Here we go again! Big Pharma gets its way and gets set to cash in…
Once again, another “quick fix” drug for our obesity epidemic called Belviq (lorcaserin) that works on suppressing appetite was approved (this time) by the FDA. What the evening news flashes may fail to mention is that this was a second attempt to get this drug passed. The first time it failed. Two years ago the FDA refused to approve the same drug, citing concerns about safety and effectiveness.
This time around you can rest easy…. Right?
The drug’s manufacturer will be required to conduct six post-marketing studies, including a long-term trial to look for heart attack and stroke risks the FDA announced today. (In this case I guess it is OK to ACT SLOW for Stroke…)
Is this weight loss “magic bullet” from the same gun that went deadly wrong many years ago?
Belviq works by targeting a key area of the brain that regulates appetite, known as the serotonin 2C receptor.
This is the same appetite-controlling hormone targeted by fenfluramine, the “fen” component of the notorious 1990s diet drug combo fen-phen. Fen-phen was linked to potentially life-threatening heart valve problems in as many as one in three users.
More Side Effects:
The most common side effects of Belviq reported are headache, nausea and dizziness. And people taking Belviq were twice as likely to have neuropsychiatric and cognitive side effects.
Weight-loss drugs have a mixed track record with the FDA. As mentioned previously, Fenfluramine — commonly known as fen-phen — was eventually pulled from the market in 1997. Accutrim was removed in 2000 because of its association with strokes. And Meridia production ceased in 2010 due to concerns of heart disease and strokes.
[My personal sidebar] I think we should go all the way with developing this “magic pill” solution to our obesity problem but make it easier and put it in liquid format. Heck, why not have Big Pharma team up with the makers of “5-Hour Energy Drink” and drop in a shot of Belviq to get both your exercise and nutrition needs answered in a single gulp!
David P Dansereau, http://www.Know-Stroke.org