FDA Approves New Weight Loss Pill â€˜Belviqâ€™
'Belviq', is the first new prescription drug for long-term weight loss to enter the U.S. market in over a decade. Arena Pharmaceutical's anti-obesity pill 'Belviq' has been approved by The Food and Drug Administration.
Obesity over the past few decades has increased dramatically in children and adults. Factors like Junk food and lack of exercise had tripled the rate of obesity especially in the U.S. This has triggered the progress of diet pills. With so many diet pills in the market it is very difficult for the consumer to distinguish the effective ones from the fake one.
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But 'Belviq', is the first new prescription drug for long-term weight loss to enter the U.S. market in over a decade. Arena Pharmaceutical's anti-obesity pill 'Belviq' has been approved by The Food and Drug Administration. The drug achieved only modest results in clinical studies, helping people lose on average about 5% of their body weight. The pill is recommended for adults who are obese or are overweight with at least one medical complication, such as diabetes or high cholesterol.
It was in the year 2010 that FDA had denied approval for Arena's drug because of concerns over tumours that developed in animals tested with the drug. The company resubmitted the drug with additional data earlier this year, and the FDA said there was little risk of tumours in humans.
FDA's drug center director, Dr. Janet Woodcock, said in a statement, "The approval of this drug, used responsibly in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, provides a treatment option for Americans who are obese or are overweight and have at least one weight-related comorbid condition."
This drug that is designed to cut appetite signals in the brain, reduce hunger pangs making them feel full with little quantity of food is expected to hit the markets in 2013. Though, FDA bans pregnant women or nursing mothers from consuming this drug.
In a statement, the FDA said Belviq did not appear to carry the same risks.
However, known side effects of Belviq do include depression, migraine and memory lapses.
The FDA-approved label says the drug should not be used for more than 12 weeks if a 5% weight loss does not occur.
The only other FDA-approved prescription drug for long-term weight loss is Xenical from Roche, approved 13 years ago but rarely prescribed.