Woman will suffer diarrhea FOREVER after Ozempic caused horror bowel injury – and weight loss drug made another vomit until her teeth fell out, claim dozens of lawsuits saying maker failed to warn of its dangers

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A woman who will suffer diarrhea for the rest of her life after using Ozempic is among dozens of patients who are suing the maker of the blockbuster weight loss drug over claims it left them with crippling stomach paralysis, a DailyMail.com investigation reveals.

Novo Nordisk, the maker of Ozempic and Wegovy, is facing lawsuits from patients across America who say they experienced extreme side effects which they were allegedly not warned about.

Thousands more patients have also come forward to claim they suffered adverse reactions to the drugs and attorneys say many more could join the growing legal campaign.

Most of the patients claim they suffered from gastroparesis, which is the medical name for paralysis of the stomach. The condition, which can be life-threatening, causes a build-up of food in the gut and symptoms include nausea, vomiting and severe pain.

DailyMail.com reviewed more than a dozen lawsuits filed since November by patients who were diagnosed with gastroparesis after using Ozempic and Wegovy, including some who suffered ‘life-threatening’ bowel injuries and face lifelong consequences.

In all of the lawsuits, Novo Nordisk is accused of failing to properly warn about the risk of gastroparesis on the drugs’ packaging.

Brea Hand, 23, told DailyMail.com she required five hospital visits before doctors diagnosed her with gastroparesis which was allegedly caused by Ozempic

Zakareeya Gregory was hospitalized for four weeks and had her gallbladder removed because of complications which were allegedly caused by her use of Ozempic

Zakareeya Gregory was hospitalized for four weeks and had her gallbladder removed because of complications which were allegedly caused by her use of Ozempic

At least ten lawsuits have also been filed against Eli Lilly, the maker of Mounjaro, a diabetes drug which works in a similar way to Ozempic and Wegovy and is also prescribed off-label for weight loss. Eli Lilly is also accused of failing to include proper warnings about Mounjaro’s risks.

In one case, a woman who used Ozempic and Mounjaro claims she was diagnosed with gastroparesis which caused her to vomit so much that some of her teeth feel out.

In another, a woman was diagnosed with a ‘life-threatening bowel injury’ after using Ozempic and underwent surgery which last nearly nine hours. Doctors said she would be in pain ‘for the rest of her life’ and ‘will never have a solid bowel movement again’.

A third case brought by a woman who used Wegovy claims she was diagnosed with ‘severe gastroparesis’ and was hospitalized with symptoms including going a week without bowel movement.

More than 40 cases have been filed in federal courts across America and attorneys are reviewing thousands more. The cases are expected to be grouped together later this month into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which will centralize them before a single judge.

Cameron Stephenson, an attorney at Levin Papantonio Rafferty, told DailyMail.com his firm currently has around 100 clients who were diagnosed with gastroparesis after using the drugs, and it is investigating 1,000 more.

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that there are going to be 1000s of cases that will be filed in the MDL over time,’ said Stephenson, who floated the possibility that the number of individuals could run into the tens of thousands.

The legal action is focused on patients who were ‘medically diagnosed with obstruction or gastroparesis and required emergency treatment or hospital intervention’, he added.

Stephenson said there is ‘no doubt’ that the drugs are highly effective for many patients who want to lose weight or control diabetes.

Be he added: ‘The point is that if these drugs carry with them a potentially permanent side effect or a side effect that can have extreme effects on someone’s health and their life… you have to put that in the warning label.’

Ozempic has FDA approval for the treatment of type 2 diabetes but has been prescribed off-label for weight loss to millions of Americans. Mounjaro also has approval for diabetes but can also be prescribed off label for weight loss.

Novo Nordisk said it believes the allegations against the company are 'without merit' and that it will defend itself 'vigorously'. The drug maker is the most valuable company in Europe. Pictured: Novo Nordisk's corporate headquarters in Denmark

Novo Nordisk said it believes the allegations against the company are ‘without merit’ and that it will defend itself ‘vigorously’. The drug maker is the most valuable company in Europe. Pictured: Novo Nordisk’s corporate headquarters in Denmark

Ozempic has FDA approval as a diabetes drug but it has been prescribed off label for weight loss to millions of Americans

Ozempic has FDA approval as a diabetes drug but it has been prescribed off label for weight loss to millions of Americans

Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy has FDA approval for chronic weight management.

Stephenson alleged that the companies sought initial approval for the drugs as diabetes treatments with the intention of promoting them for weight loss.

‘I expect to see documents to suggest that there was going to be off-label marketing and promotion outside of diabetes,’ he said.

‘I expect that the clinical trials and the things that they did in the various phases to come up with these drugs before they filed with the FDA, I think that they’re going to show that there was a risk of gastroparesis, and it’s not in the label, and it’s still isn’t in the label.’

Novo Nordisk said it believes the allegations in the lawsuits are ‘without merit’ and that the company will ‘vigorously defend against these claims’. 

Eli Lilly said ‘patient safety is Lilly’s top priority’ and also added that it will ‘vigorously defend against these claims’.

Brea Hand, 23, from Ponca City, Oklahoma, told DailyMail.com that she started using Ozempic in May 2023 and within weeks began to suffer from nausea, vomiting and constipation.

Hand, a mother-of-two who was prescribed the drug to control her fluctuating weight and pre-diabetes, required five hospital visits before physicians diagnosed her with gastroparesis and diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be life-threatening.

On her final hospital visit, she was admitted to intensive care.

‘They said my body was so acidotic that if I would have waited one more day that I wouldn’t have made it through,’ said Hand, whose lawsuit was filed on December 28.

‘It was scary. It was painful. I have not ever experienced that kind of pain in my entire life and I do not ever want to go through that again.’

Hand, a behavior science student, said she was not made aware of the side effects she suffered and wants to warn others about the risks of Ozempic.

‘I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody, personally. Just taking that risk would be too much for me from what I went through,’ she said.

‘I think they should definitely advertise more of the risks it does have.’

Brea Hand, 23, told DailyMail.com that doctors said she almost died because of the complications which were allegedly caused by Ozempic. She said she was not warned about the side effects

Brea Hand, 23, told DailyMail.com that doctors said she almost died because of the complications which were allegedly caused by Ozempic. She said she was not warned about the side effects

Robin Kelly, 49, filed a suit against Novo Nordisk in her home state of Mississippi on November 28, alleging that she became violently ill with gastroparesis after using Ozempic. She said she was not made aware that the condition was a possible side effect.

Kelly, a teacher’s assistant, told DailyMail.com that within weeks of beginning the treatment in December 2021, she began suffering with vomiting and diarrhea. She continued using Ozempic for months, unaware it was the cause of her symptoms.

‘You can pretty much set your watch that if I took my injection on Sunday, that on Tuesday, I was going to be sick with vomiting and diarrhea,’ she said.

Kelly was prescribed Ozempic to treat type 1 diabetes, which she has had since fourth grade and was treating with an insulin pump. She said her endocrinologist encouraged her to take Ozempic through an off-label prescription even though its FDA approval is for treatment of type 2 diabetes.

‘Every doctor’s visit that I went to, she kept telling me, ‘I really wish you would take this Ozempic’,’ Kelly said.

She initially believed the adverse symptoms were acid reflux, but after an emergency room visit, a gastroenterologist diagnosed her with gastroparesis and she stopped taking the Ozempic in September 2022.

Cameron Stephenson, an attorney at Levin Papantonio Rafferty, told DailyMail.com that thousands of lawsuits could be filed

Cameron Stephenson, an attorney at Levin Papantonio Rafferty, told DailyMail.com that thousands of lawsuits could be filed

‘The worst thing that it did for me was caused me almost to lose my job, because I was so sick with it that I could not go to work. I was so physically ill that I could not go to work.

‘There were days that I would go to work, I would try and go to work, stay at work. And I couldn’t and the reason why [was] because I would be at work and I would soil my clothes.

