Belviq, also known as Lorcaserin, is another new weight loss drug approved by the FDA. Lorcaserin helps decrease the intake of food through stimulation of serotonin receptors. The first study (BLOOM or Behavioral Modification and Lorcaserin for Overweight and Obesity Management) showed that that 47.5 percent of patients on Belviq lost five percent or more of their body weight with an average weight loss of 5.8 kg. 20 percent of patients lost five percent or more of their body weight (with an average weight loss of 2.2 kg) in the placebo group. In addition, weight loss was maintained more frequently in patients who continued to use Lorcaserin than in those who were on a placebo. (1)
A second study (2) showed that patients taking Lorcaserin lost an average of 5.8 kg at 52 weeks compared to 2.9 kg in patients taking a placebo. Although the weight loss was not dramatic, compared to the placebo, it was significant.
Anti-obesity medications should be used as an adjunct to behavior and dietary modification, nutrition education, and lifestyle change. The Central Ohio Nutrition Center has found anti-obesity medications especially helpful when used in the maintenance of the weight loss. When used appropriately, they can be another tool in the treatment of obesity!
Smith (2010) NEngl J Med. 363:245-256.
Fidler (2011) J Clin Endocrinol Metab 96:3067-3077