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Belviq (lorcaserin) is a pill that helps people lose weight by suppressing appetite. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Belviq for use in:
- people who are considered to be obese because they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. BMI is a calculation that uses your height and weight to estimate your body fatness.
- people who are overweight (they have a BMI of 27 or above) who also have at least one weight-related health condition, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.
The FDA says that Belviq should be used in addition to, not instead of, reducing your calories and exercising to lose weight and maintain weight loss long term. Belviq works by activating a certain area of the brain called the serotonin 2C receptor. When activated, this receptor can make you feel full faster, so that you stop eating sooner and eat less than usual.
In studies, nearly half of the people who took Belviq along with dieting and exercise lost at least 5 percent of their total body weight. In people who had type 2 diabetes, 38 percent lost at least 5 percent of their total body weight after taking Belviq, while only 16 percent of people with the disease who did not take Belviq lost that much weight. Taking Belviq also appeared to help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels better.
The FDA recommends that people who take Belviq for 12 weeks and don't lose at least 5 percent of their total body weight should discontinue taking the drug, because it is unlikely to help them achieve significant weight loss.
Belviq, a medication for long-term weight management, is approved for people 18 years and older whose body mass index (BMI) is 30 or greater. Adults with BMI of 27 or greater may qualify if they have at least one additional weight-related condition. Generally, adults with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese.
Belviq is part of a weight loss plan that includes diet and exercise. It must be prescribed by a doctor, and used under their supervision, since it carries potentially serious side effects.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.