An Oregon father of two believes Ozempic twice gave him intestinal obstructions that left him fighting for his life.
Wilson “Bo” Muhlheim, 79, told the Daily Mail he was prescribed the injectable vaccine late last year to help manage his type 2 diabetes.
Ozempic is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for people with this condition – it has recently become very popular for weight loss.
It has also become controversial because of its reported side effects. More importantly, the FDA’s adverse event reporting system recorded 76 death reports mentioning products containing semaglutide – the active ingredient in Ozempic and sister drug Wegovy – from 2018 through September 30.
The cases sent to FAERS have not been medically confirmed. The Post has contacted the FDA for comment, as well as Novo Nordisk, the Danish maker of Ozempic and Wegovy.
The drugs mimic the natural hormone GLP-1, which slows the passage of food through the stomach and intestines, allowing people to feel fuller for longer.
Problems arise, however, if the medication slows the stomach too much or blocks the intestines.
Muhlheim is now sounding the alarm on Ozempic, encouraging potential users to think twice before filling a prescription.
“The amount of weight you might lose while taking this drug is insignificant compared to the risks,” Muhlheim told the Daily Mail on Tuesday.
“People need to be very careful,” he added. “This medication is not intended for weight loss.”
Muhlheim, a Eugene native, weighed 265 pounds when he was prescribed Ozempic to help him regulate his blood sugar and lose excess pounds.
The diabetic father said he experienced no immediate side effects after starting his weekly injections and lost 14 pounds over the next six months.
But he claims that earlier this year he suffered severe stomach pain and was rushed to the emergency room – where doctors discovered he had a blocked intestine, just hours away. ‘a potentially fatal breakup.
Muhlheim had his stomach pumped and eventually recovered from the incident.
Doctors apparently did not blame Ozempic, instead attributing a twist to Muhlheim’s large intestine.
He continued to use Ozempic for another six months before experiencing another sudden blockage that landed him back in the hospital.
Muhlheim believes the diabetes medication is responsible for his medical episodes.
“We all just assumed (the first blockage) was related to a twist in my intestine without even looking at other issues,” he explained. “But now that they’ve gone back and looked at the imaging that was done, the point of the blockage has no relation to where I have this abnormality in my intestine.”
“It suggests it’s the same thing that’s causing it, and (Ozempic) is the only thing we can think of that’s causing it,” he said.
Muhlheim says he has stopped using Ozempic and is slowly recovering from the second intestinal obstruction.
He is not the first person to report major problems after injecting the drug.
In September, the FDA announced that ileus — the medical term for intestinal obstruction — would be listed as a side effect on Ozempic’s label.
At the time, the agency said it had received 18 reports of people taking Ozempic suffering from the condition.
In the United States, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly and Company, which makes the popular diabetes drug Mounjaro, are being sued because they claim the injectables can cause serious gastrointestinal problems, such as gastroparesis or gastrointestinal problems. “paralysis of the stomach”, which can lead to death.
The law firm Morgan & Morgan told the Post in August that it had received 500 similar charges from clients in 45 states, as well as claims about injuries allegedly caused by other weight-loss drugs, including Rybelsus and Saxenda.
In Australia, Ozempic is accused of the death of a woman who was trying to lose weight for a wedding.