Is Ozempic® Safe? Weight Loss Drugs Trend Despite News of Ozempic Risks

Weight loss injection needle

Over the last year, the Ozempic® trend has increased in popularity, with celebrities praising the weight loss injection for its rapid results and Ozempic TikTok creators encouraging viewers to follow their weight loss journey.

In fact, demand for these drugs has risen so much that Ozempic and similar weight loss injections like Wegovy® and Mounjaro have all been added to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) list of drug shortages.

In the U.S., nearly 6 million weight loss prescriptions were written in the first 5 months of 2023, according to health care technology company Komodo Health. Additionally, from 2019 to 2022, demand for these drugs shockingly rose over 2,000%.

Unfortunately, as more people get swept into overpromising trends, as many as 400 people have claimed serious injuries — including gallbladder disease, stomach paralysis, and breathing in undigested food while under anesthesia — from the drugs.

As a result, some victims have filed Ozempic lawsuits, claiming drug manufacturers failed to warn them about the potential side effects of these drugs.

If you were injured from using these weight loss drugs, you may be eligible for compensation. Get a free case review now to learn more about your eligibility.

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The Promise of Weight Loss Injections: Is It Too Good To Be True?

In 2017, the FDA approved Ozempic for patients with type 2 diabetes, with Mounjaro’s approval following a few years later.

The active ingredient is semaglutide, which helps produce insulin, increases the feeling of fullness, and slows digestion so people can eat less. Because of these effects, many people on the drugs begin to lose weight.

While Ozempic and Mounjaro aren't approved for weight management, Wegovy is. However, Wegovy uses the same active ingredient as Ozempic — but at a higher rate.

Despite Ozempic and Mounjaro not being approved for weight loss, news of people rapidly losing weight spread, and off-label uses became more popular.

Celebrities like Elon Musk and influencers with thousands of followers began posting about how Ozempic changed their lives, fueling the trend that eventually made it difficult for diabetes patients in need of these medications to get their prescriptions filled.

But do weight loss drugs really work? The answer is, it depends.

This is not the magic drug that folks like to tout that it is,” one patient told the New York Times.

Patients must combine the injection with lifestyle and diet changes, but with uncomfortable and disruptive side effects, this can feel impossible. Many who use Ozempic, Mounjaro, or Wegovy for weight loss may hit a “plateau,” where the drug stops being as effective or weight loss slows or halts entirely.

In an effort to fight against the plateau, some doctors may prescribe a higher dosage or switch to another injection, which can increase the risk of side effects and dangerous health issues.

What Are the Dangers of Weight Loss Drugs?

Researchers first began revealing the serious side effects of drugs like Ozempic in a 2022 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Since these drugs are still relatively new, there are still a lot of unknowns regarding the long-term effects of using these drugs.

Some health risks of Ozempic and other weight loss drugs include:

  • Acute kidney injury
  • Biliary diseases
  • Gallbladder inflammation and gallstones
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Liver or kidney failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stomach paralysis (gastroparesis) and other stomach conditions
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Vision loss or retinopathy

Since 2010, there have been over 265 accounts of suicidal thoughts or behavior from people taking these medicines reported to the FDA.

Another study published in October 2023 confirmed that people taking Ozempic and other drugs had elevated risks of stomach paralysis.

Recent reports from anesthesiologists have shown a concerning risk of patients on weight loss medications inhaling undigested food into their lungs when under anesthesia (aspiration).

Because the drugs slow the digestive process so much, food can remain in the stomach for days or weeks. As a result, anesthesiologists recommend patients stop using the drug weeks before scheduled surgeries. However, this may be even more dangerous for patients in need of emergency surgeries.

One patient fasted for 18 hours before anesthesia but still vomited and inhaled food during surgery, which caused respiratory failure. He was intubated and had to receive treatment in the intensive care unit.

Have you experienced serious injuries after taking weight loss injections? Sokolove Law can help you get the help you need. Find out if you may be able to take action during a free case review now.

Ozempic Lawsuits Shed Light on Serious Side Effects

Since research linking these weight loss drugs to serious health issues was published in 2022, several lawsuits have been filed that claim drug manufacturers failed to warn users of serious potential side effects.

As more long-term effects of the drugs are discovered, lawsuits may continue to share the devastating stories of these drugs.

In August 2023, a Louisiana woman became the first to file a lawsuit for severe stomach paralysis she experienced while taking Ozempic and Mounjaro. She was first prescribed Ozempic in 2017 to treat her type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, the medication led to multiple emergency room visits and severe vomiting that caused her to lose some of her teeth.

Because so many weight loss drug prescriptions have been written this year alone, personal injury lawyers across the nation are preparing to possibly see thousands of weight loss drug lawsuits.

Get Legal Help After Experiencing Ozempic Health Risks

If you’ve used Ozempic or other weight loss injections and have experienced serious side effects, you don’t have to suffer alone. We can help you take legal action and pursue compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

For over 45 years, Sokolove Law has stood up against large pharmaceutical and drug companies to hold them accountable for their harmful products.

Our lawyers have secured over $1.6 Billion for our clients affected by dangerous prescription drugs and medical devices.

Get started with a free, no-obligation case review now, or call us at (800) 995-1212.

Note: All brands are trademarks of their respective companies.

Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: October 16, 2023

  1. AP News. “Popular weight-loss drugs like Wegovy may raise risk of complications under anesthesia.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 18, 2023.
  2. AP News. “FDA warns consumers not to use off-brand versions of Ozempic, Wegovy.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 18, 2023.
  3. FDA. “HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: Wegovy.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 18, 2023.
  4. FDA. “HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION: Ozempic.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 18, 2023.
  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Gallbladder Disease.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 18, 2023.
  6. Komodo Health. “Prescriptions for Trendy Diabetes and Weight-Loss Drugs Increased Over 2,000% Since 2019.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 26, 2023.
  7. NBC News. “Makers of Ozempic and Mounjaro sued over 'stomach paralysis' claims.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 18, 2023.
  8. New York Times. “You Won’t Lose Weight on Ozempic Forever.” Retrieved from: Accessed on September 18, 2023.
  9. Woronow, D., Chamberlain, C., Niak, A., et al. (2022). “Acute Cholecystitis Associated With the Use of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists Reported to the US Food and Drug Administration.” JAMA Intern Med. Retrieved from: Accessed on September 18, 2023.
  10. Reuters. "Wegovy, other weight-loss drugs scrutinized over reports of suicidal thoughts." Retrieved from: Accessed on September 29, 2023.
  11. Sodhi, M., Rezaeianzadeh, R., Kezouh, A., & Etminan, M. (2023). "Risk of Gastrointestinal Adverse Events Associated With Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists for Weight Loss." JAMA. Retrieved from: Accessed on October 5, 2023.