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Diet Drug Lorcaserin Safe, Effective, Study Finds

Half of Dieters Lost 5% of Their Body Weight in a Year

Expert: ‘Modest Weight Loss, Good Safety Profile’ continued...

But he added that the safety and adverse event profile of the new drug appears to be slightly better than Meridia and Xenical.

In an interview with WebMD, Astrup talked about the need for more safe and effective drugs to address the obesity epidemic.

“This drug seems to be extremely safe, with almost no side effects,” he says. “The flip side of the coin is that the weight loss produced was not dramatic. But we know that even a 5% weight loss, which many patients achieved with this drug in combination with diet, can lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.”

Race for FDA Approval

Lorcaserin is one of three prescription drugs poised to enter the U.S. market pending FDA approval, but it may not be the first.

On Thursday, an FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet to consider approval of the drug Qnexa, and the federal agency is expected to decide on the application in October.

The FDA is also considering approval of the drug Contrave, which, like Qnexa, combines an antidepressant and an anticonvulsant drug.

Like Astrup, Smith, who is a consultant for Arena Pharmaceuticals, believes patients would benefit from more pharmaceutical choices to help them win the battle of the bulge.

“There is a huge unmet need, and I don’t think two drugs is enough given the extent of the problem,” he says.


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