Weight loss drugs have gained significant popularity in recent years, promising faster results with less effort. However, alongside this growing demand comes serious health risks. In fact, there have been many lawsuits related to severe side effects.
So, what’s going on with these weight loss drugs and what can you do if you’ve been injured or experienced negative effects as a result?
The Basics on Weight Loss Drugs
The most common weight loss drugs currently facing legal issues are Wegovy and Ozempic.
They are the same drug, but their applications vary based on FDA approvals. The name Ozempic refers to semaglutide prescribed for diabetic patients since its approval in 2017.
On the other hand, Wegovy is targeted towards those struggling with obesity or being overweight coupled with other medical conditions—a usage permitted by FDA as of 2021.
Both Wegovy and Ozempic function by suppressing appetite and decelerating the process of gastric emptying, contributing to feel full quicker.
Contact the weight loss dattorneys in Coral Springs, FL by calling (954) 833-1440 for a free consultation today.
Major Concerns Regarding Wegovy and Ozempic that are Tough to “Stomach”
While these medications can be beneficial for weight loss, they can also trigger some gastrointestinal side effects that are tough to “stomach”, including Pancreatitis and Stomach Paralysis.
What is Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is when your pancreas (an organ that helps you digest food and control your sugar levels) gets swollen or irritated. It usually causes stomach aches, which might worsen after meals. You may also experience the following symptoms:
- Increased heart rate
- Sensitive, painful abdomen when touched
More specifically, research indicates that individuals using Ozempic or Wegovy are 9 times more likely to experience this severe condition.
What is Stomach Paralysis?
If Pancreatitis isn’t bad enough, you are also three times more likely to develop Gastroparesis from taking these medications.
Gastroparesis, also known as "stomach paralysis", is when your stomach can't move food forward into your gut like it's supposed to. It happens when the muscles in your stomach slow down or stop working altogether.
When food stays in your stomach too long and doesn't move to the next stage of digestion, it can turn into a hard mass. This usually results in some unpleasant symptoms, like vomiting or bad stomach aches.
Unfortunately for most individuals diagnosed with this condition, stomach paralysis usually doesn’t go away – it is a chronic issue requiring ongoing care.
Lawsuits Surrounding Weight Loss Drugs
One current lawsuit is that Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic, failed to provide adequate warnings related to potential severe side effects one might encounter while using their medication.
Likely To Lead To Multidistrict Litigation
Many of the lawsuits being brought against the makers of these drugs will fall under something called Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). This is when multiple lawsuits that all have a lot in common get grouped together and brought before one judge.
The idea here is to make things more efficient by cutting down on repeated work, while also making sure everything is fair by reducing chances for conflicting rulings in different places.
Example: When multiple people have the same complaint against a company that makes weight-loss drugs. They're all experiencing negative side effects and want to sue for damages. Instead of each person going to different local courts and presenting their evidence separately (which will take lots of time), everyone's case gets lumped together and heard in one district court.
This way, the important details don’t need to be presented over and over again - which saves time for everyone involved.
Test Cases in MDL - Bellweather Trials
"Bellwether trials" are like test cases in a larger group of lawsuits. They go to court first, and their outcomes can shed light on how other similar lawsuits may be resolved.
These early trials provide an opportunity for each side's lawyers to present their arguments, and they often highlight the main legal or factual issues that might come up in later cases dealing with the same issue.
These are important because outcomes are likely to have significant implications on all involved cases. If bellwether trial results favor plaintiffs, it often provides substantial pressure for defendants to consider appropriate settlement offers, as they will see they're likely to lose these cases should they take them to trial.
What To Do If You’ve Been Harmed By a Weight Loss Drug
If you believe you've been adversely affected by a weight loss drug, it's crucial to understand your rights and the legal avenues available for seeking compensation. Here are some steps to follow:
- Document Symptoms: Thoroughly document your symptoms. Having an accurate record of your side effects can help in your claim. You can do this by starting a journal, using an app, or even a spreadsheet.
- Medical Evaluation: Immediately seek medical attention if you notice symptoms. Not only is this important for your health and well-being, but it will also be useful if you decide to take legal action.
- Stop Taking The Drug: Stop taking the medication as soon as possible. Always make sure you speak with your doctor before completely stopping the drug.
- Gather Evidence: After addressing your immediate health concerns, start preparing for possible legal action by gathering evidence. Your journal with your symptoms will help, and it will also include medical records, prescriptions and purchase-related records, and any documented communication you've had with medical professionals.
- Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney: Consulting with a lawyer is a critical step in taking legal action. Ideally, you'll want an attorney experienced in personal injury and pharmaceutical cases. They will guide you through the legal process, negotiate on your behalf, and fight for what you deserve in the courtroom. They'll be with you every step of the way.
Contact a Coral Springs Personal Injury Attorney
If you've been adversely impacted by a weight loss drug, your path to justice begins now. The dangerous drug legal team at Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. is here to help and provide you with reliable and compassionate legal advice to help you get back on your feet.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our experienced dangerous drug lawyers.
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