FDA orders recall of Belviq weight loss drug after study finds increased cancer risk
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has requested that Eisai Inc., the manufacturer of the weight loss drug Belviq, recall the drug after a study found that it could increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, or lung cancer.
The FDA has advised patients who are taking Belviq or Belviq XR to stop using the drug immediately due to concerns that it may cause cancer. Belviq users have been advised to speak with their health care provider to discuss alternative weight loss treatments that are not associated with an increased cancer risk.
Patients who used Belviq or Belviq XR and were diagnosed with cancer may qualify to file a lawsuit. For more information about filing a claim, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend to schedule a free legal consultation.
Study shows Belviq may cause cancer
When Belviq was approved by the FDA in 2012, the agency was concerned that patients taking the drug may face an increased risk of developing cancer. The FDA ordered Eisai to conduct a study in order to determine whether Belviq could increase the chances that patients who used the drug might be diagnosed with cancer.
The study followed 12,000 patients who were given either Belviq or a placebo. Researchers tracked these patients over a period of five years in order to determine whether the patients who took Belviq were more likely than non-users to be diagnosed with cancer.
In January 2020, the FDA received the preliminary results from these safety studies. The agency found that preliminary data showed that Belviq may indeed be associated with an increased cancer risk.
In February 2020, the agency received the full results of Eisai’s Belviq cancer studies. These studies confirmed the preliminary results that the FDA reviewed the previous month: patients taking Belviq were more likely to develop cancer, including pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancer.
What is Belviq?
Belviq (lorcaserin) is a prescription medication that is designed to help patients lose weight in conjunction with diet and exercise. The drug was approved by the FDA in 2012, and went on the market in the U.S. shortly thereafter.
Belviq is designed to help patients lose weight by targeting the body’s serotonin 2C receptors, which makes users of the drug feel more full, helping them to eat less.
Belviq was the first prescription drug approved by the FDA for weight loss since Fen Phen and Redux. Both of these drugs were recalled by the FDA in the 1990s after they were associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular problems.
What types of cancer are linked to Belviq?
According to the FDA, patients who use Belviq may face an increased risk of developing the following types of cancers:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
The FDA initially rejected Belviq for approval in 2010, after studies showed that the weight loss drug caused an increase in brain cancer and breast cancer in laboratory animals. After the manufacturers were able to convince the FDA that these cancers were specific to lab animals and would not occur in humans, the drug was eventually granted FDA approval.
Free Legal Consultation for Belviq Users With Cancer
If you or a loved one used Belviq or Belviq XR for weight loss and were diagnosed with cancers such as pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, or lung cancer, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced pharmaceutical liability attorney who can guide you through the next steps in filing a claim.
The lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend represent clients across the U.S. who were injured by dangerous drugs, defective consumer products, and unsafe medical devices. Our law firm believes that all Americans who have been injured due the negligence of drug companies or corporations should have the right to experienced, professional legal counsel.
For more information about filing a Belviq cancer lawsuit, contact the attorneys at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-210-5686, or by filling out our free case evaluation form located on the right side of this page.