Lorcaserin is a prescription weight loss drug developed to treat obesity, approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012, marketed under the brand name Belviq. Belviq was developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals. However, the rights to the drug were sold to the Japanese drugmaker, Eisai Inc., in 2017, and Eisai continued to manufacture the drug for U.S. consumption until the FDA-recommended recall in February 2020.
The drug activates a serotonin receptor known as a 5-HT2C receptor in a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, which reduces appetite.
The manufacturers applied for a new drug application regarding Belviq to FDA in the United States on December 22, 2009. The proposal was rejected by the FDA panel on October 23, 2010, considering the cancer-promoting properties that Belviq contains. Later, the FDA approved Belviq on June 27, 2012. Later in 2016, the FDA also approved an extended-release version of Belviq named Belviq XR.
Dangerous Side Effects:
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Mental or mood changes
- Difficulty with memory or concentration
- Unusual agitation
- Shaking or twitching muscles
- Changes in heart rate
- Unexplained fever
- Swelling of the hands, feet, or ankles
- Shortness of breath
- Breast swelling and unusual breast milk discharge
- Erections lasting 4 hours or more