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Wegovy Lawsuit: Weight Loss Quest Ends in Stomach Paralysis

by | Apr 2, 2024 | Product liability

Shedding pounds without exercise is always the dream of many. This pursuit for slim figure led many embrace the famous weight loss drug Wegovy. However, it took an unexpected turn of events when the consumers started facing stomach paralysis. Drug’s weight loss benefits were overshadowed by this adverse side effect, leaving its manufacturer, Novo Nordisk in legal tangles.

Before delving into the core of this article, Wegovy lawsuits, let’s know some background history of Wegovy to know its fame among the people.

What is Wegovy?

Wegovy is an injection manufactured by Novo Nordisk, a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Bagsværd, Denmark.

It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021 in weight management for the obese. It is a 2.4 mg semaglutide subcutaneous injection administered weekly to assist adults and children aged ≥12 years and above in managing obesity for long term. It is better if a healthy diet plan with reduced calories and work outs are followed along with Wegovy.

The Wegovy pens come in five different colors with different doses as seen below:

  • Black (2.4 mg)
  • Blue (1.7 mg)
  • Brown (1 mg)
  • Pink (0.5 mg)
  • Light green (0.25 mg)


The dosage starts at 0.25 mg weekly for around 4 weeks. The dosage will increase every four week to the next level until it reaches 2.4 mg.

What is semaglutide? How does it help in weight loss?

Semaglutide is widely in use in diabetic management, especially used to treat Type-2 diabetic patients. Semaglutide helps in stimulating pancreas to secrete right amount of insulin to reduce the blood sugar levels. Belonging to the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists group of medications, it targets the GLP-1 receptors in brain and regulates cravings for food. It creates a satiated feeling by making one feel full even after eating less.

Know how Wegovy works from this picture below:


In the official website of Wegovy, it is instructed not to use Wegovy injection along with any other “semaglutide-containing products” or other “over-the-counter, or herbal weight loss products.”

Side Effects of Wegovy

The important safety information in their website warns the following as the possible adverse side effects of Wegovy:


Other serious side effects include:

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas)
  • Gall bladder issues like gall stones
  • Hypoglycemia (risk of low blood sugar)
  • Kidney failure
  • Change in vision in type 2 diabetic patients
  • Allergic reactions (in face, throat, and tongue)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Elevated heart rate

Other common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Bloating
  • Runny nose or sore throat

Novo Nordisk and the Semaglutide Products

Novo Nordisk brought their famous diabetic care drug Ozempic to the market in 2012 itself for treating type-2 diabetes. It was also a semaglutide injection, which was only approved for diabetic care but widely used off-label for weight loss.

On seeing the off-label benefits of Ozempic for weight loss and enjoying the warmth of rising profit, Novo Nordisk might have rushed Wegovy to the market for treating obesity. Despite knowing the adverse side effects of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk had made Wegovy too with the same semaglutide compound. That too Wegovy injection contained semaglutide 2 times stronger than Ozempic.

Nordisk’s Rybelsus, the pill form of semaglutide (first and only GLP-1 analog pill) got the FDA approval in 2019 for Type 2 diabetes treatment. Whereas, Wegovy was introduced to the market with the sole intention of treating obesity. However, all of these medications have more or less the same side effects.

Though Ozempic presented a remarkable weight loss in the users, it had adverse side effects too at the same time. Novo Nordisk is still facing lawsuits on Ozempic side effects- like gall bladder issues and gastroparesis. Experts and research reports state that Novo Nordisk hadn’t done proper research on the adverse side effects of Semaglutide on human beings. Moreover, Nordisk was negligent in rushing an unsafe medication aiming only for profit compromising the safety of consumers.

Stomach Paralysis & Wegovy- Link Unearthed

In the research letter published by JAMA Network on October 5, 2023, a shocking revelation of link between semaglutide drugs for weight loss and stomach paralysis was unearthed. The people who use weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy could have increased risk of incurring issues like pancreatitis, gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), and bowel obstruction.

What is stomach paralysis?

Stomach paralysis or gastroparesis refers to the paralysis of the stomach. Stomach paralysis makes the muscles and nerves of the stomach weak enough to prevent it from making contractions to digest food and push it on to the intestines.

When food stays in the stomach for long, it will lead to bloating, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, malnutrition, nausea, vomiting and blood sugar level fluctuations.

Latest FDA Study Linking Suicidal Ideation

The FDA quarterly report on Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) for July to September 2023 published on January 2, 2024 found that Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist drugs had caused 201 reports of suicidal ideations. They are also the reasons for alopecia and aspiration in the users during the reported period. The list of GLP-1 drugs include Ozempic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, Byetta Bydureon, Saxenda, Trulicity, Victoza and Zepbound.

The FDA noted that it was considering serious regulatory actions to be taken on the matter.

Studies Linking Semaglutide and Stomach Paralysis

December 2022: According to a research done by Jensterle et al in 2023 on women with obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome, semaglutide drugs increases the gastric retention time. It found that, “At 4 hours after meal ingestion, semaglutide led to 37% gastric retention of solid meal.”

March 2023: A case study was conducted by on Sandra R. Klein BS & Ion A. Hobai, on a 42 year old patient who took semaglutide injections for weight loss. Two months after her first semaglutide injection, she was hospitalized and undergone multiple gastrointestinal endoscopy and also the ablation of dysplastic mucosa.

The study revealed that there was delayed gastric emptying in the patient and intraoperative pulmonary aspiration of gastric contents during the endoscopy. Even after 18 hours of fasting, there was substantial food content in her trachea, which occurred during her endotracheal intubation. Through bronchoscopy, the sucked in food particles in the trachea and bronchi were removed.

