Ever since it gained FDA approval, Belviq has been making headlines and making waves.
Belviq is touted as the “next big thing” in the dieting industry. It offers powerful appetite-suppressing, mood-enhancing effects through the use of a single ingredient: Lorcaserin Hydrochloride. Furthermore, it’s designed for long-term use!
Yet is Belviq as amazing as advertisements would have you believe?
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What Makes Belviq Unique?
Since Sibutramine and Fenfluramine’s removal back in 1997, the FDA was reluctant to approve new obesity drugs. Concerns about heart valve damage, tumors, and similar conditions made it almost impossible for a new product to get the green light.
However, after years of clinical research and testing involving over 8,000 participants, Belviq received FDA approval in June 2012, about the same time Qsymia also gained approval.
Lorcaserin, its sole ingredient, interacts with and blocks serotonin receptors responsible for regulating satiety and appetite. When used correctly, this results in feeling fuller for longer. Belviq makes it easier to stick to a healthy, low-calorie diet.
According to placebo controlled studies, Belviq users lost an average of 3% to 3.7% more weight than those who received a placebo.
After taking Belviq for 1-2 years, close to 47% of healthy individuals lost 5% of their body weight while only 23% of the placebo group lost the same amount.
Over a 1 to 2 year period, a 200 lb. adult would lose 10 pounds according to studies.
Perhaps slow and steady wins the weight loss race for some with this medication.
Should You Be Worried About Side Effects?
Because Belviq affects serotonin, like Fenfluramine, many express concern over its potential for abuse. However, this medication has recently been listed as a Schedule IV drug which means it’s been listed as having a low potential for abuse.
Belviq is fairly safe in prescribed amounts, but in larger doses there can be concern, it can be addictive and dangerous. According to reports, taking excessive amounts of Belviq may trigger different serotonin switches than the intended appetite regulators.
Consequently, Belviq is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
Even when taken in safe dosages, however, Belviq, like any medication, may trigger side effects, including:
• Dry Mouth
Furthermore, according to reports, diabetics who take Belviq may experience additional side effects such as:
• Back Pain
• Low Blood Sugar
Originally, Belviq was denied FDA approval in 2007 due to rumors and claims of heart-valve damage and tumors.
However, an FDA press release states, “When used at the approved dose of 10 milligrams twice a day, Belviq does not appear to activate the serotonin 2B receptor,” which causes heart damage.
Belviq is available in 10 mg tablets, which your doctor will prescribe according to your individual needs.
Some users may only need 1 tablet twice daily to lose weight while others may need 2 tablets per serving.
The supplement is designed for long-term use – potentially for life – so do not stop taking Belviq until your doctor instructs you to do so.
Dieters should also keep in mind Belviq can slow thinking. Until you know its full effects, do not drive or operate heavy machinery after use.
Missed Dosage: Typically speaking, if you miss a dose, take your next dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine if you miss a dose.
Overdose: Belviq, as with any medication, may cause more severe side effects (see above) if taken in large dosages. Seek emergency medical attention or call the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222 if you do overdose.
Who Can Take Belviq?
Belviq is not for those who simply want to lose a few pounds and be done in a month.
Rather, it is designed as a long-term solution for individuals with a BMI of 30 or greater. Those with a BMI of 27 who have weight-related medical conditions such as diabetes type 2, high blood pressure, or cholesterol may be prescribed Belviq as well depending on the individual based on an assessment from a medical professional.
Women who are pregnant, nursing, or may become pregnant should not use Belviq.
Inform your doctor if you have diabetes, congestive heart failure, sickle cell anemia, kidney disease or any other medical condition before taking Belviq.
When Will Belviq Be Released?
Belviq was just recently made available in the United States after being approved by the FDA in 2012.
Is Belviq For You?
Belviq is not for everyone. Though it does provide reliable, albeit slow, results, any prescription pill’s side effects may outweigh the benefits so it’s important to communicate regularly with your doctor if you do begin using this medication.
What are your thoughts on Belviq?
 Yao, Stephanie (2012). “FDA approves Belviq to treat some overweight or obese adults.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 17 Oct. 2012. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm309993.htm