Reader Harry sent me this article about the diet drug Belviq. Trials have shown that it may cause an increased risk of cancers. Nothing is for sure, the FDA explained “at this time, the cause of the cancer is uncertain, and we cannot conclude that lorcaserin [Belviq] contributes to the cancer risk.”
If Belviq sounds familiar, it may be because I’ve written about it, and its absolutely charming list of side-effects. before – if you enjoy the possibility of getting addicted to a drug that is almost entirely useless and can cause depression and suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, lowered heart rate, lowered red and white blood cell count, and spontaneous lactation, then Belviq may be for you!
Now that cancer may be part of that list, the FDA’s recommendation is:
Health care professionals should consider if the benefits of taking lorcaserin are likely to exceed the potential risks when deciding whether to prescribe or continue patients on lorcaserin.
And what are the “benefits? According to Belviq’s literature:
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%)
- Almost half the people dropped out at year one. There is no follow up on why, or what happened to these people.
- Less than half of those managed to lose 5% or more of their weight.
- The most subjects lost was about 10% of their body weight…before they started regaining
- Nobody maintained their weight loss – every single participant started regaining weight, even though they were still on the drug.
- We know that people typically start regaining after year 1, and regain all their weight (often including more) by year 5. Belviq has used an old trick of weight loss companies, ending their study at year two and claiming that, while everyone regained weight, they were still below their starting weight. Of course they forgot to mention that they were on a trajectory to continue gaining.
And for this, doctors may think it’s worth risking our lives.
As I said before, make no mistake, diet drugs kill people. People who could have lived full, happy lives in fat bodies instead die young trying to be thin while these companies 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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