Belviq and Belviq XR are the brand names of a drug manufactured by Eisai, Inc. called orcaserin. Marketed as a weight-loss drug, lorcaserin alters the user’s brain chemistry to reduce appetite.
Because it manipulates serotonin reuptake, patients were advised not to take Belviq or Belviq XR with other medications that effect that neurochemical system. This may include antidepressants and serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
This is due to possible drug interaction and an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. Severe cases of serotonin syndrome can be life-threatening.
After analyzing data from a five-year study of 12,000 participants, the FDA concluded that the drug poses an unacceptable risk of cancer. On February 13, 2020, the FDA advised patients to stop taking Belviq and Belviq XR immediately, and asked Eisai to voluntarily withdraw the drug from the market.
The most common cancers being associated with Belviq or Belviq XR include: