What is Gastroparesis and How is it Related to Ozempic?

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Defective Drugs, Medical News, Ozempic Lawsuit, Personal Injury, Product Liability

In January, our attorneys told readers about numerous lawsuits being filed alleging that Ozempic causes stomach paralysis, or gastroparesis. Since then, hundreds of additional lawsuits have been filed against Novo Nordisk related to gastrointestinal conditions including gastroparesis, intestinal blockages, and more. Some estimates suggest that the number of lawsuits could top 10,000.

With so many lawsuits being filed, it is important for consumers to be aware of the potential risk. Thousands of people take Ozempic to aid in treatment of diabetes, as well as weight loss. Consumers deserve to know the risks, and what they can do if they are harmed by a dangerous or defective drug.

Below, our defective drug attorneys provide a comprehensive guide to gastroparesis so that consumers have as much information as possible. Anyone with concerns about their health while taking Ozempic should contact their doctor right away.

What is Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by delayed emptying of the stomach contents into the small intestine, leading to a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Derived from the Greek words “gastro” meaning stomach and “paresis” meaning partial paralysis, gastroparesis can significantly impact one’s quality of life. It is commonly referred to as stomach paralysis.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis, although not always immediately recognizable, manifests through a variety of symptoms that can significantly impact an individual’s daily life. From persistent nausea to fluctuating blood sugar levels, the symptoms of gastroparesis can vary in severity and frequency. By understanding these symptoms, both patients and healthcare providers can work together to achieve effective symptom management and improve overall quality of life.

Common symptoms of gastroparesis include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: One of the hallmark symptoms of gastroparesis is persistent nausea, often accompanied by vomiting, which can be triggered by eating even small amounts of food.
  • Feeling Full Quickly: Patients may feel full after consuming only small portions of food, leading to reduced appetite and unintentional weight loss.
  • Abdominal Pain: Some individuals with gastroparesis experience abdominal discomfort or pain, which can range from mild to severe.
  • Heartburn or Acid Reflux: Gastroparesis can exacerbate symptoms of acid reflux, leading to heartburn and regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus.
  • Bloating: A sensation of abdominal bloating or distention may occur due to the delayed passage of food through the digestive tract.
  • Fluctuations in Blood Sugar Levels: Gastroparesis can interfere with the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients, causing erratic blood sugar levels, especially in individuals with diabetes.
  • Malnutrition and Fatigue: Prolonged gastroparesis can lead to malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies, resulting in fatigue and weakness.

Complications of Gastroparesis

Beyond its hallmark symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort, gastroparesis presents a myriad of complications that can significantly impact an individual’s health and well-being. Understanding these complications is crucial as it informs not only the management strategies but also underscores the importance of early intervention and comprehensive care.

  • Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalance: Persistent vomiting and inadequate fluid intake can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which may require medical intervention.
  • Malnutrition: Impaired digestion and absorption of nutrients can lead to malnutrition, causing deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Gastrointestinal Obstruction: In severe cases, undigested food may form a bezoar—a mass of indigestible material—that can obstruct the digestive tract, requiring medical or surgical intervention.
  • Worsening of Diabetes Control: Gastroparesis can make it challenging to manage blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes, increasing the risk of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  • Decreased Quality of Life: The chronic nature of gastroparesis and its associated symptoms can significantly impact an individual’s physical and emotional well-being, leading to decreased quality of life and social isolation.

Treatment Options for Gastroparesis

Treating gastroparesis requires a tailored strategy to address the diverse array of symptoms and complications that patients may encounter. The goal of treatment is to alleviate symptoms, improve gastric motility, and enhance overall quality of life. Some of the common treatment strategies include:

