Home » In a breakthrough development, US weight loss drug gets nod of FDA

In a breakthrough development, US weight loss drug gets nod of FDA

In a breakthrough development that can pave new way in combating obesity, the FDA or US Food and Drug Administration has given its nod to a weight loss pill after a prolonged wait exceeding a decade. Belviq, the medication that has got FDA nod, is no miracle weight loss product and users will need to resort to healthy lifestyle and exercise to gain optimum benefits, according to FDA. Overweight people above 30 BMI level are permitted to use this drug along with some others below that range who are afflicted with specific health conditions.

There is considerable debate and conflict of opinion in medical community even after FDA has given its approval for Belviq’s usage. San Diego based Arena Pharmaceuticals is maker of this famous weight loss drug which has been hogging the headlines for quite some time. In last decade alone, FDA has refused to give approval to a number of weight loss related drugs and a few have been withdrawn from market owing to risk of several side effects on users. As per latest FDA recommendation, every weight loss drug will have to undergo cardiovascular risk test, a move that will surely prolong duration of clinical trial.

Incidentally, FDA turned down Arena’s first application in 2010 for this same drug. At that time, the pharmaceutical company could not come up with convincing evidence of its medicine’s cardiovascular safety. Similar to some other weight loss products, Belviq reduces craving for food by controlling secretion of serotonin, a compound generated in human brain that makes people feel hungry. FDA finally gave its nod to this drug after Arena came up with reports of its recent echo cardiograms performed on candidates which showed no abnormalities. However, as per its agreement with FDA, Arena will conduct post-marketing studies. People suffering from congestive heart failure have been forbidden from using the medicine.

Proponents of the drug feel that it may have some side effects but the benefits outweigh its drawbacks. The medicine will be sold in the USA under license of Tokyo-based Eisai Corporation. However, obese individuals in the SSA may not be able to get their hands on it until it is cleared by Drug Enforcement Administration and that may take a few months. Therefore, in all probability it will not hit the shelves before 2013.

As per FDA guidelines, users of this drug should adhere to a balanced and low fat diet and they also need to work out to get benefits. However, there are skeptics who do not think using this drug will bring any miracle to obese people. Research indicates that an obese man or woman can lose up to 5% to 10% of body fat by using this drug over a year. However, there is no guarantee that people losing weight after using this medicine will not gain weight in long run owing to lifestyle factors and overeating.

There are other weight loss medicines in market that also works on same principles of Belviq. It is hard to find a drug that helps you lose weight drastically nod has no side effect. Doctors always recommend that these products can be considered as a means to augment an existing weight loss regime. Besides, you may not be able to use these drugs if you have cardiac ailments and some other physical conditions. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not rely solely on any weight loss pill to get rid of body fat. Instead, opt for medically tested and proven weight loss plans. HCG based weight loss programs can be of help in this context to obese men and women.


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