Weight Loss Rx Possibly Tied to Cancer Risk

Belviq (lorcaserin) may be tied to cancer risk, according to FDA

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a drug safety communication for a weight loss medication.

This safety communication involves a possible risk of cancer tied to Belviq and Belviq XR (lorcaserin).

Lorcaserin was approved in 2012 to help with weight loss in adults who are obese or overweight and have medical problems related to weight. This medication is approved to be used in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise.

This weight loss pill is available in tablet and extended-release tablet form.

The FDA's recent safety announcement refers to results from a clinical trial that assessed the safety of lorcaserin. The results suggest that this drug may be tied to an increased risk of cancer.

The cause of the cancer is not known, and lorcaserin can't be confirmed as contributing to the cancer risk, the FDA noted.

The agency said it will communicate final conclusions and recommendations once it has completed its review.

Here are the FDA's recommendations for now:

  • Health care professionals are advised to consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks associated with lorcaserin when prescribing or deciding to continue patients on this medication.
  • Patients who are currently taking this medication should talk to their health care professionals about the potential risks tied to lorcaserin.
  • Both health care professionals and patients are encouraged to report any adverse events related to lorcaserin or any other medication to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

Written by Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS