The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Belviq, a new drug that aims to fight obesity and can help people drop about five percent of their body weight. The pill will hit the market next week.
Those who have a weight-related condition such as Type 2 diabetes or hypertension, along with a body mass index of 27, or those with a BMI higher than 30, are eligible for the prescription drug.
The drug, also known as lorcaserin hydrochloride, stimulates a serotonin receptor in the brain to help patients eat less or feel full after eating smaller amounts of food.
Don’t expect to shed a ton of weight on Belviq, though, as industry experts say the results are modest. In a clinical trial, those on Belviq went from an average of 227 pounds to 207 pounds. On the similar drug Qsymia, which hit the market in September, they got down to 204 pounds.
Belviq was approved last year but got held up in some regulatory red tape. For one, the drug is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule IV controlled substance, which means it could be abused.
The drug is being released by Arena Pharmaceuticals and partner Eisai Co.
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