Obesity drug approved: Belviq, the first weight-loss drug to be approved by the FDA is over 13 years, will soon find its way into the bloodstream of America's obese and overweight. According to the Associated Press, the pill, which was rejected in 2010 due to the appearance of tumors in lab animals, has finally been given the green light, which means that doctors could begin prescribing the medication to their patients as early as next year.
Despite the troublesome laboratory tests just two years ago, the FDA has approved the drug for the American population, 35 percent of which is currently overweight or obese. However, those who are hoping for a "get thin quick" miracle pill will no doubt be extremely disappointed, as Belviq is to be taken alongside a proper diet and adequate exercise. The approval comes in the wake of doctors demanding new weight-loss treatment options.
Of course, like just about every drug on the market, users can expect to experience some side-effects, which include depression, migraine, and memory lapse. The FDA also stated that patients should stop using the drug after three months if they have not lost at least five percent of their body weight. Extended usage of the drug after that period of time will not increase the likelihood of weight loss.
"This is good news because it tells us that the FDA is indeed treating obesity seriously," Obesity Society President Patrick O'Neil explained to the AP. "On the other hand, it's not the answer to the problem — or even a big part of the answer."
Weight loss pills have a storied history of safety concerns. Fen-phen, for example, was linked to heart-valve damage back in 1997. However, doctors readily prescribed this medication to their overweight patients despite the fact that it wasn't approved by the FDA.
Qnexa, another drug that's been pushing for approval, is considered to be one of the more promising weight-loss drugs currently vying for attention. The FDA is expected to rule on it this July. Belviq, meanwhile, will likely launch sometime next year.