A 44-year-old woman who took Ozempic and Mounjaro for diabetes is suing the companies that make the drugs.
She says in a lawsuit that her stomach is paralyzed, and she is worried the damage could be permanent.
Her lawyers say they have received roughly 400 similar complaints.
A 44-year-old woman with diabetes who lost 150 pounds taking Mounjaro and Ozempic is suing the drugmakers Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk, arguing that the companies failed to warn patients of the potential risk of severe gastroparesis with these new drugs.
Attorney Paul Pennock, at Morgan & Morgan injury firm, told reporters on a conference call that her lawsuit was filed early on Wednesday in Louisiana. Pennock said roughly 400 other people with similar complaints have retained his firm, and their cases are still being investigated.
"I think that ultimately there will be thousands of such cases," he said. He added that the stomach paralysis can lead to severe, debilitating vomiting that requires emergency care. "We have people that we've spoken to who have thrown up solid food that they ate days earlier — they can look at it and say, 'that's what I had for lunch three days ago,'" Pennock told reporters.
Multiple ER visits, and lost teeth from vomiting so hard
The first plaintiff, identified only as "Jaclyn" by her lawyers, started taking Ozempic in the spring of 2022, Pennock said. By July 2023, suffering from severe stomach paralysis, she switched to Mounjaro, but her symptoms did not subside, he said.
"Her problems have been so severe that she's been to the emergency room multiple times, including last week," Pennock said. "She's actually even thrown up so violently that she's lost teeth."
Jaclyn stopped taking Mounjaro 10 days ago, Pennock said. But there are other patients who, he said, have had issues with stomach paralysis for much longer than that after they stop taking Ozempic, Mounjaro, or other, similar GLP-1 drugs.
"Paralysis can be temporary, or, we think, could be permanent," Pennock said.
Part of the way that hormone-mimicking drugs including Ozempic and Mounjaro work is by slowing down digestion, and delaying gastric emptying. Nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain are some of the most common complaints, especially early on when people first start taking the drugs.
"We have been looking at the evidence, and it is our opinion that these drugs are causing these problems," Pennock said.
Treatment for gastroparesis varies, depending on the cause and the severity of a person's case. Better blood sugar control, diet changes, and prescription medications that can help the muscles inside your stomach work better are all options physicians may consider.
There is no manufacturer's warning about the possibility of gastroparesis on Mounjaro or Ozempic. Instead, the drugmakers warn of the potential risk for pancreatitis, cautioning patients and providers to stop using the drugs if they have severe, debilitating stomach pain.
"It's definitely our contention that gastroparesis should have been warned of, specifically," Pennock said.
Eli Lilly, the maker of Mounjaro, told Insider in a statement that patient safety is the company's "top priority, and we actively engage in monitoring, evaluating, and reporting safety information for all our medicines."
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