FDA: Weight-control drug lorcaserin may raise cancer risk
The prescription weight control medicine lorcaserin (Belviq, Belviq XR) may increase the risk for cancer, according to the results of a clinical trial assessing the safety of the drug, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
The agency said, "[W]e cannot conclude that lorcaserin contributes to the cancer risk" but "wanted to make the public aware of this potential risk. We are continuing to evaluate the clinical trial results and will communicate our final conclusions and recommendations when we have completed our review."
Health care providers should balance the benefits of taking lorcaserin against the potential risks when deciding whether to prescribe or continue patients on the medication, the FDA advised. It said that patients currently taking lorcaserin should talk to their health care professionals about the potential increased risk for cancer with use of the medication.
Lorcaserin is approved for use with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity to help weight loss in adults who are obese or are overweight and have weight-related medical problems. Lorcaserin increases feelings of fullness so that people eat less. It is available as a tablet (Belviq) and an extended-release tablet (Belviq XR).
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