In June, 2012 the FDA approved Lorcaserin for weight loss. Although it has been a year since it was approved, the medication Lorcaserin or Belviq is only available now as the manufacturer and distributor announced it will be available in USA starting this week.
Belviq Weight Loss
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved diet pill, Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride), as an addition to a reduced-calorie diet and exercise, for chronic weight management.
The drug is approved for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater (obese), or adults with a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) and who have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol (dyslipidemia).
BMI, which measures body fat based on an individual’s weight and height, is used to define the obesity and overweight categories. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese.
“Obesity threatens the overall well being of patients and is a major public health concern,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The approval of this drug, used responsibly in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, provides a treatment option for Americans who are obese or are overweight and have at least one weight-related comorbid condition.”Belviq works by activating the serotonin 2C receptor in the brain. Activation of this receptor may help a person eat less and feel full after eating smaller amounts of food.
Is Belviq safe for weight loss?
The safety and efficacy of Belviq were evaluated in three randomized, placebo-controlled trials that included nearly 8,000 obese and overweight patients, with and without type 2 diabetes, treated for 52 to 104 weeks. All participants received lifestyle modification that consisted of a reduced calorie diet and exercise counseling. Compared with placebo, treatment with Belviq for up to one year was associated with average weight loss ranging from 3 percent to 3.7 percent.
About 47 percent of patients without type 2 diabetes lost at least 5 percent of their body weight compared with about 23 percent of patients treated with placebo. In people with type 2 diabetes, about 38 percent of patients treated with Belviq and 16 percent treated with placebo lost at least 5 percent of their body weight. Belviq treatment was associated with favorable changes in glycemic control in those with type 2 diabetes. The approved labeling for Belviq recommends that the drug be discontinued in patients who fail to lose 5 percent of their body weight after 12 weeks of treatment, as these patients are unlikely to achieve clinically meaningful weight loss with continued treatment.
Belviq should not be used during pregnancy. Treatment with Belviq may cause serious side effects, including serotonin syndrome, particularly when taken with certain medicines that increase serotonin levels or activate serotonin receptors. These include, but are not limited to, drugs commonly used to treat depression and migraine. Belviq may also cause disturbances in attention or memory.
The most common side effects of Belviq in non-diabetic patients are headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, and constipation, and in diabetic patients are low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), headache, back pain, cough, and fatigue.
Belviq is manufactured by Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH of Zofingen, Switzerland, and distributed by Eisai Inc. of Woodcliff Lake, N.J.Source: US FDA
Cost of Belviq?
Belviq is expected to cost approximately $1,200/year per patient or about $100-110/month with a coupon, regular price is about 275 per month. Your insurance might cover this medication. Aetna and Blue Cross have announced coverage for Belviq. Check with your insurance carrier to see if they will cover this medication.
More information Lorcaserin weight loss medication
How is Lorcaserin used?
Lorcaserin is used to help adults who are obese or who are overweight and have weight-related medical problems to lose weight and keep from gaining back that weight. Lorcaserin must be used along with a reduced calorie diet and an exercise plan. Lorcaserin is in a class of medications called serotonin receptor agonists. It works by increasing feelings of fullness so that less food is eaten.
How should this medicine be used?
Lorcaserin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food twice a day. Take lorcaserin at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take lorcaserin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Belviq weight loss
Lorcaserin may be habit forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor.
If you do not lose a certain amount of weight during the first 12 weeks of your treatment, it is not likely that you will benefit from taking lorcaserin. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking lorcaserin if you do not lose enough weight during the first 12 weeks of your treatment.
Lorcaserin will help control your weight only if you continue to take it. Do not stop taking lorcaserin without talking to your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What side effects can Belviq cause?
Lorcaserin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
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pain in the back or muscles
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
difficult, painful, or frequent urination
blurred vision or other vision changes
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that are not there)
difficulty with coordination
muscle spasms, stiffness, or twitching
fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
swelling of the hands, arms, feet, or legs
difficulty paying attention or remembering information
thinking about harming or killing yourself or planning or trying to do so
feeling high or unusually happy
feeling as though you are outside of your body
erection that lasts longer than 4 hours
discharge from the breast
breast enlargement in males
Lorcaserin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Lorcaserin is a controlled substance. Prescriptions may be refilled only a limited number of times; ask your pharmacist if you have any questions.
How can I try Lorcaserin or Belviq?
Contact a physician familiar with weight loss medications, their use,indications, contra-indications, side effects etc. such as W8MD medical weight loss centers of America’s weight loss physician. After a thorough history, physical examination and reviewing any relevant blood work, the W8MD (pronouced WeightMD) physician will discuss if Lorcaserin weight loss medication or it’s alternatives like Topiramate and Phentermine is right for you.
About W8MD Medical Weight Loss Centers Of America
Our physicians and staff are committed to offering a comprehensive and individualized approach. W8MD physicians partner with each patient to develop a custom weight management program to best meet their individual needs. If you are a bit overweight or obese, take long term medications for cholesterol, blood pressure or diabetes but your doctor has nothing to offer for weight loss other than simply say “lose weight”, you may want to consider W8MD!
Under the direction of Dr. Prab Tumpati, or other W8MD physician, W8MD Weight Loss Centers can help you overcome obesity and to make a difference. The doctor’s of W8MD partner with each patient to develop a custom weight management program to best meet their individual needs taking into account their medical history, lifestyle and goals.
Since weight and sleep go together, most of the W8MD centers are able to address sleep issues such as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia and restless leg syndrome to name a few.
And the best part of the program is that most insurance’s cover the doctor visits.
Check out our website at www.w8md.com to learn more about us. If you have a little or a lot of weight to lose and want to do it without surgery, set up fees and mandatory meal replacements or appetite suppressants, think W8MD for weight loss.
And, if you are a physician, with an interest in helping your obese or overweight patients, and would like to add a W8MD program at your office, please feel free to contact us.