Belviq pillsIt’s very disconcerting to find out that a drug you were taking to improve your health may be seriously harming it.

In February, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that the manufacturer of Belviq and Belviq XR (lorcaserin) voluntarily withdraw the weight-loss drug from the U.S. market because a safety clinical trial identified an increased occurrence of several types of cancer, including pancreatic, colorectal and lung in people taking the drugs.

Studies conducted since Belviq was approved for use in 2012 found that of 12,000 patients taking it, about 7.7 percent were diagnosed with cancers, compared to 7.1 percent in a placebo group.

Belviq was approved as a prescription weight loss drug for adults who are obese or who have weight related medical problems that prohibit them from losing weight through traditional diet and exercise. The active ingredients of the pill are intended to trigger chemical signals that make people want to eat less.
Despite pre-market testing that suggested Belviq exposure in rats could cause cancerous tumors, the FDA approved Eisai to start promoting the drug. However, the manufacturer was required to conduct a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in order to determine if there were any cancer or cardiovascular side effects in humans from Belviq.

After reviewing the results of the clinical trial, the FDA decided to ask for a voluntary recall of the drug believing the risks of lorcaserin outweigh the benefits. The trial was conducted in 12,000 patients over 5 years. A range of cancer types was reported, with several different types of cancers occurring more frequently in the lorcaserin group, including pancreatic, colorectal, and lung.

Belviq and Belviq XR are manufactured by Japanese drug maker Eisai Co. who began selling the medication in the U.S. in 2013. The medication quickly became a popular choice among prescribing doctors, with more than 600,000 prescriptions filled in 2015 alone, with sales reaching an estimated $50 million.
In light of the recall, patients should stop taking lorcaserin and talk to health care professionals about alternative weight-loss medicines and weight management programs.

Belviq and Belviq XR are manufactured by Japanese drug maker Eisai Co. who began selling the medication in the U.S. in 2013. The medication quickly became a popular choice among prescribing doctors, with more than 600,000 prescriptions filled in 2015 alone, with sales reaching an estimated $50 million.

It appears that manufacturers knew or should have know about the link between Belviq and cancer for years. As a result, users who were harmed by the drug may be entitled to financial compensation and settlements from the manufacturers. Further, if a member of your family died because of cancers potentially caused by Belviq, you may be able to pursue compensation for wrongful death.

If you are someone you love used Belviq or Belviq XR for weight loss for at least three months since 2012 and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, lunch cancer or another cancer along the digestive tract, we welcome the opportunity to assist you. For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please call one of our Southwest Florida law firm offices at 239-334-1146. If you prefer, you may complete our form and a client relations representative will contact you shortly.

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