Litigation Guides

An Attorney's Guide to Ozempic® & Wegovy®

Ozempic® and Wegovy, treatments for type 2 diabetes, have potential links to gastrointestinal issues. Explore their impact, where efficacy and risks intertwine, prompting further investigation.

01

What are GLP-1 and GLP-1RAs?

Ozempic ® and Wegovy ®

Semaglutide, known by the trade names Ozempic ® and Wegovy ®, is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) designed for treating type 2 diabetes. The two trade names, Ozempic ® and Wegovy, differ in terms of dosage.

The development of an oral formulation of semaglutide could facilitate its use earlier in the treatment cascade for diabetes. This is because it may be more widely accepted by patients and healthcare professionals compared to injectable formulations. 1-7

Person holding ozempic injection pen
02

Semaglutide Uses

Semaglutide can be added to existing treatment regimens to improve glycemic control and induce weight loss. It has been shown to be superior to placebo and other active comparators in reducing glycated hemoglobin levels and promoting weight loss. It has also demonstrated significant reductions in major cardiovascular events compared to placebo.

In addition to its use in type 2 diabetes, semaglutide is also being investigated for its potential in the treatment of obesity, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Preliminary studies have shown promising results in terms of weight loss, although further research is needed to address gastrointestinal adverse events associated with semaglutide use. 1-7

03

Semaglutide Symptoms

Compared to other antidiabetic drugs, semaglutide showed a greater number of reported gastrointestinal adverse events, with main symptoms being:8

  • vomiting
  • pancreatitis
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
04

Links with Gastroparesis

Certain publications suggest a potential link between semaglutide use and gastrointestinal disorders, including gastroparesis or stomach paralysis.

A landmark study compared various dosages of semaglutide (ranging from 2.5 mg to 10 mg once daily), noting fewer adverse events with lower dosages.

Oral semaglutide dosing required premature treatment discontinuation due to adverse events more frequently than subcutaneous medication.9

05

Case Reports

Case reports, such as one by Kalas et al, describe instances of gastroparesis related to semaglutide use.

The report highlights a case of significant gastroparesis in a 52-year-old female with a history of type two diabetes linked with her semaglutide regimen.

The authors were able to distinguish the symptoms from gastroparesis attributable to her underlying diabetes state, and resumption of stomach motility was observed after withholding semaglutide.10

06

Strength of Available Evidence

Relationship between Semaglutide and gastroparesis:

  • Low to Moderate

Findings are present but require further qualities of studies and larger sample sizes for better statistical significance


07

Works Cited

[1]

Andersen A, Knop FK, Vilsbøll T. A Pharmacological and Clinical Overview of Oral Semaglutide for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. Drugs. 2021. Available from: URL

[2]

Chamberlin, S. M., & Dabbs, W. (2019). Semaglutide (Ozempic) for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. American Family Physician. URL

[3]

Goldenberg, R. M., & Steen, O. (2019). Semaglutide: Review and Place in Therapy for Adults With Type 2 Diabetes. Canadian Journal of Diabetes. URL

[4]

Dhillon, S. (2018). Semaglutide: First Global Approval. Drugs. URL

[5]

Morales, J., Shubrook, J., Skolnik, N. (2020). Practical guidance for use of oral semaglutide in primary care: a narrative review. Postgraduate medicine. Retrieved from URL

[6]

Bham A, Ditta M. Semaglutide for the treatment of obesity – a review. World Family Medicine Journal / Middle East Journal of Family Medicine. 2021. Available from: URL

[7]

Boje, A. D., Juhl, C., Sørensen-Torekov, S., Madsbad, S. (2019). The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor-agonist semaglutide. Ugeskrift for læger. URL

[8]

Lopes, A. C., Roque, F., Lourenço, O., Herdeiro, M. T., & Morgado, M. (2023). Gastrointestinal disorders potentially associated with Semaglutide: an analysis from the Eudravigilance Database. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. Retrieved from URL

[9]

Davies, Melanie et al. 2017. “Effect of Oral Semaglutide Compared With Placebo and Subcutaneous Semaglutide on Glycemic Control in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA 318(15): 1460–70. URL

[10]

Kalas, M Ammar, Gian Marco Galura, and Richard W. McCallum. 2021. “Medication-Induced Gastroparesis: A Case Report.” Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports 9: 23247096211051919. URL

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