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Doctors warn against use of weight-loss drug

The FDA requested the drug manufacturer to voluntarily withdraw lorcaserin, after a post-marketing trial with more than 12,000 subjects revealed an increased occurrence of cancer.

The FDA requested the drug manufacturer to voluntarily withdraw lorcaserin, after a post-marketing trial with more than 12,000 subjects revealed an increased occurrence of cancer.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

It has been withdrawn from the U.S.

Indian doctors have cautioned against the use of lorcaserin (brandname Belviq or Belviq XR), a weight-loss drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently said is linked to a “possible increased risk of cancer.”

“Lorcaserin has been withdrawn from the U.S. market after caution by the FDA because of cancer risk. We have been using this drug to help reduce weight but were not impressed by results. We are now informing all our patients,” said endocrinologist Anoop Misra.

The FDA requested the drug manufacturer to voluntarily withdraw lorcaserin, after a post-marketing trial with more than 12,000 subjects revealed an increased occurrence of cancer.

The agency also said that health care professionals should stop prescribing and dispensing the drug to patients.

“Contact patients currently taking lorcaserin, inform them of the increased occurrence of cancer seen in the clinical trial, and ask them to stop taking the medicine. Discuss alternative weight-loss medicines or strategies with your patients,” it advised.

The decision is based on the agency’s review of the five-year trial, which was designed to evaluate cardiac health risk with the drug and ended in June 2018. There was one additional cancer observed for every 470 patients treated for a year.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 12:07:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/doctors-warn-against-use-of-weight-loss-drug/article30830956.ece

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