Belviq, Weight Loss, and Cancer Concerns
You might have heard of Belviq for weight loss before. Belviq is a weight management drug that is available only by prescription. At one point, some individuals hailed as being little less than revolutionary.
The idea was to take Belviq along with adhering to a modified diet and starting an exercise program. Doctors and nutritionists felt that Belviq would speed up the weight loss process, which seemed to be the case for some individuals.
Recently, however, Belviq concerns have grown among doctors. This forced the company that makes it to take it off the market earlier this year.
Let’s dig a little bit deeper into Belviq and why they discontinued production of it.
How Belviq Works
Belviq is also called Lorcaserin. Arena Pharmaceutics developed it. They are a giant in the pharma industry.
Essentially, Belviq works as an appetite suppressant. It activates one of the serotonin receptors, specifically the one called 5-HT2C. It is in the portion of the brain that medical science calls the hypothalamus.
This is the brain area that controls appetite, among other things. Several studies concluded that those individuals who agreed to use Belviq experienced appetite reduction. This led to faster weight loss in conjunction with proper diet and exercise programs like yoga, martial arts, jogging, etc.
There are some drugs, foods, and activities that can conceivably lead to cancer over time. However, for some people, engaging in these activities occasionally, eating these foods every once in a while, or using these drugs or supplements intermittently still seems okay. They feel that if they have an increased cancer risk when they get older, it’s not enough for them to disengage from these risk factors entirely.
As far as Belviq goes, the FDA felt strongly enough about it that they were willing to speak out against it until the company removed it from the market. Medical experts felt that there was overwhelming evidence that they could link Belviq to several potentially deadly cancers, to the point that a simple public warning wasn’t sufficient.
The Cancers that Belviq Seems to Cause
If you’re someone who took Belviq in the past and were on it for an extended period, then you’re probably wondering which cancers, specifically, you might be in more danger of contracting.
The FDA conducted a double-blind study a couple of years ago, and they saw that there were higher instances of lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. This was versus those in the study who got a placebo.
All three of those cancers are among the deadliest to contract. This anecdotal evidence is what led the FDA to request that doctors no longer prescribe Belviq for weight loss.
However, it’s worth noting that the FDA has stopped short of saying that Belviq directly caused these cancers. If they had determined that, then presumably, a class-action lawsuit by those affected would be a slam-dunk.
Doctors Describe Belviq as Habit Forming
The one other issue worth noting about Belviq is that doctors who prescribed it said it was potentially habit-forming. This is not to say that Belviq is addictive. Addiction implies that you can become physically dependent on the substance in question.
Doctors witnessed no withdrawal symptoms in those who went off Belviq. Still, the fact that it seems to help with weight loss means that many individuals who tried it in the past stayed on it for extended periods, several months at a time, in some cases. It’s not surprising when you look at the results that this drug seems capable of producing.
If you’re someone to which this description applies, then there’s no reason to fear that you have automatically contracted one of the cancers we mentioned. Presumably, there is also no reason to tell you to get off the drug, since the manufacturer has discontinued production of it.
However, if you had a supply of Belviq stockpiled, then based on what the FDA has said, it seems to be in your best interest to get off of it right away. There are other, safer options to try and help you lose weight.
If you don’t feel like you can kick the Belviq habit on your own, you should talk to a doctor about it. If a respected organization like the FDA has been so adamant about getting this drug off the market, then it is a warning that you should take seriously. You should also get yourself checked out for all of the cancers that we mentioned.