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Diet Pill Belviq Approved; First New Weight Loss Drug in 13 Years

It promises to help patients lose five-to-ten percent of their weight (according to clinical trials) when combined with diet and exercise. But is this what America’s overweight patients really need?

Lorcaserin, the drug name for the prescription diet pill Belviq, was approved by the FDA today, making it the first weight loss drug to receive such approval since Orlistat (Alli) in 1999. This comes just weeks ahead of what is anticipated to be an FDA approval for Qnexa, another weight loss drug.

“In two clinical trials, Lorcaserin helped patients lose 5.8 percent of their body weight after a year. That’s about ten pounds for a 180 pound person. Big deal,” said our resident dietitian Mary Hartley, RD.

The drug works by controlling the appetite by making the brain think its fuller sooner. It’s fared well in clinical trials, and will have to undergo six more studies after its in market to ensure long-term cardiovascular health and to determine Belviq’s risk factor for heart attack and stroke. This makes the in-market patients unassuming guinea pigs, according to Hartley, and that isn’t right.

“The advisory committee decided that the benefits of the drug outweighed the risks heart value problems, but the drug manufacturer was made to conduct post-marketing studies to assess long-term cardiac events such as heart attack and stroke. That makes the patient a guinea pig. No thanks.”
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Does Taking Xenical Make You Eat Worse?

xenicalA new study is suggesting that the diet drug Orlistat, more popularly known under its prescription name Xenical, doesn’t help people improve their eating habits. But it’s even being suggested that it has the opposite effect.

When Xenical works, it blocks the absorption of fat in the intestines. Users are advised to reduce their dietary fat intake, consuming no more than 30 percent of their calories from fat each day.

This is what The Diet Blog has to say:

A new study suggests the popular diet drug Orlistat… doesn’t inspire people to improve their diets, instead individuals popping Xenical are more likely to eat worse. How’s that for irony.
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