It has been 13 years since the FDA has approved a new drug for weight loss.
Belviq, the Arena Pharmaceuticals drug which also goes by the generic name lorcaserin, is one of three new potential weight-loss treatments to be approved.
The drug works by activating a receptor in the brain that may help a person eat less and feel full after eating smaller amounts of food.
It is approved for use in obese adults with a body mass index or BMI of 30 or greater and in overweight adults with a BMI of 27 or greater if they have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol. For example, a 5-foot-7 woman who weighed 192 pounds would have a BMI of 30.
Patients who do not lose 5 percent of their body weight within 12 weeks of taking the pill will be advised to discontinue use of the drug.
It is important that patients achieve “clinically meaningful weight loss” as cardiovascular risks including heart attack and stroke may be a consideration.