On January 14, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning stating that the prescription weight loss medication Belviq may be associated with a higher risk of certain cancers. Just a month later, manufacture Eisai, Inc., recalled all Belviq products from the U.S. market.
If you or a loved one was a regular user of Belviq and has been diagnosed with pancreatic, colorectal, or lung cancer, contact the law offices of Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. today. You may be eligible for significant compensation.
At Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C., we are dedicated to pursuing companies who sell drugs with potentially dangerous side effects.
Ultimately, we are committed to fighting against negligent pharmaceutical companies while you focus on healing and recovery.
Belviq is a weight loss drug first approved by the FDA in 2012. This prescription-only medication was normally recommended for obese patients who could not otherwise have lost weight through normal means such as diet or exercise.
The active ingredient in the drug, lorcaserin, helped patients lose weight by altering signals in the brain primarily responsible for appetite. By inducing an increased feeling of fullness, patients were compelled to consume less food and therefore reduce their weight through a caloric deficit.
In 2012, the FDA only approved the sale of Belviq on the condition that the manufacturer, Eisai, Inc., would continue to periodically perform clinical trials on the drug for its safety. Initially, the FDA had concerns about the drug’s effect on a patient’s cardiovascular health.
Over a five year period, a double-blind clinical trial was conducted with 12,000 people comparing those who used Belviq regularly and those who used a placebo. Ultimately, the trial found that those who were taking the medication had a significantly higher risk of certain forms of cancer than those taking the placebo.
After the FDA reviewed the data, they determined that the risks of the drug far outweighed its benefits, and recommended that Eisai, Inc. remove the products from the U.S. market.
On February 13, 2020, Eisai, Inc. voluntarily removed and discontinued sales of the U.S. market:
Belviq is a lower dose 10mg tablet that was prescribed to be taken twice a day, while Belviq XR was an extended-release version that only required once-daily doses.
In the clinical trials, an increased risk of cancer was apparent after just one year of regular use in patients. Studies showed that these patients reported cases of:
Additionally, the FDA also concluded that the risk of developing cancer actually increased the longer a patient was taking Belviq.
It is important to note that Belviq also presents other health risks and side effects such as:
These patients may be susceptible to the increased risk of cancer caused by Belviq:
If you fit all these criteria, it is highly recommended to contact a product liability attorney today to discuss your case.
Americans put trust in pharmaceutical companies to ensure that the drugs and medications they are selling are safe. Additionally, we expect these pharmaceutical companies will not market and sell drugs that are likely to cause more harm than good.
Before Belviq was officially approved in 2012, manufacturer Eisai (then known as Arena Pharmaceuticals), tested the drug for adverse effects. The testing revealed a significantly increased risk of tumors when ingested by rats. Despite these alarming results, Eisai downplayed the dangers of the drug, pushing instead for FDA approval on the condition of long-term testing.
Although Eisai, Inc. has removed Belviq from the marketplace, they must be held responsible to the patients who have developed pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancers as a result of regular long-time use. If you or a loved one has developed these cancers as a result of regular Belviq use, please contact us today to discuss your case.