The manufacturers of Ozempic and Mounjaro are being sued over claims that the popular weight loss drugs can cause gastroparesis or “stomach paralysis.”
The lawsuit was announced on Wednesday.
Personal injury law firm Morgan & Morgan has filed the lawsuit, a copy of which was provided to The Post, against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co. for “a failure to warn” of the side effect.
The suit further claims that the companies “downplayed the severity of the gastrointestinal events” from using the drugs.
The case, led by attorneys Paul Pennock and Jonathan Sedgh, regards Jaclyn Bjorklund, 44, of DeRidder, Louisiana, who has taken both drugs — first Ozempic, and then Mounjaro — as prescribed by her doctor.
The suit claims that Bjorklund took the medications for a total of about a year and a half before stopping this summer.
She alleges that the medications caused her to develop gastroparesis with symptoms so severe she was brought to the emergency room multiple times, as recently as last weekend, and threw up so excessively that she lost teeth.
“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,” Morgan & Morgan partner Paul Pennock told The Post.
Bjorklund, who has not yet been officially diagnosed with gastroparesis, is seeking financial compensation from the drug manufacturers.
Morgan & Morgan told The Post that the firm has received 500 other similar inquiries from clients across 45 states, along with claims of injuries allegedly caused by other weight-loss drugs including Wegovy, Rybelsus and Saxenda.
“Ms. Bjorklund, as well as the over 500 clients across 45 states whose claims we continue to investigate, have suffered ongoing gastrointestinal problems that in many cases are severe, debilitating and disabling,” Pennock claimed, noting that “some of the injuries may be permanent.”
“Filing this lawsuit is the first step in holding these companies accountable for their alleged failure to warn patients about the significant risks posed by these drugs,” he added.
Ozempic is a medication designed for people with Type 2 diabetes that has become widely used as a weight loss drug. The Eli Lilly counterpart, Mounjaro, is a tirzepatide that has been shown to help control blood sugar as well.
The weight-loss drugs have risen in popularity so quickly in the last few months that the FDA announced shortages as the medication flew off the shelves.
But some experts have also warned that they have not been available long enough to study the long-term effects and are likely being misused by some as a quick way to shed a few pounds.
The drugs work by mimicking a natural hormone, GLP-1, which slows down the passage of food through the stomach, making people feel full for longer.
However, issues start to arise if the drugs slow down the stomach too much, causing some to develop gastroparesis.
Gastroparesis is a condition that slows or stops the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine even though there is no blockage, according to the National Institutes of Health.
It can lead to discomfort, nausea, vomiting, dehydration and malnutrition.
Endoscopies will show stomachs full of days-old food, which is unusual since typically less than 10% of food consumed is left in the stomach four hours after a meal, The Post previously reported.
The Food and Drug Administration also confirmed such reports, though they are unable to officially determine whether the cases of gastroparesis were caused by the weight-loss drugs or by another condition.
“The FDA has received reports of gastroparesis with semaglutide and liraglutide, some of which documented the adverse event as not recovered after discontinuation of the respective product at the time of the report,” the agency said in a statement to CNN.
The Post has contacted Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Co. for comment on the lawsuit.
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