What Illnesses Can be Caused by Ozempic?

by | Feb 6, 2024 | Defective Drugs, Defective Product, Personal Injury, Product Liability

Recent headlines surrounding the medication Ozempic are causing many patients to ask “what illnesses can be caused by Ozempic?”

Ozempic, a brand name for semaglutide, is a medication prescribed to help manage blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. It is also prescribed off-label to aid in weight loss. While Ozempic has proven effective in controlling glucose levels and aiding in weight loss, like any medication, it may also carry certain risks and side effects. How well the manufacturer has warned healthcare providers and patients of the risks of Ozempic is now called into question as numerous lawsuits are being filed by patients.

The manufacturer of Ozempic, Novo Nordisk, is facing numerous lawsuits alleging the medication causes severe gastrointestinal issues, particularly gastroparesis (stomach paralysis). Plaintiffs claim that Novo Nordisk failed to adequately warn about this risk. So far, dozens of individual lawsuits have been filed, with many consolidated into a multidistrict litigation. Many more lawsuits are expected as more patients learn about the illnesses caused by Ozempic.

Understanding potential illnesses caused by Ozempic is crucial for patients and healthcare providers alike. At Kherkher Garcia, we want our readers to have as much information as possible to make informed decisions about their health and legal rights. Read below to learn more about the illnesses caused by Ozempic and what you can do if you are suffering due to a dangerous medication. If you have questions, reach out to our harmful drug lawyers to learn more.

Overview of Ozempic

Semaglutide, the active ingredient in Ozempic, belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. GLP-1 receptor agonists work by stimulating insulin production and reducing glucagon secretion, leading to lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, these medications can slow gastric emptying, helping to promote satiety and weight loss.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017, Ozempic has become a widely used treatment option for individuals with type 2 diabetes who struggle to achieve adequate glucose control through lifestyle modifications alone.

Common Side Effects of Ozempic

Before delving into specific illnesses associated with Ozempic, it is essential to understand the common side effects reported by users of the medication. These side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

While these side effects are typically mild to moderate and often improve over time, they can still impact the overall wellbeing of individuals taking Ozempic. It is essential for patients to discuss any persistent or concerning side effects with their healthcare provider.

Potential Illnesses Linked to Ozempic

While Ozempic is generally well-tolerated by most individuals, there have been reports of certain serious illnesses associated with its use. These include:


Gastroparesis is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by delayed emptying of the stomach contents into the small intestine, resulting in impaired digestion and movement of food. This condition can lead to a range of symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Early satiety

Managing gastroparesis requires a multifaceted approach aimed at alleviating symptoms, improving nutritional intake, and addressing underlying causes. When traditional treatment methods do not work, surgery may be required.


GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic have been linked to pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a vital organ responsible for producing digestive enzymes and hormones such as insulin. Symptoms of pancreatitis may include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

If left untreated, pancreatitis can lead to serious complications and may require hospitalization or surgery.

Thyroid Tumors

Studies conducted in animals have shown an increased risk of thyroid C-cell tumors in rodents treated with GLP-1 receptor agonists, including semaglutide. While the relevance of these findings to humans is still under investigation, healthcare providers should consider the potential risk when prescribing Ozempic to patients with a history of thyroid tumors or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Thyroid tumors, abnormal growths or masses that develop in the thyroid gland, can pose various risks to an individual’s health and wellbeing. While most thyroid tumors are benign (non-cancerous), some can be malignant (cancerous) and may require prompt medical intervention.

  • Benign Thyroid Nodules: These are non-cancerous growths or nodules that develop within the thyroid gland. While benign thyroid nodules are common and often asymptomatic, they may cause symptoms such as neck swelling, difficulty swallowing, or voice changes in some cases.
  • Thyroid Cancer: Thyroid cancer occurs when abnormal cells within the thyroid gland begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably. There are several types of thyroid cancer, including papillary carcinoma, follicular carcinoma, medullary carcinoma, and anaplastic carcinoma, each with its own characteristics and prognosis.

Thyroid tumors, whether benign or malignant, can pose significant risks to an individual’s health and quality of life.

Kidney Problems

There have been reports of acute kidney injury associated with the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists, although the exact mechanism is not well understood.

