Researchers Compared Semaglutide Drugs, Such as Ozempic and Wegovy, to Contrave, a Non-GLP-1 Drug, in Weight-Loss Patients
An October 2023 medical journal article presented the results of a recent study comparing patients who used two different types of weight-loss drugs to see whether drugs containing the GLP-1 semaglutide showed Ozempic and Wegovy associated with gastroparesis, a gastrointestinal condition also referred to as stomach paralysis.
Even those two Novo Nordisk drugs, Ozempic and Wegovy, each have semaglutide as their active ingredient, they were approved by the FDA for different purposes. Ozempic is intended for patients with diabetes and Wegovy was approved for those with obesity. However, over the past couple of years, Ozempic has been increasingly used "off-label" as a weight-loss drug, too.
For this recent medical study, semaglutide drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy were compared to Contrave, a non-GLP-1 weight-loss treatment. It is important to point out that for this study none of the patients had diabetes and all of the patients were prescribed the two different types of drugs for weight loss. The reason this fact is significant: "Diabetes is the most common known underlying cause of gastroparesis." See "Symptoms & Causes of Gastroparesis", from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (accessed 10/24/23).
So as regards possible Ozempic-gastroparesis drug injury lawsuits against Novo Nordisk for failure to warn about this serious side effect, the better cases will involve non-diabetic patients using Ozempic "off-label" as a weight-loss treatment.
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With that established, we now direct you to the medical journal article we referred to at the outset of this piece. On October 5, 2023, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published online this Research Letter, "Risk of Gastrointestinal Adverse Events Associated With Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists for Weight Loss", which begins with this introduction to the medical study:
Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists are medications approved for treatment of diabetes that recently have also been used off label for weight loss. Studies have found increased risks of gastrointestinal adverse events (biliary disease, pancreatitis, bowel obstruction, and gastroparesis) in patients with diabetes. Because such patients have higher baseline risk for gastrointestinal adverse events, risk in patients taking these drugs for other indications may differ. Randomized trials examining efficacy of GLP-1 agonists for weight loss were not designed to capture these events due to small sample sizes and short follow-up. We examined gastrointestinal adverse events associated with GLP-1 agonists used for weight loss in a clinical setting. [footnotes omitted]
As mentioned above, this recent medical study found that the use of GLP-1 agonists containing the active ingredient semaglutide, such as Ozempic and Wegovy -- when compared with Contrave, a non-GLP-1 drug with the active ingredients naltrexone and bupropion -- was associated with increased risk of gastroparesis.
We are investigating possible drug injury lawsuits against Novo Nordisk for non-diabetic patients who were diagnosed with gastroparesis while using Ozempic "off-label" as a weight-loss treatment as well as Wegovy as an obesity treatment.
In addition, we are investigating gastroparesis cases involving Rybelsus, approved by the FDA as Type 2 diabetes treatment, when it was being used "off-label" for weight loss by people who do not have diabetes.
If you want to learn more, here are a few of our earlier Drug Injury Watch articles about gastroparesis and other gastrointestinal side effects associated with Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus:
- Ozempic: Reports of Gastrointestinal Disorder Ileus Added to Drug Label in September 2023 -- Paralytic Ileus, the Slowing of Food Movement Through Digestive System, is Similar to Intestinal Obstruction (9/28/23)
- Severe Stomach Conditions in Patients Using Semaglutide Weight Loss Drugs From Novo Nordisk -- Ozempic, Rybelsus, and Wegovy Use Might Cause Gastroparesis, Gastric Stasis, or Stomach Paralysis (9/13/23)
- Ozempic / Wegovy: Stomach And Intestinal Problems Can Be Irreversible, Life-threatening -- Severe Gastric Side Effects Include Stomach Paralysis, Gastroparesis, And Intestinal Blockages (9/1/23)
Feel free to contact us about a possible drug injury case involving Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus. Any such lawsuit would be filed against Novo Nordisk, the responsible drug company, but not your doctor.