At last: New obesity drug available


After years with a dearth of anti-obesity drugs, Eisai and Arena Pharmaceuticals just announced that Belviq (locaserin) will be available to patients on June 11.

Belviq is a prescription drug that is approved for obese adults whose body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more, and for overweight adults (BMI of 27 -30) who have at least one weight-related condition. Such conditions include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and abnormal blood lipid levels.

The drug acts on the serotonin receptors in the brain, so that users feel full sooner. It was classified as a Schedule IV drug by the DEA, indicating that it has low potential for abuse.

Qsymia and Orlistat are the only other approved weight-loss pharmaceuticals currently available in the United States.

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava commented It s a good sign that we re seeing more of these pharmaceuticals making it to market. In our battle with obesity and overweight we need all the weapons we can get.