‘I would just soil my clothes, and I would be sick. And I would have to come home. It got to the point where I had to pack a bag with a change of clothes so if I got sick at work, I could change clothes.’

Kelly’s suit alleges she suffered ‘severe and permanent personal injuries, pain, suffering, and emotional distress, and incurred medical expenses’.

Novo Nordisk ‘knew or should have known that Ozempic was unreasonably dangerous’ and ‘did not adequately warn of the risk of gastroparesis’, the suit added.

‘I still have flare ups of gastroparesis even after coming of Ozempic,’ Kelly said. ‘I just think it’s going to be something I’m going to have to live with for the rest of my life.’

Kelly is represented by Morgan & Morgan, which has a leading role in the action against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and has more than 13,000 clients under retainer across the country.

Paul Pennock, a litigator for the firm, told Reuters it has also turned away 40,000 more people whose alleged injuries were not deemed severe enough to partake in the action.

He said the labels ‘don’t say clearly what could happen to you’ and that clients have continued to suffer after ending treatment, with some feeling ‘constantly nauseous’.

The first case under the growing action is believed to have been filed last August by Jaclyn Bjorklund, 45, from DeRidder, Louisiana. She was prescribed both Ozempic and Mounjaro off label and took them for about a year-and-a-half, before stopping last summer.

Ozempic, Wegovy other drugs for weight loss have exploded in popularity and celebrity users include Elon Musk (pictured in July 2022) , who has said he used Wegovy to lose weight

Ozempic, Wegovy other drugs for weight loss have exploded in popularity and celebrity users include Elon Musk (pictured in July 2022) , who has said he used Wegovy to lose weight

Sharon Osbourne has opened up about her own use of Ozempic, which caused her weight to drop below 100lb. She has warned about the dangers of extreme weight loss

Sharon Osbourne has opened up about her own use of Ozempic, which caused her weight to drop below 100lb. She has warned about the dangers of extreme weight loss

She suffered ‘severe gastrointestinal events, which resulted in, for example, severe vomiting, stomach pain, gastrointestinal burning, being hospitalized for stomach issues on several occasions including visits to the emergency room, teeth falling out due to excessive vomiting,’ according to the legal complaint.

Pennock said: ‘Ms. Bjorklund put her trust in Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Company, and we believe that as a result she has gone through a hell that no one should have to endure.’

He said injuries faced by some patients ‘may be permanent’.

Zakareeya Gregory, 46, from Walker Mill, Maryland, told DailyMail.com that her gallbladder was removed after she suffered side effects which were allegedly caused by Ozempic, which she used for seven months until February 2020.

Gregory, who was prescribed Ozempic to treat type 2 diabetes, said Ozempic initially helped her drop from 220lb to 170lb and lowered her blood sugar, while only causing minor complications such as stomach pain.

The severe side effects like extreme stomach pain started ‘all of a sudden’ at the end of 2022, more than two years after she stopped taking Ozempic. Her legal complaint said she also used Rybelsus, a tablet form of the drug also made by Novo Nordisk, for a period of time during 2022.

Gregory was taken to the emergency room in December, where scans revealed an issue with her gallbladder, which surgeons removed during her four-week hospital stay.

‘I went home with a tube in my side that I had to keep changing [for] drainage. I kept that in for maybe like two weeks,’ said Gregory, who also needed a blood transfusion.

‘It was very horrible, it was horrible to have your gallbladder taken out. I never thought I would have to have my gallbladder taken out. I never had any issues with that. It was a dramatic change in my life.’

She has since regained the weight that she lost and said she also suffers from gallbladder attacks, crippling pains which can still occur after the organ has been removed.

‘I was never told [about the side effects]. All I [was told] is that it will make me healthy, it will make my A1C [blood sugar] go down, which it did. And I was never told the rest. I just know, I will look good. I was gonna be healthy. And I was excited about it.’

Novo Nordisk's Wegovy is approved by the FDA for chronic weight management

Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy is approved by the FDA for chronic weight management

Her lawsuit states that her injuries were caused by Ozempic.

