Oh boy, the FDA approved the first weight-loss drug in 13 years! Could Belviq be the magic pill to cure the obesity epidemic? I mean, oh no, the FDA approved the first weight-loss drug in 13 years. When will people realize there IS NO magic pill capable of curing the obesity epidemic?
Here's the long and short of it: Historically, diet pills either don't work or end up being harmful to your health. Prescriptions for Fen-phen, the last diet pill on the market to actually work, were written every month by the millions ... until it was taken off the market when the FDA discovered that up to a third of its users developed heart valve damage. (The fallout was NOT pretty, if you recall.) Anyway, the troubling thing about Belviq thus far is that it sounds like it might fall into both categories.
First of all, does it work? Let's just say Belviq's performance in clinical trials was ... not exactly awe-inpsiring: Over the course of a year, "patients lost about 3% of their initial body weight, which works out to just six pounds off a 200 pound frame." Um, yay? Oh, and to keep those pounds off, patients have to keep taking Belviq for the rest of their lives.
Wow, it's like a weight-loss miracle in pill form. Or ... something. With results like that, potential risks like depression, migraines, memory lapses and -- surprise, surprise -- heart valve problems. In fact, Belviq's potential for causing heart valve problems caused the FDA to reject it way back in ... 2010. Hmmm.
Oh well. The good news? Belviq is predicted to bring in as much as 1 billion dollars per year! So the people taking it might be overweight, depressed and have heart problems, but at least the people making it will be rich.
Do you think Belviq sounds like a safe, effective drug for weight-loss?
Image via Keith Ramsey/Flickr