I talked a couple of days ago about why I think it’s important to avoid supporting organizations like the Obesity Action Coalition. Today at the gym I saw an advertisement for the weight loss drug BELVIQ (whose manufacturer gave the OAC over $100,000) that reminded me why I think it’s so important. What I learned about BELVIQ was so ridiculous that it would be funny if it wasn’t completely horrifying:
What does it do to you? (All of these quotes are pulled directly from their website)
Before using BELVIQ, tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, especially medicines that treat depression, migraines, mental problems, or the common cold. These medicines may cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken with BELVIQ. Call your doctor right away if you experience agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in mental status; coordination problems; uncontrolled muscle spasms; muscle twitching; restlessness; racing or fast heartbeat; high or low blood pressure; sweating; fever; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; or stiff muscles.
You read that right, taking BELVIQ with cold medicine could be life threatening.
It is not known if BELVIQ when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products is safe and effective. It is not known if BELVIQ changes your risk of heart problems, stroke, or death due to heart problems or stroke.
There are some combinations that we know can cause serious or life-threatening side effects. Everything else might do that, we really have no idea. Hell, this medicine might kill you on its own, again we just don’t know. I mean, we can’t be expected to know everything right? Shut up and take the pill fatty.
BELVIQ may slow your thinking. You should not drive a car or operate heavy equipment until you know how BELVIQ affects you.
Maybe you remember that “joke” survey in which women were asked if they would choose to be smarter if it meant that they would have a bigger ass. The joke’s on us because that shit just got real.
Some people taking medicines like BELVIQ have had heart valve problems. Call your doctor right away if you experience trouble breathing; swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet; dizziness, fatigue, or weakness that will not go away; or fast or irregular heartbeat.
I mean, who needs working heart valves, fitting into that size whatever is totes worth it y’all!
Taking too much BELVIQ may cause hallucinations, a feeling of being high or in a very good mood, or feelings of standing outside your body.
Careful, you may miss the signs that our drug is killing you because you’re too busy chatting with the purple spotted elephant. But nobody would take too much right? It’s not like it’s addictive.
BELVIQ is a federally controlled substance (CIV) because it may be abused or lead to drug dependence.
Oh, right, it is addictive. Um… But you’ll be thin. Yes, focus on that. Thin thin thin thin thin thin. (Or, you know, probably not but we’ll get to that.)
BELVIQ may cause your heart to beat slower
Which, if you think about it, might help your heart valve hold out a little longer. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature! (sarcasm level is a 10 out of 10 here)
BELVIQ may cause your red and white blood cell counts to decrease.
Are your current high blood cell counts making you look fat? We’ve got you covered.
BELVIQ may increase the amount of a hormone called prolactin. Tell your doctor if your breasts begin to make milk or a milky fluid, or if you are a male and your breasts increase in size.
Maybe you thought it was one of those hallucinations we talked about but nope, you’re lactating!
This medicine may cause your heart and brain to slow down, your white and red blood cell count to drop, your heart to be damaged, and non specific life-threatening side effects. And you may become addicted to it. I’m sure the
scientists accountants working on BELVIQ were relieved to find out that, even though the side effects might make people want to quit, there’s a possibility that they won’t be able to, and as long as they remain fat the drug is recommended for them and paid for by their insurance.
But what are we risking all of this for?
In a major clinical trial, people taking BELVIQ were able to lose weight and maintain weight loss up to 2 years. In the 2-year study, almost half of people who completed the first year continued on in year 2. All people regained weight but remained below their starting weight.
- Almost half of people (47.1%) taking BELVIQ® lost 5% or more of their body weight after 1 year of treatment, compared with those using diet and exercise alone (22.6%)
- Some (22.4%) lost as much as 10% of their body weight after 1 year of treatment, compared with those using diet and exercise alone (8.7%)
First of all, did you catch that HALF the people dropped out of the study at year one. No news from BELVIQ about why – maybe they wanted to take cold medicine without risking their lives? And nobody maintained their weight loss – the most anyone lost was 10% of their body weight before they started regaining, which every single one of them did, even though they were still on the drug.
We know that almost everyone can lose weight on a diet and almost everyone gains it back within the next three to five years. So based on the research what we are seeing is the beginning of the weight regain that will eventually find around 95% of people regaining all of their weight with many gaining back more than they lost, while perhaps becoming addicted to a drug with side effects that include death, or dealing with the long term consequences of taking the drug, which have not been studied at all.
We’re all dying to know, how does it work anyway?
BELVIQ® helps you feel satisfied with less food by targeting a hunger receptor in the brain.
Of course! Feeding your body less food than it needs to survive in the hopes that it will consume itself and become smaller is difficult. BELVIQ can help you become more adept at completely ignoring your body’s signals by messing with your brain. But exactly how does it do that?
The precise way BELVIQ® produces feelings of satisfaction is not fully understood.
And why would we bother to fully understand how it works? I mean, they’re just fat people, they’re barely human. We don’t know how this works, what we do know is that it seems to stop working between year one and year two, that it’s addictive, and that it may seriously harm or kill people. The diagnosis for who should take this dangerous, addictive, and poorly understood drug is a simple ratio of weight and height and as long as that’s in range insurance may even cover it! Hey, let’s offer a free trial on our website – first one’s free!
Now, I’ve been joking around because that’s one of the ways that I deal with the absolute horror of things like this – but make no mistake, this drug is going to kill people. People who could have lived full, happy lives in the bodies that they have now are literally going to die trying to be thin while this company rakes in millions, even billions, in profits. And if, like the victims of Phen-Fen before it, their surviving family members are able to get a settlement because of this company’s complete negligence, it will be cold comfort for them, and just a drop in the bucket of profits for Eisai pharmaceuticals. Right now some doctor somewhere is probably recommending this to an unsuspecting fat person who will take it because they trust their healthcare practitioner not to put their life in danger for no good reason.
The “War on Obesity” is being fought whether we like it or not and, to me, is seems clear that they don’t care if they shrink us or kill us, as long as they don’t have to look at fat people anymore (you know, for our own good.). If they want a war on obesity I will fucking give them one and for me that includes never, ever supporting these companies because it’s truly life and death.
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