Belviq and Belviq XR were recalled after data suggested the weight loss drugs increased the risk for cancer. Filing a Belviq lawsuit may allow victims of these medications to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other injury-related damages.
The national law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is evaluating potential Belviq lawsuits on behalf of individuals who developed cancer after using Belviq or Belviq XR for weight loss, including:
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with cancer that may be linked to Belviq or Belviq XR, please contact our office today for a free, no-obligation case review. You can reach a qualified Belviq attorney by filling out the form on this page or calling (888) 994-5118.
Approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012, Belviq (lorcaserin) was indicated for use with a low-calorie diet to aid weight loss in obese adults who suffered from weight-related health problems. The extended-release version of lorcaserin – Belviq XR – received FDA approval in 2016.
Belviq controls appetite by activating receptors in the brain that regulate serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of satiety and satisfaction.
The FDA had actually declined to approve Belviq in 2010 because of animal studies that suggested the drug might be associated with an increased risk of tumors. But the agency was eventually persuaded that the tumors seen in those trials were specific to the animals.
While there were also concerns that Belviq might cause heart valve problems, additional data indicated such complications would not occur at the low doses at which Belviq was prescribed. But as a condition of approval, the FDA ordered Belviq’s manufacturer to conduct a post-market study to better assess locaserin’s potential to cause heart attacks and strokes.
That five-year, 12,000-patient study did show that lorcaserin effectively helped people lose weight without increasing their risk of heart problems. However, 7.7% of trial participants who took Belviq were diagnosed with cancer, compared to just 7.1% in the placebo group. That amounted to one additional cancer for every 470 patients treated with Belviq for one year.
“There was no apparent difference in the incidence of cancer over the initial months of treatment, but the imbalance increased with longer duration on lorcaserin,” the FDA said
While a range of cancers were seen in the study, pancreatic, colorectal. and lung cancers were reported more often in the patients who took Belviq.
The FDA ultimately concluded that the cancer risk outweighed any benefits associated with lorcaserin and asked Esai, Inc. to conduct a Belviq recall. Although the company disputed the agency’s interpretation of the study data, Esai did agree to voluntarily withdraw Belviq and Belviq XR from the market.
The FDA has not recommended any special cancer screenings for patients who were prescribed Belviq or Belviq XR. However, these individuals should stop taking the drugs, safely dispose of any leftover medication, and discuss alternative weight loss treatments with their doctor.
You may be eligible to file a Belviq lawsuit if you or a loved one:
To determine your eligibility to file a Belviq cancer lawsuit, please contact our firm through the form on this page or call our office directly at (888) 994-5118.
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