  • Acute Kidney Injury (AKI): Some individuals taking Ozempic have experienced acute kidney injury, a sudden and temporary loss of kidney function. AKI can occur due to various factors, including dehydration, reduced blood flow to the kidneys, or direct toxicity to kidney tissues. It is essential for patients to remain adequately hydrated and monitor for signs of kidney dysfunction, such as changes in urine output or swelling.
  • Decline in Kidney Function: Long-term use of Ozempic may potentially lead to a gradual decline in kidney function, particularly in individuals with pre-existing kidney disease or risk factors for kidney impairment. Regular monitoring of kidney function, including tests such as serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), is recommended for patients taking Ozempic, especially those with underlying kidney conditions.
  • Renal Impairment: Ozempic has been associated with rare cases of renal impairment, characterized by reduced kidney function and impaired filtration of waste products from the blood. Patients with a history of kidney disease or those at risk for renal impairment should exercise caution when using Ozempic and undergo regular kidney function assessments to detect any signs of renal dysfunction early.

Patients with pre-existing kidney disease or those at risk for renal impairment should be monitored closely while taking Ozempic. Close monitoring of kidney function and prompt medical evaluation of any kidney-related symptoms are crucial for ensuring the safe and effective use of Ozempic in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Risk Assessment and Monitoring

Despite the potential risks associated with Ozempic, it is essential to recognize that the benefits of the medication may outweigh the risks for many individuals with type 2 diabetes. Individuals taking Ozempic to aid in weight loss should discuss the risks and benefits carefully with their healthcare provider.

Healthcare providers must conduct a thorough risk assessment before prescribing Ozempic, taking into account the patient’s medical history, current medications, and overall health status. Regular monitoring is also crucial to detect any potential adverse effects early and adjust treatment as needed. Patients taking Ozempic should undergo periodic evaluations of their kidney function, thyroid function, and pancreatic enzymes to identify any abnormalities.

Should I Contact a Lawyer if I Developed Illness Caused by Ozempic?

If you have developed an illness or experienced adverse effects as a result of taking Ozempic, it is advisable to consider consulting with a lawyer who specializes in pharmaceutical litigation or personal injury law.

At Kherkher Garcia, our harmful drug lawyers are skilled in product liability cases, including those involving defective drugs and medical devices. Here are a few reasons why contacting us for legal advice may be beneficial:

Legal Guidance

Our lawyers are experienced in handling cases related to pharmaceutical injuries. We can provide you with valuable legal guidance and explain your rights under the law. We can also help you understand whether you have a viable claim against the manufacturer of Ozempic or other parties involved in its distribution.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Our lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation into your case, including gathering medical records, reviewing your treatment history, and assessing the extent of your injuries. We have the resources you need to determine whether there is a causal link between your illness and the use of Ozempic. If so, we will help you pursue compensation.

Navigating the Legal Process

Pharmaceutical litigation can be complex, involving various legal procedures and deadlines. Our lawyers will help you navigate the legal process, ensuring that your case is handled properly. What’s more, we will fiercely advocate for your interests throughout the proceedings.

Maximizing Compensation

If you have suffered harm due to Ozempic, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Our lawyers can help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries, either through settlement negotiations or litigation if necessary. We will make certain that your injuries are not under-valued or minimized.

Class Action or Mass Tort Actions

In some cases, injuries caused by pharmaceutical products like Ozempic may lead to class action lawsuits or mass tort actions involving multiple plaintiffs with similar claims. At Kherkher Garcia, we are well-versed in mass tort litigation. Our lawyers will advise you on whether joining such actions, if applicable, may be appropriate for your situation.

It is important to note that every case is unique, and the outcome of legal proceedings will depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances of your illness. Therefore, consulting with a qualified harmful drug lawyer who can assess your case and provide personalized legal advice is crucial in determining the best course of action for seeking redress for your injuries.

Get a Free Ozempic Injury Consultation

If you are suffering from gastroparesis, pancreatitis, kidney damage, or other illnesses caused by Ozempic, Kherkher Garcia can help. Our harmful drug lawyers have decades of experience fighting back against negligent pharmaceutical companies. Patients should never suffer injury, illness, or loss due to a manufacturer’s failure to warn them of potential dangers. When this happens, the team at Kherkher Garcia is there to obtain justice and compensation. In fact, we have won billions of dollars on behalf of our clients.

To learn more about your rights and determine if you have an actionable Ozempic claim, contact Kherkher Garcia for a free consultation. Give us a call at 713-333-1030, or complete our online contact form to get started.

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Steve Kherkher

Steve Kherkher

Founding Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Founding Firm Partner Steve Kherkher. Steve has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 30 years. He has won $300 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. He is a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been catastrophically injured.

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