As of June 2021, Wegovy was approved as one of the newest weight-loss medications on the market. It was met with high demand for long-term chronic weight management, partly with the help of TikTok influencers and celebrity endorsement. The demand has been so high that in recent months, there has been ongoing shortages of the drug.
However, unexpected side effects of Wegovy can lead to a diminished quality of life. There are recent allegations in a lawsuit filed against Wegovy’s manufacturer that the drug can cause gastroparesis, or stomach paralysis.
What is Wegovy?
Manufactured by Novo Nordisk, Wegovy is a prescription drug approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2021 for chronic weight management in obese patients.
Wegovy contains semaglutide, which is used to treat type 2 diabetes in conjunction with diet and exercise to control blood sugar. While Wegovy contains the same active ingredient used to treat diabetes, it was officially approved to treat weight loss in a higher dose.
Wegovy is a once-weekly injection typically used alongside diet and physical activity for adults with obesity or other weight-related conditions. This prescription drug acts by allowing patients to feel fuller and stifle cravings, thus leading to less food intake and eventually weight loss.
The FDA approved use of Wegovy only for people who have a body mass index (BMI) over 30, or a BMI of 27 or more along with a weight-related health condition.
According to Mayo Clinic, Wegovy can help people lose up to 15% of their weight on average. This prescription drug is the first drug approved for chronic weight management for adults who are overweight or obese since 2014.
Influencers and Wegovy
Since approval, TikTok influencers and celebrities have endorsed Wegovy for weight loss, which has led to a rise in consumers acquiring the drug to manage their own weight loss.
Elon Musk tweeted that he uses Wegovy in response to someone asking what made him “look awesome, fit, ripped & healthy.”
However, as of August 2023, there is a worldwide shortage of Wegovy, leading to consumers to search for other methods. Some have turned to Ozempic, a diabetes medication with the same active ingredient manufactured by the same company.
Like Wegovy, Ozempic contains semaglutide. Manufactured by Novo Nordisk, both Ozempic and Wegovy act as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists to create effects like slow digestion and suppressing hunger.
Ozempic is initially sold as a medication to treat type 2 diabetes, but at the same time, it can also act as a weight loss supplement. On the other hand, Wegovy is specifically approved for weight management due to its higher dose of semaglutide.
Wegovy & Gastroparesis (Stomach Paralysis)
Gastroparesis is a serious stomach condition in which food moves too slowly from the stomach to the small intestine. In more severe cases, food may stop moving through the intestine at all. Food that remains undigested in the body may stay in the stomach and harden.
Symptoms of gastroparesis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Severe dehydration
- Acid reflux
- Weight loss
Stomach paralysis can lead to medical complications such as:
- Dehydration from excessive vomiting
- Difficulty controlling blood sugar level
- Low-calorie intake
- Bezoars (solid mass of food in the stomach preventing digestion)
- Blockage from bezoars
- Ulcers from bezoars
- Internal bleeding from bezoars
- Diminished quality of life
Gastroparesis Diagnosis & Treatment
Doctors can conduct a variety of tests to diagnose stomach paralysis in a patient suffering from the above-listed symptoms. Such tests include:
- Gastric emptying tests (tests how fast the stomach empties)
- Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (examination of stomach via a tiny camera on a tube)
After a gastroparesis diagnosis, doctors work with their patients on the best course of action to treat the condition. A few methods to alleviate symptoms are:
- Medication to stimulate stomach muscles
- Medication to control vomiting and nausea
- Surgical procedure to place a feeding tube
- Electrical stimulation in the stomach to move food
Researchers are still investigating new methods and medications to treat stomach paralysis.
Allegations against Novo Nordisk includes a “failure to warn” consumers that Wegovy and similar weight loss drugs could cause gastroparesis. While the manufacturer included numerous potential side effects, there are no warning of gastroparesis.
Wegovy gastroparesis lawsuits could compensate for:
- Medical treatment costs
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering related to injuries, treatment, and recovery
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of earning capacity
Any lawsuits against the manufacturers of Wegovy and Ozempic are still in the early stages as of September 2023. The first lawsuit against Novo Nordisk was filed in early August 2023, alleging that Ozempic and Mounjaro, another weight loss drug, caused a plaintiff’s stomach paralysis and hospitalization.
Other Stomach Paralysis Lawsuits
Questions About a Wegovy Stomach Paralysis Lawsuit? Contact a Johnson//Becker Lawyer for a Free Case Review.
If you or a loved one took Wegovy and have been diagnosed with stomach paralysis, you may want to speak with the lawyers at Johnson//Becker. We are currently accepting new Wegovy stomach paralysis lawsuits across the country, and you may be entitled to financial compensation.
We offer a Free Case Evaluation. Please contact us using the form below or by calling us at (800) 279-6386.
We would be honored to speak with you and respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.