in federal court against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, drugmakers of Ozempic and Mounjaro, respectively. The plaintiff, who claims to have used Ozempic for over a year before switching to Mounjaro in July, was hospitalized and lost teeth from profuse vomiting, allegedly because of the drugs’ side effects, the Financial Times (FT) reports.
The law firm representing the plaintiff says that it has signed 400 additional clients who have also made claims that because of taking Ozempic and Mounjaro, they developed gastroparesis, a disorder that slows or stops movements of food from the stomach to the small intestine and causes nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
According to a law firm familiar with Ozempic litigation, more than 10,000 adverse events related to semaglutide, the generic name for Ozempic, were reported to the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) by the end of 2021, potentially paving the way for an Ozempic class action lawsuit.
Semaglutide belongs to a class of medications known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. It mimics the GLP-1 hormone released in the gastrointestinal tract in response to eating. One role of GLP-1 is to prompt the body to produce more insulin, which reduces blood glucose (sugar). GLP-1 in higher amounts also interacts with the parts of the brain that reduce appetite and signal a feeling of fullness, explains the FDA.
Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly should have warned users of the potential risk of gastroparesis, alleges the lawsuit.
Both Mounjaro and Ozempic are approved by the FDA for controlling glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic received FDA approval in 2017, while Mounjaro was introduced to the market by Eli Lilly last year. Although both drugs may also lead to significant weight loss, they are not yet specifically approved by the FDA for this use, says Drugs.com.
Anti-diabetic drugs are expected to generate $50 billion in sales by 2030, according to Wall Street analysts per FT reporting. Novo Nordisk also manufactures Wegovy—specifically indicated for the treatment of excess weight and obesity—and Rybelesus, a daily oral tablet version of Ozempic.