Belviq FAQs

The FDA approved two new weight loss medications in 2012 for long term weight loss – the first one is Qsymia which is a combination of two existing medications Phentermine and Topiramate. The 2nd one is Belviq (Lorcaserin)

Belviq Available In The United States From Today, June 11th, 2013.

Belviq in New York City and Philadelphia
Belviq in NYC and Philadelphia
  • Belviq Overview
  • Belviq Side Effects
  • Belviq Cost
  • Belviq Availability
  • Belviq Indications
  • Belviq Contra-Indicatons
  • Belviq Doctors
  • Belviq Insurance Coverage
  • Belviq and Qsymia

Why we need weight loss medications for long term use?

More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, and obesity contributes to a number of health conditions, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.

To help obese and overweight Americans who have been unsuccessful in getting their weight under control with diet and exercise, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two new medications—the first drugs for long-term weight management that FDA has approved in 13 years.

What is Belviq?

Developed by Arena Pharmaceuticals and launched in the US Market today, Belviq is an anorectic weight loss medication that has serotonergic properties that helps suppress the appetite.

What Are The Indications for Belviq? 
You may be a candidate for taking Belviq or Qsymia if you are at least 18 and:
• your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or greater (obese); or
• your BMI is 27 or greater (overweight) and you have at least one other weight-related condition.

What Are The Common Side Effects Of Belviq?

Generally, lorcaserin was shown in phase III testing to be a mild and tolerable agent.

Trial participants found lorcaserin about as tolerable as placebo, with 7% of participants in both the lorcaserin drug and placebo arms dropping out due to side effects.

Lorcaserin had the lowest discontinuation rates due to adverse events of any obesity drug in a phase III trial, as compared to discontinuation rates due to adverse events for bupropion/naltrexone (26% vs 13% for placebo), phentermine/topiramate (18% vs 9% for placebo), orlistat (7% vs 4% for placebo), sibutramine (9% vs 9%) and rimonabant (15% vs 7%).

How Does Belviq Work?

Belviq—the trade name for the drug lorcaserin— is a 10 mg tablet taken twice a day that works by activating a part of the brain that controls hunger.

What Is The Price of Belviq?

Arena (ARNA) has disclosed that the wholesale price for its anti-obesity drug Belviq is $199.50 for a 60 count bottle (a 1 month supply)

Where Can I Be Evaluated To See If  Belviq Is Right For Me?

Belviq is a prescription only weight loss medication and has to be evaluated by a trained and licensed physician familiar with obesity and the treatment of obesity. If you live close a W8MD medical weight loss center location, you may want to consider visiting the closest w8md center to be evaluated to see if Belviq, Qsymia or other weight loss medications or non medication VLCD or LCD diet might be right for you.

Can Belviq Or Qsymia Be Used For Long Term Use?

Marketed as Belviq and Qsymia, these prescription medications would be taken for the rest of a person’s life. “For many people, obesity is a lifelong condition, but we don’t always think of it—or treat it—as such,” says Amy Egan, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director for safety in FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products (DMEP).

“Qsymia and Belviq are considered life-long therapies in patients who respond to and tolerate them,” says Egan.

The drugs are meant to be used in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise, says Mary Roberts, M.D., a medical officer in DMEP.

“These drugs are another tool to be used by someone trying to reach and stay at a healthy weight,” she says.

Why The FDA was right this time?

Although the FDA was a bit too late and tardy in approving weight loss medications despite the huge epidemic of obesity, they got it right this time approving these two new weight loss medications, according to Dr. Prab R. Tumpati, MD –  a practicing obesity medicine physician and founder of W8MD Medical Weight Loss Centers Of America.

 “Obesity is a chronic medical condition, and treatment for obesity, just like for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, etc. should a long term one, rather than a short term fix!” according to Dr. Tumpati.

Who Shoud Not Use Qsymia or Belviq?

Women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant should not take either of these medications, Egan says, because weight loss offers no potential benefit to a pregnant woman and can cause fetal harm.

Qsymia carries a risk for birth defects (cleft lip with or without cleft palate) in infants exposed during the first
trimester of pregnancy.

