Australian Woman Dies from Gastrointestinal Illness after Taking Ozempic to Slim Down for Daughter's Wedding

Doctors attributed her cause of death to 'acute gastrointestinal illness,' mentioning that Ozempic has been associated with fatal intestinal blockages.

A woman who used Ozempic to lose weight ahead of her daughter's wedding has died from gastrointestinal illness and her husband is now warning that the medication is "not worth it in at all." Trish Webster, 56, from Australia, who wasn't diabetic, was given the drug off-label to assist in her weight loss before her daughter's wedding.

Webster lost 16kg using Ozempic and later Saxenda over five months, experiencing constant nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea throughout this weight loss journey. Ozempic, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for people with Type 2 diabetes, has gained widespread use globally as a drug for weight loss, despite its initial approval for diabetes treatment.

Death from Medicine

Trish Webster
Trish Webster X

In January this year, the mother collapsed at her home with a 'brown substance' foaming from her mouth. Her husband Roy performed CPR and positioned her on her side to help her breathe but she was pronounced dead that evening.

Doctors attributed her cause of death to 'acute gastrointestinal illness,' mentioning that Ozempic has been associated with fatal intestinal blockages.

Trish Webster
Trish Webster with her daughter X

Roy is advocating for a thorough investigation into his wife's death, saying he believes that Ozempic might have been the contributing factor.

Speaking to '60 Minutes Australia', he said: "She went back a couple of times to the doctor saying she was sick and she had diarrhea and nausea. [But she didn't stop taking it because] my daughter was getting married and she just kept mentioning that dress that she wanted to wear.

"She went to the dressmaker to get the measurements. It was one big nightmare from there.

"I never thought you could die from [Ozempic]. It's just awful. I didn't know that could happen to a person.

"She shouldn't be gone, you know? It's just not worth it, it's not worth it at all."

Trish Webster
Trish Webster with her husband Roy X

Before turning to medication, Webster attempted weight loss through gym workouts and dieting, which proved unsuccessful.

Initially on Ozempic for three months, she later switched to Saxenda, also manufactured by Novo Nordisk, due to significant shortages preventing her from accessing the former drug.

Killer Treatment

Ozempic, an FDA-approved medication for people with Type 2 diabetes, has gained global popularity as a weight-loss drug. It operates by replicating the actions of a natural hormone, GLP-1, which decelerates the movement of food through the stomach and intestines, extending the feeling of fullness.

Trish Webster
Trish Webster X

However, complications can arise if the medication excessively delays stomach function or causes blockages in the intestines.

The condition of intestinal blockage, known as "ileus," has been associated with Ozempic usage. The FDA had received 18 reports of this condition in individuals taking Ozempic as of late September.

In the last three months of 2022, over nine million prescriptions for Ozempic were filled in the US, as the drug continues to surge in popularity. Numerous people, despite not having diabetes, are prescribed this drug off-label due to its effectiveness in curbing hunger and promoting weight loss.

Trish Webster
Trish Webster X

While fatalities among patients taking Ozempic are rare, the drug's usage for weight loss, beyond its intended diabetic treatment, is increasingly prevalent.

However, Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Ozempic and Eli Lilly and Company, which produces Mounjaro, are facing several lawsuits in the United States. These legal actions allege that their widely used weight-loss medications can result in severe gastrointestinal issues, such as gastroparesis or "stomach paralysis," potentially leading to fatal outcomes.

Law firm Morgan & Morgan said in August that it has received 500 comparable inquiries from clients in 45 states. These inquiries involve claims of injuries purportedly caused by various weight-loss drugs, including Wegovy, Rybelsus, and Saxenda.

Related topics : Diabetes