Over the past 13 years, only two weight loss drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The second of the two is called Belviq and is generating a storm of news, information and interest amongst the media and individuals who are looking for a way to lose weight. The first of these two drugs was called Qsymia and has been out for well over a decade now.
The newest pill is from a company called Arena Pharmaceuticals and the generic name of the compound is Lorcaserin. During the time when the drug was being developed, it was being called Lorqess. However, if you are to read through many of the Belviq reviews available online, you’ll quickly find out that it might not be the miracle pill that people have been waiting for.
What does Belviq Do?
At its core, Lorcaserin affects the chemistry of the brain in a way that suppresses appetite. More specifically, this new drug has an effect on a neurotransmitter named serotonin. It is part of a class of compounds known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSSRIs) which are traditionally used for treating psychological disorders such as depression. This means that this drug essentially stops serotonin from being cleaned out of the synaptic cleft, therefore increasing the overall availability of the neurotransmitter (and thus, its effects).
Scientists have also known for a while now that this class of molecules have many other effects than those useful for treating mental disorders. These drugs change the way the brain works which in turn can affect the way people feel, think and perceive their environment.
The range of effects that antidepressants can have (other than help fighting depression) is quite extensive and isn’t only limited to appetite control. Some increase appetite which is the direct opposite of Belviq. One example is Zyban is a drug designed to help people quit smoking tobacco but it was originally marketed as an antidepressant called Wellbutrin.
The pharmaceutical industry is literally filled with drugs that originally had completely different purposes. One of the most famous is Viagra, which was originally designed to be a heart medication.
It works, if you listen to the company who sells it...
Arena Pharmaceuticals have performed many scientific studies and clinical trials on Lorcaserin. The FDA is quite strict on what drugs it lets through to market. In the clinical studies, it was found that individuals who took Belviq lost on average more weight than those who were given a placebo instead. But the difference in weight lost was termed as “slight”, even though the total weight lost was twice that of those taking the placebo.
However, here is the kicker: in practically all cases, once the trials were done and people stopped taking the drug, the weight was entirely regained. But this is obvious if you think about it. The drug is designed to reduce appetite and cravings for food, which drives people to eat less. So it stands to reason that while they were taking the drug, people ate less but returned to their initial eating habits once they stopped taking the drug, which explains the weight regain.
Beware of the (many) Belviq side effects
You don’t need to read the many Belviq Reviews to know that the side effects this drug has are many. In fact, the list is quite daunting and anyone who reads it and isn’t instantly convinced that taking it is a bad idea is quite foolish.
Here is just a taste of that list of side effects. Constipation, nausea, dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, back pain, low blood sugar, headaches, coughing, lowering of the heart rate, painful erections (!?), problems with heart valves, slowed brain function, euphoria (the only “good” one) and hallucination.
But that’s not all, it gets worse. The Drug Enforcement Agency has classified Belviq as a Class IV controlled substance, which means that it can be addictive. To top it all off, the FDA originally rejected the drug because it was found to cause tumors in the animals they used to perform the earlier studies.
It is a wonder why in the world the FDA would reverse their stand on a drug that can cause cancer, especially when the European equivalent of the FDA (the European Medecines Agency) rejected the drug entirely. Arena Pharmaceuticals haven’t pushed harder to get their drug approved in Europe.
Even doctors are saying to stay away from this “miracle” drug
There is no denying that obesity is an epidemic in the United States that needs to be dealt with. As it stands, it might even have surpassed smoking as the top cause of preventable deaths. No number of positive Belviq reviews will change that. With all the side effects that Belviq has (that we know of) it is truly a wonder how it got passed the FDA and was approved for sale in the United States. As a bit of redemption, it is worth noting that the FDA has required that Arena Pharmaceuticals continue performing studies to determine the long term effects of the drug on people who use it regularly.
But what doctors are concerned about is whether or not the little weight loss (5 to 7 percent of total body weight, according to the studies) that Belviq can bring to its users can outweigh its potentially disastrous side effects. And on top of that, the clinical studies have demonstrated that not all individuals who take the drug respond to it effectively. This means that many people will be exposing themselves to the dangerous side effects without even profiting from the positive effects, you know, the ones that are marketed to people.
Because the studies that have been performed have only accounted for the short term effects of Belviq, it is still unknown how serious the long term effects of continuous use actually are. And that’s only in patients who are only taking Belviq in terms of medication. The studies can’t possibly account for all the different combination of drugs that people might be taking in addition to this weight loss pill at any given time.
As of right now, all we can do to see if Belviq will be worth using is to wait and see. But that doesn’t mean that overweight people don’t have any options when it comes to weight loss. There are many programs out there that teach healthy eating habits and smart people will tak advantage of that available knowledge instead of waiting for any type of miracle pill.