FDA Says Weight Loss Drug Lorcaserin May Increase Risk of Cancer

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By : dLife Editors

The FDA has issued a safety alert for the weight management medicine Belviq, Belviq XR (lorcaserin) due to a possible increased risk of cancer with the use of the drug.

The agency stated in a press release that results from a clinical trial assessing safety show a possible increased risk of cancer with the drug.

“At this time, the cause of the cancer is uncertain, and we cannot conclude that lorcaserin contributes to the cancer risk. However, we wanted to make the public aware of this potential risk,” the FDA stated in the advisory.

The FDA is continuing to evaluate the clinical trial results and will communicate its final conclusions and recommendations once review is complete.

Lorcaserin is a prescription medicine that was approved by FDA in 2012 for use with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity to help weight loss in adults who are obese or are overweight and have weight-related medical problems.

Lorcaserin works by increasing feelings of fullness so that less food is eaten. It is available as a tablet (Belviq) and an extended-release tablet (Belviq XR).

The FDA recommends that health care professionals should consider the benefits of taking lorcaserin versus the potential risks when deciding whether to prescribe or continue patients on lorcaserin.

Patients who are currently taking lorcaserin are encouraged to talk to their health care professionals about the potential increased risk of cancer with use of lorcaserin.

Health care professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

Complete and submit the report online.
Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the form or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.


  1. Food and Drug Administration. (2020, Jan. 16). Belviq, Belviq XR (lorcaserin): Drug Safety Communication – Due to Possible Increased Risk of Cancer. Retrieved Jan. 16, 2020 from https://www.fda.gov/safety/medical-product-safety-information/belviq-belviq-xr-lorcaserin-drug-safety-communication-due-possible-increased-risk-cancer