The first FDA approved weight loss pill in 13 years
Southfield, MI – June 28, 2012: On June 27, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the weight loss pill Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride), to treat the approximately 1 in 3 obese and overweight adult Americans with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater or overweight adults with a BMI of 27 or greater and who also have at least one weight-related medical condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
Belviq activates the serotonin 2C receptor in the brain. This activation may help a person feel full after eating a small amount of food, thus eat less. “This appetite suppressant seems to be of a higher standard compared to others that have been on the market” said Dr. Jerome Cooper, Medical Director of the Michigan-based Medical Weight Loss Clinic.
“There is a lack of weapons to fight obesity” stated Dr. Cooper, “Those of us that treat obesity would like as many weapons as possible at our disposal.” Belviq will be the first FDA approved weight loss drug in over 13 years. The weight loss drugs fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine were pulled from the market in 1997 after evidence was discovered that they can cause heart valve damage. “Hopefully this drug proves to be successful not only in weight loss but also in maintaining weight loss,” said Dr. Cooper.
“There’s been three successful trials without major apparent side effects and with very successful weight loss”, said Dr. Cooper. Belviq was evaluated over a period of 104 weeks in three, placebo-controlled trials with nearly 8,000 obese and overweight patients with and without type 2 diabetes. The trial also included lifestyle modification for participants that consisted of exercise counseling and a reduced calorie diet. About 38 percent of the patients with type 2 diabetes lost at least 5 percent of their body weight as did almost half of the patients without type 2 diabetes. Participants that received the Belviq placebo experienced an average weight loss of 3 to 3.7 percent. The approved labeling for Belviq will include a recommendation that the use of the drug be discontinued for patients who fail to lose 5 percent of their body weight after a 12 week treatment period.
Echocardiography was used to asses heart valve function in the nearly 8,000 patients that participated in the evaluation. Statistically there was no significant difference in the development of valve abnormalities between Belviq and placebo-treated patients. It should be noted that Belviq has not been studied in patients with heart disease that have serious valvular problems.
The most common side effects of Belviq in non-diabetic patients are headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, and constipation, and in diabetic patients are low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), headache, back pain, cough, and fatigue.
About Medical Weight Loss Clinic (MWLC)
Medical Weight Loss Clinic is one of the largest established medically supervised weight loss programs in the Midwest. It was founded in 1986 and has grown to over 30 corporately owned clinics throughout Michigan and across northern Ohio. All Medical Weight Loss Clinic programs are customized based upon a patient’s medical profile and supervised by board certified doctors. Each patient receives one-on-one support from MWLC professionals with the focus of the weight loss program to help patients develop healthy and satisfying eating habits. This year alone, Medical Weight Loss Clinic patients will lose in excess of two million pounds. For more information, go to www.mwlc.com.