FDA Warns About the Cancer Risk Associated with a Weight-Loss Drug

FDA has warned the individuals who are using Weight-Loss Drug Belviq, also known as lorcaserin. The Food and Drug Administration informs consumers about the possible risk of cancer associated with this drug, especially its formulation Belviq XR.

A recent clinical trial has tested the safety of lorcaserin. The findings have shown that the use of this drug for weight-loss has the potential to increase cancer risk. Up till now, the cause of cancer is still not clear, and there isn’t much understanding about the fact that how lorcaserin enhances the risk of this disease.

But still, the FDA decided to publicize these results to let people know about this potential risk. Currently, the findings of this clinical trial are being reviewed by the organization, and its final recommendations and results will be published after the process completion.

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FDA has suggested that patients who are currently using these drugs should consider this possible cancer risk and discuss it with their healthcare providers.

Whereas, it’s the responsibility of healthcare providers to make a critical decision before suggesting patients to start or continue the use of lorcaserin. For this purpose, health care providers are expected to check if the benefits of this drug surpass the risks associated with it.

Clinicians are supposed to report at FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program in case any adverse effects are observed after the use of the drug. The manufacturer of lorcaserin, Eisai Inc., was asked by the FDA to conduct a trial for investigating if its use enhanced the odds of heart problems.

This clinical trial (based on five years) included 12,000 people. The results revealed that at the end of the study, the rate of cancer in patients using this drug was more compared to those using a placebo. FDA is still evaluating this drug to make a precise decision regarding this issue.

According to a recent statement provided by the pharmaceutical company – Eisai Inc., the company’s priority is to prevent any sort of harm to the patient. And with the help of the FDA, the company will continue its efforts to analyze the results of the clinical trial and ensuring patient’s safety.

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Eisai Inc. recommends that for making the best judgment regarding the use of lorcaserin, the patients should directly discuss it with their healthcare providers. In short, currently, the FDA and Eisai haven’t reached a conclusion regarding the statement that BELVIQ enhances the cancer risk.

This drug was approved in 2012 to be used as weight management or weight-loss drug. Since then, it is being recommended to the patients who are overweight or obese and suffering from weight-related medical issues.

Such patients are also recommended to increase their exercise intensity and follow a calorie-controlled diet. On its website, Eisai Inc. has mentioned that chances of weight loss are 3 – 4 times higher in those taking BELVIQ compared to the ones taking placebo.

Though using lorcaserin may appear as an easier way to lose weight, but it needs to be accompanied by exercise and diet plan, commented Eisai Inc.

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