Our lawyers are investigating Ozempic lawsuits for patients with gallbladder disease or gastrointestinal conditions including gastroparesis or cyclic vomiting syndrome.
Ozempic is the popular brand name for semaglutide, a prescription drug approved for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. Ozempic is also commonly used as a weight management drug. Recent scientific studies have shown that taking Ozempic, particularly at higher doses, can cause gallstones and gallbladder disease, which frequently results in surgical removal of the gallbladder.
Until very recently, the warning label for Ozempic did not properly notify patients or doctors about the risk of gallbladder disease. Anyone who suffered gallbladder disease or gallstones after taking Ozempic may be able to get financial compensation for their injuries by filing a product liability lawsuit. Our firm is not handling these cases. But this could change soon.
Ozempic Lawsuit Updates
September 18, 2023: There are now 7 Ozempic gallbladder injury cases consolidated into a new class action MDL. The number of cases pending in the MDL will increase significantly in the coming months.
July 25, 2023: Newly released evidence has revealed that using Ozempic or Wegovy for weight loss can cause serious gastrointestinal conditions including gastroparesis (paralysis of the stomach) and cyclic vomiting syndrome. Both of these conditions have been linked to prolonged use of Ozempic and Wegovy at the high doses commonly used for weight loss. These are debilitating conditions that can be permanent and have a serious impact on the patient’s life.
July 12, 2023: As the talk of potential Ozempic litigation heats up, you are seeing more concern in the medical community about Ozempic (and Wegovy). The latest is the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) now advises against the use of medications like Ozempic before elective surgery. This caution stems from an increased risk of vomiting and aspiration during anesthesia. The warning, forming part of the ASA’s new guidance, comes in light of a significant rise in the usage of these drugs. Our lawyers do not deny this drug may have benefits for some people. But the larger question – that will central in an Ozempic lawsuit – is what are the real risks of this class of drugs and have doctors and patients been properly warned of these risks? With respect to gallbladder disease, our lawyers would tell you yes. But there may be other risks and complications that have not been fully investigated.
Ozempic (generically known as semaglutide), is a prescription medication that is used in the management of type 2 diabetes. Ozempic is part of a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. GLP-1 is a hormone in the body that gets released in response to food intake and helps regulate blood sugar levels. There is also evidence that Ozempic can induce weight loss in people with obesity, even those without diabetes. Ozempic is approved for the management of type-2 diabetes. Recently, however, Ozempic has been prescribed by doctors to treat obesity and for weight management.
Ozempic is manufactured by the Dutch pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, which focuses primarily on the development and sale of diabetes drugs. Ozempic was first developed by Novo Nordisk in 2012 and it was approved for use by the FDA and released on the U.S. market in December 2017. In 2021, a higher-dose version of Ozempic (sold under the brand name Wegovy) was approved by the FDA.
Ozempic (and other GLP-1 drugs) work by stimulating the production of insulin after meals. This helps to reduce blood sugar to normal levels. Ozempic also slows down the digestive process, which also helps to maintain normal glucose levels. Ozempic is a administered as a once-weekly injection with a minimum dosage of 0.25 mg and a maximum dose of 1 mg.
Evidence Links Ozempic to Gallbladder Disease
A series of published scientific studies and reports dating back to 2017 have established that taking Ozempic can cause gallstones and gallbladder disease. In 2017, the results of a meta-analysis on the effect of Ozempic on pancreatitis and gallbladder disease were published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism. This study was the first to report findings that Ozempic use was associated with an increased risk of gallbladder disease.
The most significant evidence came when a Research Letter was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine in August 2022. The letter cited evidence definitively showing that Ozempic users had a significantly higher risk of gallstones and acute gallbladder disease. The findings in this letter were based on a review conducted by the Food and Drug Administration using data from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS).
The study concluded that there was an increased risk of both gallstones (cholelithiasis) (RR 1.27; and acute gallbladder disease (cholecystitis) with Ozempic compared to placebo or active comparator. The researchers also concluded that the risk of gallbladder problems from Ozempic were higher when the drug was at higher doses, for longer durations, and when the drug was used for weight loss.
About Gallbladder Disease and Gallstones
Gallbladder disease is an umbrella term that is used to refer to various diseases that are known to impact the gallbladder, including gallstones (cholelithiasis), inflammation (cholecystitis) and cancer. Cholecystitis, or inflammation of the gallbladder, is usually caused by blockage of the tube leading out of the gallbladder. It is a serious condition that must be treated immediately to avoid potential fatal complications. The most common treatment for cholecystitis is removal of the gallbladder.
Gallstones (cholelithiasis) are hard deposits that develop inside the gallbladder. They can get as big as a gold ball in some cases. Gallstones are categorized into 2 different types: cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol stones are more common and comprised of excess cholesterol. Pigment stones are formed from bilirubin, a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells in the liver.
Ozempic Gallbladder Lawsuits
The drug warning label for Ozempic was changed in March 2022 to include a specific warning about gallbladder disease. Before this amendment was made, however, the warning label for Ozempic said nothing at all about gallstones or gallbladder disease. Doctors and patients were left in the dark about the risk of gallbladder disease or gallstones associated with Ozempic.
Anyone who used Ozempic before the new warning label was added and was diagnosed with gallstones, cholecystitis or other gallbladder conditions could be entitled to financial compensation. Product liability lawsuits are being brought against the manufacturer of Ozempic on the grounds that it negligently failed to warn about the risk of gallbladder disease associated with the drug.
Estimated Settlement Value of Ozempic Lawsuits
Estimating the potential settlement value of new product liability cases like this is almost impossible to do with any real accuracy. That is particularly true with the Ozempic gallbladder lawsuits because they are very new. At this point, we don’t know how the scientific evidence behind these cases is going to hold up in court. That is a major variable in any defective drug case.
What we can do, however, is provide an educated guess as the possible settlement value range of Ozempic cases based on various assumptions about the causation evidence. Based on these significant assumptions, our attorneys believe that a successful Ozempic lawsuit could have a settlement value range of $400,000 to $700,000. This is the settlement value estimate for the “top tier” Ozempic cases, which would be those in which the plaintiff suffered gallbladder removal or death.
Again, our firm is not taking these claims right now. So the “if successful” caveat is a big one. We will learn more as this litigation develops.