Billie Farley, 47, filed a suit against Novo Nordisk in December after using Ozempic for around three months. She was prescribed the drug off label for weight loss in October 2022 after seeing marketing for the drug, her lawsuit states.

‘Approximately three months after she began Ozempic, she started vomiting and having intense abdominal pain,’ according to her complaint.

Farley was hospitalized in January 2023 and a CT scan revealed ‘a life-threatening bowel injury’ which required extensive surgery that lasted nearly nine hours.

‘She was told by the doctors that Ozempic had been the probable cause of her bowel injuries and to stop taking it immediately,’ the suit said.

Farley was told that the pain she continued to suffer ‘would be permanent for the rest of her life’.

The suit added: ‘She has not had a solid bowel movement since her surgery and has been advised by her medical professionals that she will never had a solid bowel movement again for the rest of her life.’

Her complaint also claims the label and marketing ‘failed to adequately warn [her] and her medical provider of the true risks of taking Ozempic’.

‘Her life is forever changed because of her usage of Ozempic,’ the suit said.

The current lawsuits are expected to be combined intro a multidistrict litigation at a hearing in California on January 25. Attorneys say further cases will be added to the MDL as they are filed.

Many of the lawsuits include details about Novo Nordisk’s ‘aggressive’ marketing of its diabetes and weight loss drugs, including $884 million spent on television adverts across a five-year period. The complaints also refer to the company’s multi-million dollar lobbying campaign aimed at physicians in the US.

The suits also refer to Eli Lilly’s extensive marking of Mounjaro, including through digital and television advertisements.

The active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic is semaglutide, which mimics the actions of GLP-1, or glucagon-like peptide-1, a hormone in the brain that regulates appetite.

Eli Lilly has also been sued over claims it failed to warn that Mounjaro, another diabetes drug which is also prescribed for weight loss, can cause gastroparesis

Eli Lilly has also been sued over claims it failed to warn that Mounjaro, another diabetes drug which is also prescribed for weight loss, can cause gastroparesis

Eli Lilly, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, said XXX

Eli Lilly, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, said XXX

Mounjaro’s active drug is tirzepatide, which also works on GLP-1 receptors.

The drugs are typically taken as weekly injections and studies have shown they are highly effective at spurring weight loss and treating diabetes.

The FDA told DailyMail.com it does not comment on ‘possible, pending or ongoing litigation’ but said it monitors drugs ‘throughout their life cycle, including post-approval’.

‘If newly identified safety signals are identified, the FDA will determine what actions are appropriate after a thorough review of the body of evidence,’ the FDA said.

In a statement to DailyMail.com, Novo Nordisk said: ‘Novo Nordisk believes that the allegations in the lawsuit are without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend against these claims.

‘Patient safety is our top priority at Novo Nordisk, and we work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to continuously monitor the safety profile of our medicines.

‘GLP-1 medicines have been used to treat type 2 diabetes (T2D) for more than 18 years, and for the treatment of obesity for 8 years. This includes Novo Nordisk GLP-1 products such as semaglutide and liraglutide that have been on the market for more than 13 years.

‘Semaglutide has been extensively examined in robust clinical development programs, large real world evidence studies and has cumulatively over 9.5 million patient years of exposure.

‘The known risks and benefits of semaglutide and liraglutide medicines are described in their FDA-approved product labeling. Novo Nordisk stands behind the safety and efficacy of all of our GLP-1 medicines when they are used as indicated and when they are taken under the care of a licensed healthcare professional.’

Eli Lilly said: ‘Patient safety is Lilly’s top priority, and we actively engage in monitoring, evaluating, and reporting safety information for all our medicines.

‘Our FDA-approved label clearly warns that tirzepatide may be associated with gastrointestinal adverse reactions, sometimes severe. The label further states that tirzepatide has not been studied in patients with severe gastrointestinal disease, including severe gastroparesis, and is therefore not recommended in these patients. 

‘These risks were communicated to and widely known by healthcare providers. We will vigorously defend against these claims.’ 

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