Belviq is a weight-loss drug developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals. It reduces appetite by activating a type of serotonin receptor known as the 5-HT2C receptor in a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is known to control appetite. It was removed from the market in the United States in 2020 due to an increased risk of cancer detected in users of Belviq.
Belviq is used with a doctor-approved exercise, behavior change, and reduced-calorie diet program to help you lose weight. It is used by certain overweight people, such as those who are obese or have weight-related medical problems. Losing weight and keeping it off can lessen the many health risks that come with obesity, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a shorter life. Lorcaserin belongs to a class of drugs known as serotonin receptor agonists. It is thought to work by affecting a certain part of the brain that helps control your appetite. This drug has been withdrawn from the US market due to problems with safety.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually 2 times each day. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Lorcaserin may be habit forming. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
If you do not lose a certain amount of weight within the first 12 weeks of treatment, you may not benefit from taking this medication and your doctor may direct you to stop taking it. Talk to your doctor for details.
- Nausea, dry mouth, headache, dizziness, constipation, or tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
- Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bleeding/bruising, enlarged breasts or abnormal breast milk production, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, depression, thoughts of suicide, unusual agitation, difficulty with attention/memory), shaking/twitching muscles, shortness of breath, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, swelling ankles/feet/hands, unexplained fever.
- If you are taking medication to treat diabetes, lorcaserin can increase your risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product. Your doctor may need to adjust your medication(s).
- Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.