Nobody should ever have to worry about whether or not a medication they take will cause them harm. Unfortunately, there are times when defective drugs make it into the hands of consumers. Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested the withdrawal of the weight-loss drug Belviq and Belviq XR (lorcaserin) from the market. They claim that this medication poses significant cancer risks to those who take it.
What is Belviq?
Belviq was approved by the FDA in 2012, around the same time that other popular weight-loss drugs hit the US market. These drugs offered an option for many people struggling with excess weight or obesity, as well as other related health issues. Belviq was the first medication proven to help people lose weight and keep it off for many years without raising risks for serious heart problems. These conclusions were made after a five-your study of the medication’s heart safety, which the FDA required drug-maker Eisai to conduct as a condition for approval.
Belviq is a serotonin receptor agonist that targets chemicals in the brain that influence a person’s appetite. The maker of Belviq says that the drug is specifically approved for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and for adults with a BMI of 27 who also have other conditions that carry heart risks (high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.).
Why did the FDA recall Belviq?
A recent FDA analysis of data from that original study shows that 7.7% of those who took Belviq were diagnosed with cancer. This compared with 7.1% of people who developed cancer in a comparison group that was given dummy (placebo) pills.
What types of cancer is Belviq causing?
According to the FDA, there is a range of cancers that those who took Belviq were diagnosed with. This included:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colorectal cancer
Are there other side effects associated with Belviq?
As with any medication, Belviq does have potential side effects (aside from a heightened risk of cancer). According to the US National Library of Medicine, some of the common side effects of taking Belviq include:
- blurred vision
- dry mouth
- difficulty falling or staying asleep
- pain in the back or muscles
Other serious side effects of Belviq can be life-threatening, including confusion, hallucinations, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, thoughts of self-harm, and more.
Consult a West Virginia product liability lawyer
If you or somebody you care about has become ill after using Belviq, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Just because this medication has been recalled does not reverse the harm done to those who have already taken Belviq and Belviq XR. Manufacturer Eisai failed to warn doctors and consumers about serious health risks associated with this medication.
At Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, our qualified and experienced team is going to investigate every aspect of your case in order to secure the compensation you are entitled to. This can include:
- Coverage of medical expenses due to the defective drug
- Recovery of lost wages if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against Eisai Inc, the maker of Belviq