What is Belviq?
Belviq, generic name lorcaserin, is a prescription weight loss drug for treating obesity. Belviq was first marketed in the United States in 2012 after FDA approval. It came in a regular version, 10 mg tablets taken twice a day, and as a once-a-day extended-release 20 mg tablet, called Belviq XR.
Developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals, it was distributed in the United States by Eisai Inc. Belviq was the first weight-loss drug approved in the United States in 13 years. As part of the approval, Eisai was required to perform a long-term clinical trial into the cardiovascular effects of Belviq.
Belviq and Belviq XR Recalled
On January 14, 2020, the FDA alerted the public that the clinical study of Belviq showed “a possible increased risk of cancer.”
On February 13, 2020, the FDA and Eisai Inc. announced Belviq and Belviq XR were being removed from the market at the request of the FDA because the safety clinical trial showed an increased occurrence of cancer. The risk of cancer outweighed any weight loss benefit from taking the drug.
While Eisai pulled the drug from the market at the request of the FDA, it disputed the FDA’s interpretation of the data from the clinical trial.
Belviq and Cancer
The clinical trial of Belviq followed 12,000 participants for more than 5 years. Those who took Belviq had an elevated overall cancer rate compared to those who took a placebo.
Pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancers occurred more frequently, although a range of cancer types was reported by participants in the study.
Because of the elevated cancer risk, the FDA recommended patients stop taking Belviq immediately, and talk to their health care providers about alternative weight loss medicines and weight management programs.
What Can You Do?
If you or a loved one took Belviq and were diagnosed with any form of cancer, you may have a legal claim for damages. Contact the Belviq cancer lawyers at Thornton Law Firm by calling 1-888-341-1405 or telling us your story here. Please contact us as soon as possible if you believe you have a claim. Courts enforce the time limits for filing lawsuits very strictly. Do not delay seeking legal advice.