Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, manufacturers of highly successful anti-obesity drugs, are facing legal action in the United States concerning stomach paralysis or gastroparesis.
The drugs in question are Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Lilly’s Mounjaro, administered as once-weekly injections, which are designed to not only lower diabetes but also assist in weight loss.
The lawsuit has been brought forward by Jaclyn Bjorklund, a 44-year-old resident of Louisiana, who alleges that the companies failed to adequately warn patients about the risk of developing gastroparesis.
While the medications’ labels mention that they can delay gastric emptying and cause various stomach-related issues like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and constipation, they do not explicitly mention gastroparesis as a potential risk.
According to Bjorklund’s claims, the use of Ozempic and Mounjaro resulted in severe symptoms such as vomiting, stomach pain, gastrointestinal burning, and even tooth loss.
She further asserted that the drugs led to multiple hospitalizations due to stomach problems, teeth falling out because of excessive vomiting, and a need for additional medications to manage the constant vomiting, even hours after eating.
Gastroparesis, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a condition where the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine is slowed or halted, despite the absence of any blockages.
Morgan & Morgan, a personal injury law firm representing Bjorklund, has reportedly gathered 400 clients who claim to have developed gastroparesis after using these drugs, as reported by Financial Times.
Paul Pennock, a lawyer at Morgan, stated that many individuals are experiencing continuous and severe vomiting, leading to frequent visits to the emergency room.
Both Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly have emphasized that patient safety is their utmost concern. Novo Nordisk encourages patients to take their medications only for approved indications and under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Likewise, Lilly has asserted its active engagement in monitoring and reporting safety information for all its medicines.