Our American society has normalized diet products and medications that falsify our expectations of a healthy diet. All of these products claim to make a difference in our weight but also come with frightening side effects. One of these products is a prescription medication called Belviq, or Belviq XR (lorcaserin) manufactured by Eisai.

The medication was approved by the FDA in 2012 for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 27, which is considered overweight or for individuals with a BMI greater than 30, which is considered obese. The drug works by activating receptors in the brain to suppress appetite. The manufactures warn individuals about these reported side effects: headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, slow heartbeat, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and dry mouth.

When the FDA approved the medication in 2012, it urged the manufactures to continue testing the drug in a long-term clinical trial to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular disease. The clinical trial involved 12,000 patients over a five-year period. In the study, half of the participants were given the medication and the other half were given a placebo. Upon FDA review in January 2020 the participants that took the medication had an increased risk for cancer. In particular pancreatic, colorectal and lung cancer were shown to have the greatest significance at a 7% increase. As a result, the FDA requested that Belviq’s drug manufacturer remove it from the market. As of February 2020, the manufacturer voluntarily removed the product from stores and sales were discontinued.

If you were taking Belviq, it is important that you stop immediately and notify your health care physician of the potential risk of cancer. Although the FDA is not advising of any particular screenings, your health care provider may look for specific signs or symptoms of cancer. Additionally, your health care provider may recommend alternatives for healthy weight loss.

Belivq is considered a controlled substance, therefore, for safety purposes the FDA suggests you dispose of it. However, we recommend if you wish to seek compensation, to hold on to the empty vial or take pictures of it.

While several medications have side-effects, it is ultimately up to the manufacturers to adhere to extensive testing and inform all persons of any risks or adverse effects. Likewise, we put a lot of trust into the manufacturers of these medications and the FDA to ensure we are not harmed by these products; however, we can never be certain that the medications we consume will not lead to devastating effects. Unfortunately, Belviq, did not disclose the increased risk of cancer, even though prior to FDA approval, studies showed an increased rate of tumors in rats when given a high dosage of the drug. Belviq did not inform customers of that risk, and people are now learning of the devastating impact of the failure to disclose such information. They should be held accountable for the damage and suffering that they have caused.

If you or someone you know has taken the drug Belviq, we are here to help. Our trusted local Commack office provides personalized service and will guide you through the legal process. Call us at (631) 543 – 3663 to schedule a free consultation.