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Are Semaglutide Injections Safe & Effective for Weight Loss?

March 25, 2024 In Ozempic

Semaglutide injections, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, have had a major impact on the management of obesity and related health issues. For people struggling with excess weight, these medications can facilitate significant weight loss and alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions, such as diabetes. While these medications may be effective for weight loss, their safety has been called into question.

Many patients have reported serious side effects, including stomach paralysis and gallbladder disease, that have greatly affected their quality of life. If you are seeking semaglutide injections, it is important to be aware of these risks and consult with a healthcare professional to carefully consider the benefits and potential side effects. Ozempic injury attorneys are currently pursuing lawsuits for harm connected to the use of semaglutide medications.

What Is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is a medication that belongs to the group of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. It works by mimicking the effects of the GLP-1 hormone, which is naturally released by the body in response to food consumption. GLP-1 works by stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin when blood sugar levels are high, which helps reduce glucose levels in the bloodstream. This makes semaglutide a valuable tool for treating type 2 diabetes.

In addition to its effects on blood sugar control, semaglutide may also aid in weight management. Higher doses of the medication can suppress appetite and signal the brain to feel full, causing patients to eat less. With a healthy diet and regular exercise, semaglutide has shown promising results in obese and overweight patients.

This medication slows down gastric emptying, which means that food stays in the stomach longer and patients do not feel compelled to eat as much as they would normally. Over time, this not only aids in shedding excess weight but also assists in maintaining a healthier weight.

Who Can Get a Semaglutide Prescription?

Semaglutide is available under many brand names, most notably Ozempic for the management of type 2 diabetes and Wegovy for weight control specifically. Generally, Ozempic is only prescribed to diabetic patients but some healthcare providers prescribe it off-label for weight management based on their discretion.

On the other hand, Wegovy is prescribed to patients who fall into one of the following categories:

  • Adults who are obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above
  • Adults who are overweight with a BMI of 27 or above and have at least one weight-related condition like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol
  • Children aged 12 and above with a BMI in the 95th percentile or higher for their age and sex

However, semaglutide is not suitable for everyone. People with a history of medullary thyroid cancer, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, or multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 should avoid this medication due to a heightened risk of more serious side effects.

Can Semaglutide Help People Lose Weight?

Many clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of semaglutide for weight loss. For example, one study of 2,000 obese adults divided participants into two groups: one received semaglutide alongside a regimen of diet and exercise, while the other group followed the diet and exercise plan without the medication.

After 68 weeks, half of the semaglutide group had lost at least 15% of their body weight, with nearly a third shedding 20%. This is in stark contrast to the control group, where participants lost an average of just 2.4% of their body weight. Further research has mirrored these results, highlighting semaglutide’s potential in weight loss.

Are There Any Risks or Side Effects When Taking Semaglutide?

Semaglutide has proven to be a groundbreaking medication for the healthcare community, but like all medications, it does come with a set of risks. Patients taking semaglutide may experience a range of side effects, from mild to more severe.

Common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Gassiness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Distension or bloat

However, semaglutide has also been linked to more serious conditions, such as severe nausea, pancreatitis, diabetic retinopathy, gallbladder disease, allergic reactions, hypoglycemia or extremely low blood sugar. Some semaglutide medications, including Ozempic and Wegovy, also include a boxed warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an increased risk of thyroid cancer.

Semaglutide manufacturers have also failed to communicate a notable, very severe risk associated: the development of gastroparesis, a condition where the stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal fashion. Gastroparesis can be particularly harmful as it affects digestion and can lead to significant discomfort, malnutrition, and a decrease in quality of life.

Filing a Semaglutide Lawsuit After Serious Side Effects

If you have experienced a serious side effect from semaglutide, such as gastroparesis, you may be eligible for legal action. Semaglutide lawsuits aim to hold drug manufacturers accountable for failing to warn patients and providers about this risk and provide compensation to help patients recover from their damages.

Potential compensation in semaglutide lawsuits may include:

  • Medical Expenses: This can cover the cost of hospital stays, medical treatments, medications, and any ongoing care needs directly related to the side effects. If the side effect has led to long-term health issues, future medical expenses may also be included to ensure that the affected patient receives the necessary medical support over time.
  • Lost Wages and Future Earnings: If the medical condition has resulted in significant time away from work, compensation for lost wages can be claimed. Additionally, if the patient’s capacity to earn a living in the future is affected—either through reduced hours, the need to change professions, or an inability to work at all—compensation can also cover the loss of future earnings and benefits.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for pain and suffering addresses the non-economic damages suffered by the patient, including emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and the physical pain endured as a result of the side effects.

After being diagnosed with gastroparesis or another serious condition associated with semaglutide, it is essential to seek legal assistance. An attorney who specializes in these claims can help you determine your eligibility and initiate your claim for compensation. To begin your journey to fair compensation, schedule a free legal consultation as soon as possible and learn more about your legal options.