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FDA approved Belviq – a miracle weight loss drug?

In June, 2012 the FDA approved an new weight loss medication, Belviq for release. Lorcaserin activates serotonin 2C brain receptors which makes you feel full or satiated sooner. Two immediate concerns that apply to all weight and appetite management medications.

Is this drug safe?
Does this drug work?
Safety is always a concern with serotonin modifying drugs, both fenfluramine (in Phen-Fen) and Meridia were withdrawn from the market because of heart disease side effects.  Some valve problems and some pulmonary hypertension problems eventually became too risky to avoid class action law suits. Admittedly, they activate serotonin 2B receptors not 2C. In studies so far ,Belviq looks safer but can clash with serotonin migraine and anti-depressant drugs. The FDA have announced that the manufacturers of Belviq must do 6 studies to monitor safety after the drug has been tried for a while on the American public.
Efficacy is limited. About half of the obese people on Belviq lost 5% of their body weight in one year (about 12 lbs) while only a quarter of those on placebo lost 5%. This is not exactly impressive.
Maybe we should rely on the tried and tested method of losing weight:- Eat less than your body’s own metabolism needs. Most diets work because they cut calories – either limit carbohydrates, fat, high glycemic index foods, allergic foods, dairy, wheat, toxin-laden, portions, combinations or total starvation – whichever you can enjoy. When diets are compared, most work similarly. The trick is to find a healthy eating style you can live with beyond the 3 month honeymoon period of rapid weight loss.

Dr. Gidon Frame

Age is a state of mind. Aging is a treatable condition.