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Weight Loss Pill Belviq Approved by FDA

Irene | July 2nd, 2012

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For the first time in 10 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a long-term medical weight loss pill that could help the more than 35 percent of obese Americans lose weight.  On June 27, 2012, Belviq (locaserin) was approved for weight loss management in overweight adults.

According to an Associated Press report, Belviq may boost feelings of fullness and satiety, thereby reducing appetite. Belviq manufacturer, Arena, says Belviq led to a modest weight loss of 3 percent to 3.7 percent of body weight in patients who took the drug for a year.

The FDA denied Belviq’s approval in 2010 due to concerns regarding tumors that developed in animals exposed to the drug. The FDA now says the drug poses little risk of tumors in humans.

The approval of two more medical weight loss pills is pending. The FDA is expected to make a decision regarding Vivus Inc.’s Qnexa in July.

Side effects of Belviq

As with any medication, those considering treatment with Belviq should be familiar with its side effects.

Belviq side effects may include depression, memory lapses, migraine, headache, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, back pain, constipation and serotonin syndrome. Arena is conducting further testing to determine if Belviq puts patients at risk for adverse cardiac events.

Despite these side effects, the FDA noted that Belviq “does not appear to activate” the chemical pathway linked to fen-phen heart problems.  Those who follow trends in weight loss supplements will remember the FDA’s 1997 ban of fen-phen when the agency determined a credible link to heart valve damage.  Belviq affects the body in a different way.

Medical weight loss pills can aid comprehensive weight loss plans

Medical weight loss pills alone cannot guarantee long-term weight loss.  Medical experts advise that if supplements are used, they should compliment a healthy diet and fitness routine. Even the nearly 8,000 people who participated in the Belviq studies received lifestyle modifications, reduced calorie diets and exercise counseling in conjunction with Belviq.

The Mayo Clinic reminds those seeking the benefit of Belviq or other weight loss pills to first consult with a doctor who can properly evaluate a patient’s medical history, current physical condition, explain possible side effects, and prescribe the appropriate dosage.  Only a doctor can determine whether Belviq is a good choice for an individual’s weight management.  Belviq is only available by prescription.

Some medical groups such as The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL) have taken a positive approach to the FDA’s action regarding the new weight loss pill.  Founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Kaplan says, “CMWL physicians look forward to having another tool in our tool box to help our obese patients lose and keep off weight.  Belviq/Locaserin should be a great addition to our treatment arsenal. ”

The Center for Medical Weight Loss has over 450 locations across the country. Enter your zip code in the box provided to find out if there is a facility in your area. Some locations offer special incentives to first time callers.