WASHINGTON, D.C. — The weight loss medication Belviq and Belviq RX (lorcaserin HCL) could be linked to an increased chance of developing cancer, according to the latest warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA made this announcement after reviewing the results concerning the safety of lorcaserin, which is the generic version of the drug. The FDA has not arrived at a final decision about the direct link between lorcaserin and cancer according to CNN. Notwithstanding, the FDA announced its concerns out of an abundance of caution to help physicians evaluate the benefits and possible risks to patients whom doctors believe would benefit from this therapy. The drug manufacturer Eisai, Inc., produces the medication.
The FDA’s announcement that lorcaserin might expose a patient to an elevated threat of developing cancer said that the agency would continue to examine the safety of lorcaserin more closely to reach a definitive conclusion. Researchers continue to subject the drug to clinical trials. The FDA did not provide a timeframe for the completion of the studies. Once researchers complete their studies and examine the data, then the FDA will render a decision on the safety of the drug compared to the potential benefits patients’ might experience from pursuing weight loss therapy.
The FDA recommends constant communication between patients and physicians regarding the safety and efficacy of any drug. Lorcaserin is certainly no exception.
Eisai, Inc. released a statement in response to the FDA’s announcement. In its statement, Eisai, Inc. declared that the company is dedicated to ensuring patient safety is the company’s greatest concern. The company’s spokesperson reiterated Eisai Inc.’s commitment to working closely with the FDA to resolve safety issues with Belviq.
The FDA approved lorcaserin in 2012 and was available to patients by prescription in 2013. Lorcaserin assists people who are overweight who also have weight-associated health problems. Initial studies proved that lorcaserin could help lower a person’s weight by five percent.
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