What is Belviq?
Belviq is made by the pharmaceutical company Arena Pharmaceutical. It is designed to target adults who are obese or overweight and have one other related health condition. In clinical trials, people lost around 5% of their body fat after taking the Belviq slimming pill, which is a very moderate result and hardly what you would call a miracle result. Belviq efficiency, hence, can be questionable, but it certainly is no worse than many other drugs.
Approval of Belviq
In 2010, the Belviq weight loss drug (also known as Lorcaserin) was submitted for approval but was rejected by the FDA because when it was tested on animals, they developed tumours. However, Arena resubmitted their application, providing additional data, and the FDA then found that the risk of developing tumours in humans was negligible. This led to Belviq approved at last. Due to there not being any noteworthy side effects, the drug is believed to be launched sometime during 2013.
How Belviq Works
Basically, the Belviq weight loss pill blocks signals to the brain that control appetite. Hence, someone who takes the drug will feel fuller even when eating small amounts of food. However, the drug should not be used by women who are nursing or pregnant. The approval is only for people with a BMI of 30 or over.
If the patient only has a BMI of 27 and another medical condition that is related to obesity, it may also be used, since Belviq benefits can actually be achieved here. The other condition include high blood pressure and/or cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
The Controversy around Weight Loss Pills
In the United States, some 35% of adults are obese and the United Kingdom is not far off this mark. There is a rise in the cost of health care due to weight related medical problems. As a result, doctors and physicians are campaigning the FDA to approve more weight loss treatments (i.e. Contrave). However, the FDA has very strict standards for weight loss drugs, particularly because a number of weight loss drugs in the past have caused serious problems.
For instance, fen-phen was released some years ago, but had to be withdrawn from the market urgently in 1997 because it was proven to lead to damage to the heart valve. Since then, the FDA hasn’t approved a single weight loss drug. However, it seems the Belviq slimming pill does not have the same issues as these drugs.
Belviq Side Effects
This does not mean that the Belviq weight loss drug does not have any side effects. People have reported memory lapses, migraines and depression, which are so far the only known Belviq risks. Hence, the label on the drug says that the drug should only be used for a period of up to 12 weeks, particularly if less than 5% of a person’s body weight has been lost. Once the drug is marketed, Arena is obliged to conduct at least six studies on Belviq side effects, one being focused specifically at the effects of the Belviq lose weight pill on the long term health of patients’ hearts.