In February 2020, a five-year study conducted by the drugmakers Eisai and Arena Pharmaceuticals found that patients who used the weight loss drugs Belviq and Belviq XR (lorcaserin) were more likely to develop cancer.
After the Food and Drug Administration received the results of this study, the agency ordered the drugmakers to recall Belviq and Belviq XR due to this increased cancer risk.
The Belviq cancer study reviewed by the FDA identified three types of cancer that are associated with the use of this weight loss drug: colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Patients who used Belviq and have been diagnosed with cancer may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
Below is more information about the three types of cancer associated with the use of Belviq.
➢ Colorectal Cancer
Researchers have linked Belviq to an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is also known as bowel cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer. This type of cancer involves the growth of cancer cells in the colon or the rectum, which are both parts of the large intestines.
The symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:
- Abdominal discomfort or pain
- Changes in bowel habits
- Changes in stool consistency
- Feeling like your bowels aren’t empty
- Rectal bleeding (blood in the stool)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Weakness and/or fatigue
Many patients who eventually develop colorectal cancer may show no symptoms during the initial stages of the disease.
While most health guidelines recommend that patients 50 years of age or older undergo regular screenings for colorectal cancer, patients with a family history of the disease or with other risk factors may need to be screened more frequently.
➢ Lung Cancer
Belviq has also been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer.
Although lung cancer occurs most frequently in patients who smoked cigarettes or other tobacco products, the disease can also occur in patients who have never smoked.
Potential symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- Bone pain
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
Lung cancers are divided in two types: small cell lung cancer, a less common form of the disease that occurs among heavy smokers; and non-small cell lung cancer, which includes adenocarcinoma, large cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
If left untreated, lung cancer can spread to other parts of the body (or metastasis), leading to brain cancer or bone cancer.
➢ Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer affects the pancreas, an organ located in the lower stomach area that creates enzymes to help with digestion and to control the body’s blood sugar levels.
The most common form of pancreatic cancer affects cells in the dust that allow digestive enzymes to travel out of the pancreas. This form of the disease is known as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Pancreatic cancer is rarely detected in the early stages of the disease when it is most treatable. Because of the fact that symptoms of pancreatic cancer only appear when the disease has spread to other organs in the body, the disease has a higher mortality rate that other types of cancers.
Some of the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood clots
- Dark-colored urine
- Itchy skin
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
- Light-colored stools
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
While all of these symptoms may be a sign of pancreatic cancer, they can also be associated with other conditions or diseases. Patients who exhibit these symptoms and are worried they may indicate pancreatic cancer may wish to speak with their doctor to determine whether their symptoms are being caused by cancer or other conditions.
➢ Breast Cancer
Some lawsuits filed against Eisai have alleged that Belviq and Belviq XR are linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer diagnosed among women in the United States. Although advances in treatment and diagnosis have helped to significantly reduce the number of deaths caused by breast cancer, tens of thousands of women are still diagnosed with this disease every year.
Some of the most common symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Breast lump
- Changes in breast size or shape
- Skin changes on the breasts
- Inverted nipple
- Skin problems near the nipple or breasts
There are several different types of breast cancer ranging in severity from mild to life-threatening. The different types of breast cancer include:
- Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
- Inflammatory breast cancer
- Invasive lobular carcinoma
- Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
- Paget’s disease of the breast
Because the symptoms of breast cancer may be caused by other conditions, it is important for women to talk with their doctor if they suspect they have breast cancer in order to perform a proper diagnosis. Regular testing can also help to catch breast cancer early so that treatment can begin early in the progress of the disease.
➢ Contact Our Attorneys for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one used Belviq or Belviq XR for weight loss and have been diagnosed with beast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, or pancreatic cancer, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced pharmaceutical liability attorney to learn more about your legal rights.
The law firm of Hissey, Mulderig & Friend has represented thousands of consumers and patients who have been injured as a result of dangerous drugs, unsafe commercial products, or defective medical devices. The lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend believe that all patients and consumers should be entitled to outstanding, professional legal representation to ensure that their rights are fully protected.
For more information about filing a Belviq lawsuit and to receive a free legal consultation from an attorney, contact the law firm of Hissey, Mulderig & Friend. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-210-5686, or by answering a few simple questions on our free online case evaluation form located on the right side of this page.