How Is Belviq Taken For Weight Loss?

Belviq—the trade name for the drug lorcaserin— is a 10 mg tablet taken twice a day that works by activating a part of the brain that controls hunger.

Does My Insurance Provide Coverage For Belviq?

Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield announced they will cover Belviq and other insurances might also cover. Check with your insurance company on your coverage.

What Is The DEA Schedule For Belviq?

Belviq is a Schedule IV controlled substance and needs to be prescribed by a licensed doctor for a valid medical reason.

How much weight loss on Belviq?

Belviq was tested in three clinical trials that lasted from 52 to 104 weeks and included nearly 8,000 obese and overweight patients.

• The average weight loss for patients taking Belviq ranged from 3 to 3.7 percent over those taking a placebo.
• In studies of patients without type 2 diabetes, about 47 percent of patients lost at least 5 percent of their weight
compared with 23 percent of patients treated with placebo.

Belviq should be discontinued if a patient fails to lose 5 percent of their weight after 12 weeks of treatment, as it is
unlikely that continued treatment will be successful.

Are There Alternatives to Belviq?

Yes. Qsymia, Phentermine, Topiramate, Bontril and other medications.

Qsymia is a combination of two FDA-approved drugs: phentermine, an appetite suppressant, and topiramate, used to treat epilepsy and migraines. Roberts explains that Qsymia is taken once a day, with patients starting at the lowest dose (3.75 mg phentermine/23 mg topiramate extended-release), then increasing to the recommended dose (7.5 mg/46 mg). In some circumstances, patients may have their dose increased to the highest dose (15 mg/92 mg).

Qsymia, was tested in two clinical trials which included nearly 3,700 obese and overweight patients treated for up to one year.

• The average weight loss of patients taking Qsymia ranged from 6.7 percent (lowest dose) to 8.9 percent (recommended dose) over those taking a placebo.

How does Qsymia work for weight loss?

• Sixty-two percent of patients on the lowest dose and 70 percent on the recommended dose lost at least 5 percent of their weight compared with 20 percent treated with placebo.

If after 12 weeks, a patient has not lost 3 percent of his or her weight on the recommended dose of Qsymia, FDA recommends that treatment be discontinued or increased to the highest dose. If after an additional 12 weeks on the highest dose, a patient does not lose at least 5 percent of weight, Qsymia should be discontinued gradually.

The History of Weight Loss Medications

Why has it been 13 years since the last diet drug was approved?

Eric Colman, M.D., deputy director of DMEP, says that drug companies have been testing potential new weight loss drugs, but none had proven effective and safe for consumers until now.

W8MD’s take on this: the real reason was that FDA did not have a single bariatric doctor on their panel to decide on weight loss medications until recently when the inducted a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physician. Within 6 months, two new weight loss medications were approved.

Before Belviq and Qsymia, the only prescription drug currently approved for long-term treatment of obesity was orlistat, marketed as Xenical. Orlistat is also sold over the counter in a lower dose as Alli.

W8MD’s take on Xenical: over priced and a bit annoying medication with minimal results.

Colman explains that FDA has a long history with weight-loss drugs, one set against a backdrop of changing attitudes towards obesity. It wasn’t that long ago, he says, that vanity was considered the only reason to lose weight. That mindset has shifted over the last 20 years with recognition that obesity is a serious health concern.

Where to be evaluated for Belviq?

Belviq is a prescription only weight loss medication and has to be evaluated by a trained and licensed physician familiar with obesity and the treatment of obesity. If you live close a W8MD medical weight loss center location, you may want to consider visiting the closest w8md center to be evaluated to see if Belviq, Qsymia or other weight loss medications or non medication VLCD or LCD diet might be right for you.


2 thoughts on “Belviq FAQs

    Teresa Britton said:
    April 17, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    At what times of day should this medication be taken? And before meals or after?

      freeweightlossdoctor responded:
      April 18, 2015 at 7:20 am

      Hi Teresa,
      BELVIQ is a 10 mg tablet taken twice a day, about 10-12 hours apart with or without food. Since Belviq is not a stimulant, you can take it in the evening. Hope this answered your question.

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