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Why the FDA Pulled Belviq From the Market

Clinical Trials Reveal Weight Loss Drug Causes Cancer

In February of 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked Eisai Inc., the manufacturer of Belviq and Belviq XR to remove its products from the market. A clinical trial revealed that the drugs may increase the risk of cancer.

What Is Belviq?

Belviq, or lorcaserin, is a drug that aids weight loss by reducing a person’s sense of hunger. Doctors prescribe Belviq while treating obesity and health issues related to being overweight. The FDA originally approved Belviq in 2012, but required Eisai Inc. to conduct a clinical trial to evaluate safety concerns.

The results of the trial were not favorable. In January 2020, the FDA alerted the public to a possible risk of cancer associated with lorcaserin. Once the FDA had reviewed the results, they encouraged consumers to stop taking Belviq and safely dispose of all lorcaserin medications.

Participants in the lorcaserin group of the clinical trial had higher rates of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer.

Experts Weigh In

According to Harvard Health, experts are still unsure whether or not lorcaserin truly causes cancer, and they do not understand how the drug could have these kinds of effects. Nevertheless, the drug increased the risk of cancer for a percentage of the study’s participants and the FDA has decided Belviq is no longer safe for consumers.

Weight-loss medications are notorious for being subject to FDA safety recalls, but some medications may still be safe.

What To Do If You Are Taking Belviq

Per FDA guidelines, you should talk to the doctor who prescribed you lorcaserin to discuss next steps. You shouldn’t need any special testing or cancer screenings, but you should talk to your medical providers if you have any concerns.

The FDA also encourages you to take any medication you have leftover to a drug take-back location or safely dispose of it at home. You can mix the pills with cat litter or coffee grounds, put the mixture in a sealed container, and throw it away.

If you experience any adverse events or side effects, including a cancer diagnosis, as a result of taking Belviq, you should alert the FDA through its MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

You can complete and submit the form online or call 1-800-332-1088 for instructions.

If you have been seriously injured by Belviq, you should also consider talking to an attorney.

Our team at Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC has over 70 years of combined experience handling dangerous drug claims. We can help you explore your legal options during a free consultation, and if needed, we will fight for your rights in a court of law.

For tough but compassionate legal services, please call us at (866) 675-4427 or contact us online today.