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Health & Fit Weight-loss drug Belviq may carry cancer risk, FDA warns

03:15  15 january  2020
03:15  15 january  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

A new study says there could be a surprising consequence to losing weight later in life

  A new study says there could be a surprising consequence to losing weight later in life Researchers found the association between weight gain and mortality weakens as you get older and losing weight in middle age or late adulthood may heighten the risk of premature death, particularly when it comes to heart disease. "Our takeaway is that it's best to prevent weight gain at younger ages to reduce the risk of premature death later in life," said study author An Pan, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Tongji Medical College in Wuhan, China.The study found that people who remained obese, as measured by body mass index, throughout their adult life had the highest risk of premature death.

A recent clinical trial assessing the safety of weight - loss drugs Belviq , Belviq XR (lorcaserin) has led to the FDA issuing a public alert, warning that “However, we wanted to make the public aware of this potential risk .” Lorcaserin was approved by the FDA in 2012 for assisting weight - loss in combination

For people who have gained weight on psychiatric drugs , Belviq and Qsymia may seem appealing but know these important cautions first. The risk and safety of Belviq when used with other drugs that affect serotonin hasn't been evaluated yet, but the label contains a warning to "use extreme caution"

Federal regulators are alerting the public that the prescription weight-loss drug Belviq may be associated with an increased risk of cancer, though it's unclear how big of a risk that might be.

Image:© Food and Drug Administration via AP Image:

The Food and Drug Administration published the alert Tuesday afternoon, saying that a clinical trial assessing the medication's safety showed a "possible increased risk of cancer." Belviq is also known in its generic form as lorcaserin.

"The cause of the cancer is uncertain, and we cannot conclude that lorcaserin contributes to the cancer risk," the alert said. "However, we 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."

This is the Amount of Alcohol That Increases Breast Cancer Risk

  This is the Amount of Alcohol That Increases Breast Cancer Risk When it comes to breast cancer prevention, drinking less alcohol and exercising more may help. Alcohol has long been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, but how much is enough to make a difference? It seems even a moderate intake—drinking one glass of wine, beer, or any other type of alcohol a day—may raise your risk of breast cancer, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund.

"Obesity drugs should be on the fast track." In 2010, the FDA decided not to approve Belviq , citing concerns that the drug carried heart-valve risks But new studies by Arena Pharmaceuticals found no increased risk of heart valve problems and only a small risk of cancer . And in May 2012, an FDA

For the first time, a drug has been shown to help people lose weight and keep it off for several years without raising their risk for heart problems — a safety milestone that may encourage wider use to help curb the obesity epidemic.

a close up of a bottle: Image: Lorcaserin pill, Belviq© Eisai via AP Image: Lorcaserin pill, Belviq

The FDA approved Belviq in 2012 as a prescription drug to help overweight and obese adults lose weight. It works by making people feel full.

The study that raised FDA concerns comes from the drug's manufacturer, Eisai. The company study tracked about 12,000 participants who took either the medication or a placebo over a five-year period.

"More patients taking lorcaserin were diagnosed with cancer compared to patients taking placebo, which is an inactive treatment. Our evaluation of this potential signal is ongoing, and at this time it is uncertain if lorcaserin increases the risk of cancer," the alert said.

It's unclear what type or types of cancer were diagnosed.

The FDA suggests that patients on lorcaserin speak with their doctors about whether the benefits of taking the weight management pill outweigh any potential risks.

Want to Lower Your Risk of Colon Cancer? Hit the Gym .
Need some added motivation?

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