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Belviq to Be Withdrawn from U.S. Market Due to Cancer Risks

Belviq to Be Withdrawn from U.S. Market Due to Cancer Risks

The Food and Drug Administration has announced it will be withdrawing Belviq, a weight-loss drug associated with increased rates of cancer, from the U.S. market. New studies revealed that 7.7% of Belviq patients had cancer diagnoses, and individuals were diagnosed more frequently with tumors including pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancers.

Belviq was introduced to U.S. consumer in 2012 by Japanese drugmaker Eisai, and more than 600,000 prescriptions were filled in 2015. In 2014, Eisai’s revenue from Belviq added up to $49.4 million.

How Belviq Works

Belviq, also known as lorcaserin, is designed to help overweight and obese individuals lose weight by activating a type of serotonin receptor that is known to control appetite. As a result, the drug helps users feel full with smaller meals.

Before cancer risks were revealed, the drug came with warnings against use if the consumer was pregnant, or suffered from conditions like diabetes, congestive heart failure, leukemia, or sickle cell anemia, among others.

Results from the Study

A five-year study was conducted to initially observe the risk of heart problems, which is a common issue associated with weight-loss drugs. 12,000 patients were enrolled in the trial, and the trend of higher cancer rates appeared as the drug was taken for longer periods of time.

While the FDA warned the public about the possible risks in January, at the time they said they couldn’t conclude whether Belviq was the cause. Now, Eisai is voluntarily removing the drug from markets.

How to Dispose of Your Prescription

If you’re a Belviq user, the FDA advises people to dispose of the tablets safely by taking them to a drug take back location. If you’re unable to access one of these designated locations, you can safely dispose of them in the trash.

Disposal steps include:

  • Mixing the tablets with dirt, but without crushing them
  • Sealing the mix into a secured plastic bag
  • Throwing the sealed bag into the trash

It’s also recommended that you remove all personal information printed on your prescription label before disposing of the bottle. After you’ve disposed of your prescription, if you become diagnosed with cancer, it’s important that you seek medical attention and call a personal injury lawyer immediately. You shouldn’t have to suffer as a result of a manufacturer or pharmaceutical company’s negligence.

Millions of Dollars Recovered

When you’ve been harmed as a result of dangerous drugs, you deserve a personal injury attorney who has demonstrated success in achieving compensation for injured clients. At Christian & Christian, our attorneys have helped recover millions of dollars for victims of medical malpractice. We understand that injuries or illnesses caused by defective or dangerous drugs can be catastrophic, which is why we aim to hold guilty parties responsible. We’re not afraid to target the pharmaceutical companies responsible in order to achieve justice for you and others who have been negatively impacted.

Contact Christian & Christian online, or call (864) 408-8890 today if you’ve taken Belviq and have been diagnosed with cancer. Our medical malpractice lawyers have the legal experience and resources needed to represent the interests of those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs.


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