Aug. 3, 2023 – A new lawsuit from a woman with type 2 diabetes alleges that the makers of the drugs Ozempic and Mounjaro did not provide adequate warnings for the severity of stomach problems caused by the popular medicines.
The two drugs, which are FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes, have become well known for their weight loss properties. Ozempic is made by Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk, and Mounjaro is made by Indiana-based Eli Lilly and Co.
In the lawsuit, Jaclyn Bjorklund, 44, of Louisiana, asserts that she was “severely injured” after using Ozempic and Mounjaro and that the pharmaceutical companies failed to disclose the drugs’ risk of causing vomiting and diarrhea due to inflammation of the stomach lining, as well as the risk of stomach paralysis. (The medical term for stomach paralysis is gastroparesis.)
The prescribing labels for Mounjaro and Ozempic state that each “delays gastric emptying” and warn of the risk of severe gastrointestinal adverse reactions. The prescribing labels for both drugs state that the most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. The Ozempic label does not mention gastroparesis, and the Mounjaro label states that the drug has not been studied in people with the condition and is therefore not recommended for people who have it.
Bjorklund has not been diagnosed with gastroparesis, but her symptoms are “indicative of” the condition, her lawyer, Paul Pennock, told NBC News.
Bjorklund used Ozempic for more than one year, and in July 2023 switched to Mounjaro, the lawsuit states. The document, posted on her law firm’s website, details that using the drugs resulted in “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.”
Novo Nordisk spokesperson Natalia Salomao told NBC News that patient safety is “of utmost importance to Novo Nordisk,” and she also noted that gastroparesis is a known risk for people with diabetes. The FDA declined to comment on the case, and Eli Lilly did not immediately respond to a request for comment, NBC News reported.