The Legal Examiner Affiliate Network The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner search instagram avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner

Do I Need a Lawyer for Diabetes Weight Loss Drug Injuries?

For millions of Americans diagnosed with diabetes, this may mean a lifetime of uncertainty, monitoring their diet and blood sugar levels. Some may require medication to treat their diabetes when lifestyle changes are not effective. For those who need medical assistance to control their blood sugar levels, this may mean embracing a new type of medication to control diabetes and weight loss. This new generation of medication includes semaglutide, dulaglutide, liraglutide, or tirzepatide as a main ingredient. Some diabetics and others who have taken these medications off label for weight loss have discovered the medication may come with a heavy price – serious digestive and stomach issues, including gastroparesis, which is also known as stomach paralysis.

What is Stomach Paralysis?

During typical digestion, the stomach muscles work to break down food into small particles that can be moved through the small intestine. If a person experiences stomach paralysis (gastroparesis), food may stop moving through the digestive tract, staying in the stomach much longer than it should. When the digestive process is slowed, challenges may present. This may allow bacteria to develop or cause the food particles to harden leading to blockages, which can cause pain. Other symptoms of stomach paralysis include vomiting, nausea, a feeling of fullness, abdominal bloating, or discomfort. 

man holding an ozempic semaglutide pen to inject into his stomach

Sadly, there is no cure for stomach paralysis. This is a chronic condition with the potential to worsen over time. Typical treatment includes making changes to a patient’s diet. Doctors can prescribe medication that supports digestion and stomach muscles. Some patients can lessen the severity of the symptoms by staying hydrated, avoiding alcohol and carbonated beverages, and staying active. 

Doctors recommend a diet of soft foods that are easier to digest. Foods low in fat are also recommended. Instead of consuming three meals a day, medical professionals recommend several smaller meals throughout the day. They also recommend taking small bites of food and chewing food completely before swallowing. 

Five years ago medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro were introduced into the market. Ninety percent of those who were prescribed these medications were taking the prescription medication to treat type 2 diabetes. Fast forward five years – almost 50 percent of those using these medications now are doing so to lose weight. 

Diabetes Weight Loss Drugs Lawsuits

August 2023 marked the first weight loss drug lawsuit filed by a diabetic woman who was admitted to the hospital for gastrointestinal burning, stomach pain, and intense vomiting after using Mounjaro and Ozempic. Similar diabetes weight loss drugs lawsuits against Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk have followed. These lawsuits allege that the manufacturers failed to warn patients and their physicians about the potential risks of stomach paralysis and other serious health risks.

In February of this year, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) confirmed a request to consolidate all the diabetes weight loss drug lawsuits into multidistrict litigation (MDL). The U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is now the home for cases in this MDL.

Several of these prescription medications mention mild gastrointestinal side effects on their labels. These FDA warnings are listed on semaglutide (Ozempic and Wegovy) and tirzepatide (Mounjaro), but the serious dangers are not listed on the packaging. Wegovy is approved to treat obesity, while Ozempic and Mounjaro are approved to treat type 2 diabetes.

How a Lawyer Can Help with Weight Loss Drug Injuries

Many people have reported positive outcomes from diabetes weight loss drugs, including control of their blood sugar levels. However others taking the prescribed medications has led to changes in health, including stomach paralysis, thyroid tumors, acute kidney injury, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, and other health conditions.

If you or a loved one has been injured while taking diabetes weight loss medication, know there are legal avenues to explore. First, seek medical advice to determine how your condition may be treated. Next, consider consulting an attorney with experience in diabetes weight loss medication cases, like yours. When looking for a diabetes weight loss drug attorney, there are a few factors to consider to make sure they are a good fit for your case.

Experience: Attorneys specialize in various practice areas and they vary from attorney to attorney and firm to firm. Finding an attorney with experience in dangerous drugs lawsuits is key. Their experience with similar cases allows them to evaluate whether your diabetes weight loss drug case has merit and how to proceed.

Free Consultations: Many lawyers offer free consultations before becoming a client. A consultation provides an opportunity to meet with the attorney, learn about their experience, and see how you work together. 

Hold Manufacturers Accountable: There are several minor side effects listed as warnings on diabetes weight loss medications. However, serious health conditions, including stomach paralysis, were not included. By working with an attorney to hold manufacturers responsible for failing to warn of the severe health risks such as gastroparesis can provide you with compensation for your injuries and protect others from experiencing serious health conditions in the future.

Complexity: A diabetes weight loss drug lawsuit can be complex. Collecting evidence, reviewing case materials, and proving a correlation between health conditions and diabetes weight loss medication is difficult under the best circumstances. An attorney’s expertise can work for you in navigating the difficult legal process associated with this type of claim.

Attorney Resources: The attorney you choose to represent you should take all the necessary steps to build a strong case for you. This might include collecting and reviewing medical reports, collecting evidence, contacting and hiring expert witnesses, reviewing and presenting settlement options. During your free consultation be sure to ask how the attorney will use the resources available to build a strong case.

Fees: When consulting with an attorney, ask about the fee structure. Does the attorney ask you to pay fees upfront? Many product liability attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only receive payment if they win money for you. 

Using Mounjaro, Ozempic, and Wegovy has come with a steep cost for some users. Holding drug manufacturers accountable for drug injuries is one of the rights consumers possess. Filing a lawsuit with the help of an experienced diabetes weight loss drug attorney can help you be made whole while you heal. Treatments for health conditions should not come at the high cost of additional health conditions.