Belviq Cancer Concerns Lead to Recall
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Belviq Cancer Concerns Lead to Recall
Americans have been shocked and confused about the recent Belviq cancer worries that have led to its recall. The weight-loss drug appeared promising for thousands who hoped to regain control over their health. As many have struggled to understand what went wrong, the following explains why Belviq was recalled, the studies behind it, and what you can do if you or someone you know has cancer after using the drug.
Does Belviq cause cancer?
In their most recent update, the FDA has said they “cannot conclude that lorcaserin contributes to the cancer risk” based on a five-year study known as the CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 trial.
However, another concerning study was done in 2010 that showed rats developed “mammary gland tumors” after being given Belviq. Despite being initially rejected for FDA approval because of this, the drug manufacturer continued to push for Belviq’s approval instead of investigating the cause of the tumors in rats.
As studies continue to unfold, former Belviq users are reporting cancer diagnoses.
What is Belviq (Lorcaserin)?
Lorcaserin is a weight loss drug sold under the names Belviq and Belviq XR. San Diego-based Arena Pharmaceuticals originally created it, then sold it to Japanese-based Eisai Pharmaceuticals in 2017.
Belviq works by triggering chemical signals in the brain that help a person feel more full and satisfied, essentially causing them to eat less. It was available by prescription for those struggling to lose weight by diet and exercise alone with a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher or additional health complications, such as diabetes.
Studies Draw a Link Between Belviq and Cancer
Thousands of Belviq patients who relied upon it to assist them with weight loss were now faced with a new concern: cancer. When Eisai Pharmaceuticals announced they were voluntarily recalling their drug in February 2020, the news drew strong reactions from users.
Belviq’s CAMELLIA-TIMI 61 Trial
Even though Belviq received FDA approval in 2012, it was released with a requirement: Eisai Pharmaceuticals must complete a five-year clinical trial to evaluate whether the drug caused heart problems, a common risk with other weight loss medications.
The study was done on 12,000 men and women over the course of five years, 400 locations, and eight continents.
Since the aim of the study was to determine whether Belviq increased the risk of heart problems, all of those in the study either had or were at risk for cardiovascular disease.
To help rule out any bias, the study was also double-blind. This means that treatment is given without the researchers or those in the test group knowing who is receiving the real drug or the placebo.
FDA Requests a Recall on Belviq
The study results showed no increase in the rate of heart conditions, but they did show that a percentage of those using Belviq developed cancer.
Even though the study hasn’t necessarily concluded that Belviq causes cancer, the FDA alerted Eisai Pharmaceuticals that the group who took Belviq showed a higher rate. Participants who used it had a 7.7% rate of cancer, compared with 7.1% in those who were given a dummy pill. According to the FDA, Belviq’s risks outweighed its potential benefits and they requested its recall.
Eisai Pharmaceuticals issued a voluntary recall on Belviq and Belviq XR, effectively removing them from the US market.
Types of Cancer Linked to Belviq
There are three types of cancer associated with Belviq:
The vast majority of people who used Belviq had preexisting health conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and even depression. Adding a cancer diagnosis to that list not only means substantially higher medical costs, but devastating emotional pain and suffering as well.
Eisai Pharmaceutical’s gross oversight of Belviq cancer risks ultimately leaves consumers to pay for the mistake.
If you used Belviq or Belviq XR, you have legal rights that require the drug manufacturers to properly warn you of its risks before use. In this case, Eisai Pharmaceuticals has not taken cautionary action to ensure the safety of the general public, leaving patients open to potentially serious side effects and themselves the target of thousands of lawsuits.
Have you or someone you know been diagnosed with cancer after using Belviq? The dangerous drug attorneys at Searcy Denney are currently investigating claims for those who have used Belviq or Belviq XR and have pancreatic, colorectal, or lung cancer. Please use the form on this page to learn more about filing a Belviq lawsuit.
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Belviq Cancer FAQs
What are the known side effects of Belviq?
Reports of side effects vary between Belviq users and may also depend on other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. However, the most common side effects associated with Belviq are:
How do I report Belviq side effects?
Reporting your side effects helps the FDA monitor the safety of a drug, so you are encouraged to do so. Whether you’ve experienced the above adverse reactions or other effects not listed, you can let the FDA know by:
- Calling them at (855) 543-DRUG — press “4” on the menu when prompted
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Downloading the reporting form here
At any time, you may also contact the dangerous drug attorneys at Searcy Denney to file a claim for injuries you’ve suffered due to Belviq use.
Should I stop taking Belviq?
The FDA has recommended that all Belviq patients stop taking the drug and talk to their doctors immediately. They have also suggested that you properly dispose of the drug or take unused pills to a drug take-back location.
Why are people filing Belviq lawsuits?
For those who have been diagnosed with pancreatic, colorectal, or lung cancer after using Belviq, there may be compensation available to assist with a number of damages. The unfortunate reality is that thousands of people trusted in Belviq to help them lose weight while actually exposing them to higher cancer risks.
Compensation from a lawsuit can help with:
- Medical costs and doctor visits related to injuries
- Cancer treatment
- Missed paychecks or future income due to injuries
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Are all Belviq lawyers equally qualified?
Similar to how lawsuits vary in their needs, lawyers and law firms vary in their qualifications. Belviq lawsuits fall under a legal category called pharmaceutical litigation. One of the first traits you will want to look for in a Belviq lawyer is their experience with successfully handling cases similar to yours. You can also catch a glimpse of their strengths by checking past verdicts and settlements.
Secondly, make sure the law firm you choose can stand against the rich financial backing of drug manufacturers. Lastly, ask your lawyer if he or she has real courtroom experience. Even though most cases settle before ever making it to trial, your lawyer should be fully prepared to defend your case in court.
At Searcy Denney, our pharmaceutical litigation experience spans over 40 years. We’ve helped secure $5 billion for injured consumers and have the resources to stand against Big Pharma. We prepare each case as if it were going to trial and have been doing this for decades.
Contact the Belviq Cancer Attorneys at Searcy Denney
Don’t wait; contact us today to learn how you might be compensated for your cancer after using Belviq. Receive a free case review at (800) 388-3905.
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