Evolution of Wegovy Lawsuits

On Sept. 19, 2023, Motley Rice attorneys filed the first Wegovy lawsuit on behalf of a Pennsylvania woman. She took Wegovy to lose weight. However, she encountered stomach cramps, vomiting and nausea soon after the initiation of Wegovy administration. She was hospitalized to treat for stomach paralysis. This Wegovy lawsuit was filed in Pennsylvania’s Court of Common Pleas.

The Wegovy lawsuit alleged that the manufacturers failed to warn the stomach paralysis risk, misrepresented the drug’s efficacy and marketed the drug negligently. The lawsuit also purport that had the plaintiffs known of the adverse side effects of the drug, they would not have chosen to get the drug.

A few more plaintiffs have filed individual Wegovy lawsuits so far against Novo Nordisk for their negligence. As of January 2024, there is no Wegovy class action lawsuit or Wegovy MDL consolidated.

However, MDL 3094 In Re: Glucagoan-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists Products Liability Litigation consolidated under Judge Gene Pratter in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania include lawsuits against GLP-1 drugs including Ozempic, Wegovy and so on. 

As per the latest update on April 1, 2024, there are 74 lawsuits pending in the MDL 3094.

Wegovy lawsuits allege that the dangerous drug can cause potential side effects noted below:

  • Acute kidney injury/failure: It can cause acute kidney injuries and renal failure, necessitating hospitalization.
  • Eating disorders and muscle loss: Since it decreases hunger, people may face eating disorders, malnutrition, and muscle wasting.
  • Gallbladder issues: Some people experienced gallbladder problems, such as inflammation and gallstones.
  • Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis): Victims encounter delayed stomach emptying, which leads to bloating, nausea, vomiting, and nutrition deficiency.
  • Liver failure: Liver could not function properly and remove toxins from the blood and produce important proteins.
  • Pancreatitis: There is an increased risk of pancreatitis, a serious inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Stomach problems: Some people experienced abdominal pain, gastric obstruction, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), diarrhea, and gastrointestinal burning.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Some encountered suicidal thoughts during the course of Wegovy.
  • Thyroid cancer: It poses an increased risk of thyroid C-cell tumors.

Liability in Wegovy Lawsuits

Negligence: Plaintiffs allege that Novo Nordisk was negligent in its duty to ensure the safety of Wegovy. The company was negligent in its duty to produce and market a safe drug for the consumers. They did not conduct adequate safety testing prior to marketing the drug or did not respond appropriately to the known risks associated with the drug compound semaglutide.

Misleading Marketing: There are claims that Novo Nordisk engaged in misleading marketing and labeling practices. They have overstated the drug’s benefits while downplaying or failing to disclose its potential risks and side effects of Wegovy adequately to the common people.

Failure to Warn: A central allegation in these lawsuits is that Novo Nordisk failed to provide sufficient warnings to consumers and the medical community about the risk of severe side effects, such as stomach paralysis or gastroparesis. If they had informed the users about these potential risks, it could have influenced their decision to use the drug.

Attorneys handling these semaglutide lawsuits should be able to prove that their clients have sustained injury or harm from Wegovy, the drug was defective in design and manufacture, or the manufacturers have failed to provide proper safety instructions to the physicians and the consumers.

How can medical record review assist attorneys tackle Wegovy lawsuits?

Like every personal injury lawsuit, Wegovy lawsuits too need solid evidence to prove the negligence of the manufacturer and sustained injuries. The victim’s medical records play a pivotal role in establishing the claims. A thorough medical record review can pin point the start of the Wegovy administration, surfacing of the adverse side effects, severity of the symptoms, treatments undergone, and duration of hospitalization, surgeries and other procedures needed to recover from the injuries and so on.

A diligent scrutiny of medical record can also discover the link between the drug and the side effects like gastroparesis, kidney failure or thyroid cancer. This expert analysis can be pivotal in court, providing a strong foundation for the plaintiff’s case.

The chronological summary of medical events can traces back to the patient’s physical condition prior and after the administration of Wegovy. It can also reveal the onset of the symptoms and the deterioration of health or the progress of symptoms.

Medical record review can provide details about the extent of the injury, the cost of medical treatment, the need for ongoing care, and the impact on the patient’s quality of life. It can also calculate the quantifying damages the victim sustained due to the negligence of the manufacturer.

Even if there is a Wegovy class action lawsuit, reviewing multiple patients’ records can reveal patterns in drug reactions, strengthening the argument that Wegovy has a consistent and predictable set of harmful side effects.

Medical record review companies, like LezDo TechMed, can assist the attorneys in dealing with pharmaceutical giants by providing strengths and weaknesses of a claim beforehand and plan strategies to win.  Years of their experience in dealing with mass tort and product liability claims make them a reliable partner for attorneys in establishing claims.

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To wind up,

Wegovy lawsuits are still in the initial stages with only a few individual lawsuits filed across the nation. If there is a surge in the inflow of Wegovy lawsuits in 2024, there could be a chance for MDL consolidation or a Wegovy class action to be initiated.

These legal actions against drug manufacturers like Novo Nordisk highlight the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies to provide accurate information and adequate warnings about the potential risks associated with their products. The outcome of these lawsuits could have significant implications for patient safety and corporate accountability in the pharmaceutical industry.

Let’s hope FDA’s plan to take regulatory actions against drug manufacturing and approval may also bring some change in the way drugs and medical devices are manufactured and marketed in the future.

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