Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro

Beasley Allen is actively investigating instances of gastroparesis, intestinal obstruction, NAION, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism associated with diabetes and weight loss medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro.

Weight Loss Drugs Rise to Popularity

In 2017, Nova Nordisk introduced Ozempic to the market as a drug for treating type 2 diabetes.

However, healthcare professionals soon observed that some individuals who use this drug experience side effects of appetite suppression and subsequent weight loss.

The weight loss popularity of this drug resulted in the development of Wegovy, a higher-dose version of Ozempic. Nova Nordisk produces GLP-1 Drugs: Ozempic, Wegovy, and Rybelsus, each containing the active ingredient semaglutide. 

Breakdown of Glucagon-like Peptide 1

Glucagon-like Peptide 1 (GLP-1) is a hormone made in your intestines that helps control your blood sugar. It does this by:

  • Making your body release insulin, which lowers blood sugar.
  • Stopping the release of another hormone called glucagon, which raises blood sugar.

GLP-1 also slows down how quickly your stomach empties, making you feel full longer and reducing your appetite. Because of these benefits, medications that mimic GLP-1 are used to treat type 2 diabetes and help with weight loss.

A Look at the Labels

What do these diet drugs have in common? Breaking down the active ingredients linked to weight loss:

  • Semaglutide – Semaglutide is a medication designed to help lower blood sugar levels. It works by mimicking a hormone called GLP-1, which the body naturally produces to aid digestion after meals. GLP-1 also helps reduce hunger and promotes a feeling of fullness.
  • Tirzepatide – Tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Mounjaro, is gaining popularity for its weight loss effects, similar to medications like Ozempic and Wegovy. Tirzepatide acts as both a GLP-1 agonist and a GIP agonist, offering benefits similar to GLP-1 medications such as semaglutide. It is used as a second-line treatment for diabetes and is administered as a once-weekly subcutaneous injection. Eli Lilly manufactures two medications that contain tirzepatide: Mounjaro and Zepbound.

Serious Side Effects

While these drugs can be used to manage type 2 diabetes, they also are linked to a variety of serious and potentially fatal health hazards.

  • Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION) – NAION is a rare condition that causes sudden blindness, typically in one eye, due to a lack of blood flow to the optic nerve. There is no known treatment for the condition. Patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity who take semaglutide appear to be at greater risk of NAION compared to those prescribed a non-GLP-1 drug.
  • Intestinal Blockages – In 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported receiving complaints indicating safety concerns for these drugs, including the risk of serious and life-threatening intestinal blockage, which often requires major surgery. Intestinal blockage signs and symptoms may include abdominal cramps, bloating, constipation, vomiting, difficulty passing gas
  • Stomach Paralysis – Stomach paralysis, also known as gastroparesis, prevents the stomach’s nerves and muscles from working properly, leaving food sitting too long. Symptoms of gastroparesis may include Indigestion, nausea, vomiting, malnutrition, bloating, feeling full quickly, upper abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and constipation.
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