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Blockbuster weight loss and diabetes drugs like Trulicity and Ozempic may be associated with an increased risk of 3 rare, but severe, stomach conditions in non-diabetic patients, according to a new epidemiological study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association [2.].
The study comes as Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy, Ozempic and similar treatments in the GLP-1 class of drugs skyrocket in popularity for their ability to cause dramatic weight loss over time. However, those same drugs are also facing increased scrutiny after some patients reported experiencing stomach paralysis and suicidal ideation while taking them.
The study noted an increased risk of bowel obstruction, pancreatitis, and stomach paralysis — a condition not mentioned on the warning label of any GLP-1 inhibitor.
The researchers specifically looked at semaglutide – the active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic – and another GLP-1 known as liraglutide, and compared them to another weight loss treatment called bupropion-naltrexone, which works differently to help patients lose weight.
The findings indicated that when compared with bupropion-naltrexone, GLP-1s were linked to a 9x higher risk of pancreatitis, a 4x higher risk of bowel obstruction, and a more than 3x higher risk of stomach paralysis. The researchers suggested that the risks of those conditions are higher in patients specifically taking GLP-1s rather than other weight loss medications that work differently.
What is Trulicity?
Trulicity is an injectable medication used for people 10 years and older with Type 2 diabetes. The drug is injected once a week to help lower blood sugar.
Trulicity is not approved for weight loss; however, people using the medication often experience weight loss because of how the drug works.
Trulicity is manufactured and marketed by Eli Lilly and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 18, 2014.
Related Article: Weight Loss Drug Stomach Paralysis Lawsuit
Lawsuit Claims Diabetes Drugs Caused Stomach Paralysis
In August 2023, a lawsuit was filed against the makers of Ozempic (semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide), type 2 diabetes drugs in the same class as Trulicity, claiming the medications increase “the risk of developing severe gastrointestinal issues, including gastroparesis.”
The complaint was entered on behalf of a diabetic woman from Louisiana who alleges that Novo Nordisk—the makers of Ozempic—and Eli Lilly, the makers of Mounjaro, failed to provide adequate warnings regarding severe stomach problems associated with the use of the drugs.
According to the lawsuit, Plaintiff Jaclyn Bjorklund was “severely injured” after taking Ozempic and Mounjaro for more than a year at the direction of her physician.
Bjorklund claims she experienced “severe vomiting, stomach pain, gastrointestinal burning, being hospitalized for stomach issues on several occasions including visits to the emergency room, [and] teeth falling out due to excessive vomiting, requiring additional medications to alleviate her excessive vomiting, and throwing up whole food hours after eating,” according to the lawsuit.
What is Stomach Paralysis?
Stomach paralysis, also called gastroparesis or delayed stomach emptying, affects the movement of food even though there isn’t a blockage in the small intestine or stomach. It usually takes 6 to 8 hours for food to pass from the stomach to the small intestine, but in patients with gastroparesis, the digestion process is prolonged significantly.
Symptoms of stomach paralysis typically include varying degrees of:
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal pain
- A feeling of fullness after eating just a few bites
- Vomiting undigested food eaten a few hours earlier
- Acid reflux
- Changes in blood sugar levels
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss/malnutrition
How Can Trulicity Cause Stomach Paralysis?
A study published in the Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology [1.] examined how liraglutide — another diabetes drug in the same class as Trulicity — affected digestion. For the study, test subjects were given either liraglutide or a placebo for 5 weeks and then ate a meal with a radioactive tracer so researchers could see how long the food stayed in their stomachs.
The researchers found that it took those participants who used liraglutide 70 minutes for half their food to leave their stomachs compared to 4 minutes in the control group, a drastic slow in digestion. In some participants taking liraglutide, it took up to 2.5 hours for half the meal to leave their stomachs.
See all related dangerous drug lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.
Get a Free Trulicity Stomach Paralysis Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Trulicity Stomach Paralysis Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting lawsuits in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one suffered from stomach paralysis or another injury after taking Trulicity or another weight loss medication, you should contact our law firm immediately. Consumers may be entitled to a settlement by filing a lawsuit, and our lawyers can help you receive fair compensation.