- A 38-year-old father took 2 doses of Mounjaro, then suddenly started vomiting violently.
- His doctors diagnosed him with gastroparesis, a paralyzed stomach.
- He may have to live with this disease for the rest of his life and wishes he had never taken this medication.
Blake was having a normal day at his desk when this happened.
Suddenly, “someone flipped a switch,” he said.
He jumped up and rushed to the bathroom. But before he could make it to the toilet, his body violently threw out the contents of his stomach.
“Projectile vomiting like I’ve never experienced,” he said. “I didn’t feel bad. I just started vomiting without warning, and it continued for almost nine days.”
Blake, who asked Business Insider not to disclose his last name for privacy reasons, had recently begun reporting for the weekly diabetes medication Mounjarowhich is also widely used for weightloss. He had only injected two doses so far and was not yet feeling any noticeable effects from the drug.
After about 10 days of severe dehydration, emergency room visits and nights in the hospital, feeding tubes and stomach exams, his doctors diagnosed him with gastroparesis, a form of stomach paralysis. . He said his doctors suspect that the two doses of Mounjaro he took were responsible for his new illness and that he will likely have to live with the problem for the rest of his life.
“I had no intention of losing weight or anything,” Blake told BI. “I had absolutely no desire to throw up 25 to 30 kilos in two and a half weeks. That was not the goal.”
Blake said he was simply trying a new medication that his doctor said might better help control his blood sugar, caused by the Type 2 diabetes he has lived with since his 20s. He didn’t expect this medicine to disrupt the way his stomach processed food.
So earlier this month, Blake filed a lawsuit against drugmaker Eli Lilly, claiming he was not properly warned about the possibility of serious and permanent stomach problems linked to Mounjaro.
“I want someone to be responsible.”
“I want someone to be accountable,” he said. “I wouldn’t touch that thing with a 10-foot pole, and I would advise anyone who would listen to try everything you can before even considering it.”
Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk told BI that the delay in gastric emptying was simply part of the deal with the GLP-1 drugs. It’s well known, they say. This is part of how medications work: they slow down your digestive system. Some people’s stomachs slow down a little, others slow down a lot. And for some patients, like Blake, their stomach can stop completely. This is why GLP1s are not recommended for people with a history of gastric paralysis or serious gastrointestinal problems.
Regulators can put in place basic safeguards aimed at keeping GLP-1 away from patients with a medical history that suggests they might have a bad reaction to this class of drugs, but the reality is that this is often the case. almost impossible for doctors to predict exactly which patients will have these kinds of complications when they try a new drug.
Morgan and Morgan, the law firm representing Blake’s case, says it has reviewed more than 10,000 cases of gastroparesis nationwide that may be linked to GLP-1 use and are currently under investigation. an active investigation. So far, they have filed more than a dozen lawsuits, including Blake’s and another woman named Jaclyn, who took Ozempic and Mounjaro. (Novo Nordisk has filed a motion to dismiss his trial.)
Eat less meat and get used to overcoming bad days
Blake, a former “meat and potatoes guy” from the South, now embarks on a months-long diet quest, trying all kinds of different diets he’s never heard of before, in an effort to find the one that his stomach would tolerate best. So far things have been difficult.
“We tried small cycles of gluten-free diets and then protein-reduction diets,” he said.
He said he still had bad days. Thrusts, as he calls them. His employer has now allowed him to have more flexible hours, so if he needs to go home and take a shower or clean up after failing to use the bathroom, he can.
“I am a 40-year-old man who has had workplace accidents because I was not warned, and I would not wish that on anyone,” he said.
Blake was breathing heavily, walking around his office throughout our phone interview, while taking his lunch break. He said he tries to exercise as much as possible these days because his stomach can no longer tolerate metformin, the medication he previously used to control his blood sugar.
Instead, he takes insulin — a frustrating change for a guy who doesn’t like needles, he said.
“I’m getting quite an education,” Blake added.
He is starting to recover financially since his work stoppage and is learning a lot about food restrictions and intolerances. But there were dark days during the summer and fall of 2023, when he worried about providing for his family – where he felt so close to death; when his wife had to take over the house and take care of their three boys.
“It was the strongest defeat I have ever felt in my entire life,” he said. Not a particularly religious person before, Blake reached out to a pastor friend for spiritual support. “He kind of welcomed me and was trying to convince me to try to keep my head up.”
“I really hope no one knew how bad it could be and didn’t tell me,” he said.
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