Belviq (lorcaserin), one of the first new diet drugs approved for sale in the United States in more than a decade following the infamous recall of fen-phen in 1997, has been recalled due to its link to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening side effects in users, including cancer and heart valve problems according to the FDA. Our attorneys are investigating claims on behalf of Belviq users who took the medication to aid in weight loss and subsequently developed cancer, including but not limited to pancreatic cancer, lung cancer (for non-smokers) and colorectal cancer. If you have used Belviq and later acquired cancer contact our Belviq injury attorneys today to discuss whether you may be eligible to file a Belviq lawsuit against Arena Pharmaceuticals.

Belviq Lawsuit Information

A clinical trial of the weight-loss drug Belviq (lorcaserin) shows an association with an increased risk of cancer, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requesting that its maker withdraw the drug from the U.S. market.

Eisai Inc. has already “submitted a request to voluntarily withdraw the drug,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, who directs the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, noted in a statement issued Thursday.

There is a great deal of evidence suggesting that people who take diet drugs to help them lose weight have a hard time keeping the weight off after they stop treatment. And when you factor in the potential side effects that have been linked to weight loss drugs like Belviq for years, it becomes more and more obvious that the health risks posed by diet drugs outweigh any of the possible weight loss benefits. As more information comes to light about the potential for Belviq to cause cancer, heart valve damage and other serious health problems in users, people who took Belviq to help them lose weight and subsequently suffered devastating side effects are expected to pursue legal claims against the drug manufacturer.

Side Effects Linked to Belviq

• Cancer
• Pancreatic Cancer
• Colorectal Cancer
• Lung Cancer
• Heart valve problems
• Heart valve damage
• Serotonin syndrome
• Decreased heart rate
• Heart attack
• Stroke
• Cognitive impairment
• Anemia or low white blood cell count
• Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
• Persistent pulmonary hypertension
• Psychiatric disorders
• Male breast growth (gynecomastia)
• Galactorrhea (female breast milk production)
• Wrongful death

“The FDA has requested that the manufacturer of Belviq, Belviq XR (lorcaserin) voluntarily withdraw the weight-loss drug from the U.S. market because a safety clinical trial shows an increased occurrence of cancer.”

History of Belviq

Ever since Belviq entered the market in the United States, and even before it was approved, there have been concerns about the potential for the drug to cause cancer and other serious problems in users. In fact, the release of Belviq was originally rejected in 2010 due to the fact that rodent testing had found a higher rate of brain and breast cancer associated with the weight loss drug. However, Arena Pharmaceuticals convinced federal regulators that the tumors found in the rats were specific to rodents and not likely to affect humans and the drug was approved for sale in the United States two years after the initial rejection. At that time, the FDA noted the following:

“When approving [Belviq], we required the drug manufacturer, Eisai Inc., to conduct a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the risk of heart-related problems. In this trial, which was conducted in approximately 12,000 participants over 5 years, more patients taking [Belviq] 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 [Belviq] increases the risk of cancer.”

Despite years of growing concerns about the potential risk of cancer from Belviq treatment, it wasn’t until January 2020 that the FDA issued a drug safety communication warning that clinical trial data had shown a possible link between the use of Belviq and an increased risk of cancer. Based on this potential risk, the FDA advised healthcare providers to “consider if the benefits of taking lorcaserin are likely to exceed the potential risks when deciding whether to prescribe or continue patients on lorcaserin.”

How a Belviq Lawsuit Could Help

Recovering compensation through a Belviq lawsuit could help cover the cost of:

• Medical bills
• Lost wages due to missed time at work
• Diminished quality of life
• Pain and suffering
• Ongoing medical treatment
• Loss of companionship
• Loss of consortium
• Funeral expenses and other losses related to the death of a loved one

What is Belviq?

Belviq is the brand name of a weight loss drug called lorcaserin. The drug was approved by the FDA in 2012 to facilitate weight loss in adults struggling with obesity or those who are overweight and facing weight-related medical problems. Belviq is available as a tablet and in extended-release form (Belviq XR) and the medication works by targeting the area of the brain that regulates appetite, thereby helping users eat less and lose weight. Arena Pharmaceuticals’ Belviq works in much the same way as fenfluramine, the “fen” component of the 1990s diet drug fen-phen, which was recalled in 1997, after it was discovered that one in three fen-phen users faced a risk of potentially life-threatening heart valve problems. In fact, Belviq was the first new weight loss drug to enter the market since fen-phen was recalled, and while the manufacturer claims that Belviq is more selective than fen-phen and much safer, there have been a number of serious side effects tied to Belviq treatment as well.

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