  • Dietary Modifications: Patients with gastroparesis may benefit from dietary changes, such as consuming smaller, more frequent meals that are low in fat and fiber. Pureed or liquid foods may be easier to digest.
  • Medications: Several medications may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms and improve gastric motility. These include prokinetic agents such as metoclopramide and domperidone, as well as antiemetics to control nausea and vomiting.
  • Botulinum Toxin Injections: In some cases, botulinum toxin injections may be used to relax the pyloric sphincter—a muscular valve at the lower end of the stomach—to facilitate gastric emptying.
  • Electrical Gastric Stimulation: This innovative therapy involves the placement of a device that delivers mild electrical pulses to the stomach muscles, promoting gastric motility and reducing symptoms of gastroparesis.
  • Enteral Nutrition: In severe cases where oral intake is inadequate, enteral nutrition via a feeding tube may be necessary to ensure adequate nutrient intake and prevent malnutrition.
  • Surgical Intervention: In refractory cases of gastroparesis, surgical options such as gastric bypass surgery or the placement of a gastric pacemaker may be considered to improve gastric emptying and alleviate symptoms.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting lifestyle changes such as stress reduction techniques, regular exercise, and avoiding trigger foods can help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.

By implementing a combination of dietary modifications, medications, and, in some cases, advanced therapeutic interventions, healthcare providers can effectively manage gastroparesis and provide relief to affected individuals.

How Does Ozempic Cause Gastroparesis?

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a medication belonging to a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs). It is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes by helping to regulate blood sugar levels. While gastroparesis is not a commonly reported side effect of Ozempic, it is important to understand how GLP-1 RAs like Ozempic might influence gastrointestinal motility and potentially contribute to gastroparesis in some individuals.

GLP-1 RAs like Ozempic work by mimicking the action of the naturally occurring hormone GLP-1, which plays a role in regulating insulin secretion, slowing gastric emptying, and promoting feelings of fullness after eating. While this mechanism is beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels and aiding in weight loss, it can also affect gastric motility.

One potential way in which Ozempic could contribute to gastroparesis is by delaying gastric emptying. Since GLP-1 RAs can slow down the movement of food through the digestive system, this may result in food remaining in the stomach for longer periods than usual, leading to symptoms characteristic of gastroparesis such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.

Research continues to explore the link between Ozempic and gastroparesis, as well as other gastrointestinal conditions. If you experience symptoms suggestive of gastroparesis while taking Ozempic, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare provider promptly.

Can an Attorney Help Me Find out if My Gastroparesis was Caused by Ozempic?

Yes, consulting with an attorney who specializes in defective drug claims may be beneficial if you suspect that your gastroparesis was caused by Ozempic, or if you believe you have suffered harm due to the medication. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and assess whether you have a viable case against the manufacturer of Ozempic or other parties involved.

Here are some ways in which the defective drug attorneys at Kherkher Garcia assist our clients in exploring the possibility of a connection between gastroparesis and Ozempic:

Case Evaluation

Our attorneys thoroughly review your medical records, treatment history, and any relevant documentation to assess whether there is a potential link between your gastroparesis symptoms and your use of Ozempic.


Our team has the resources to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your use of Ozempic, including obtaining medical records, consulting with medical experts, and gathering evidence to support your case.

Legal Expertise

Pharmaceutical litigation can be complex, involving intricate legal and medical issues. Our attorneys specialize in this area of law. With more than 30 years of experience, we can provide valuable expertise and guidance throughout the legal process.


Your attorney will advocate on your behalf, representing your interests and fighting for the compensation you deserve if it is determined that your gastroparesis was caused by Ozempic, or if you have suffered harm as a result of the medication.

Negotiation and Litigation

Whether through negotiation or litigation, our attorneys stand ready to fight for a favorable outcome. We are skilled at negotiating settlements with pharmaceutical companies, but are also equipped to fight in court.

It is important to note that proving causation between a medication like Ozempic and a specific medical condition such as gastroparesis can be challenging and often requires expert medical testimony and evidence. However, with the assistance of a team of defective drug attorneys, you can explore your legal options and take steps to seek justice and compensation for any harm you have suffered.

Contact a Defective Drug Attorney at Kherkher Garcia

If you believe you may have a case related to Ozempic and your gastroparesis, contact Kherkher Garcia today. We provide free consultations with our attorneys who can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your individual circumstances. To get started with your consultation, call us at 713-333-1030, or complete our online contact form.

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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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