FDA approves anti-obesity pill Belviq

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 22, 2012

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Diet pills, or anti-obesity medication, help people lose weight by altering certain body processes like absorption of nutrients and /or metabolism of the nutrients.As for all drugs these pills also side effects,some of which may be serious and doctors usually prescribe them only in extreme cases where the benefits outweigh the risks.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Arena Pharmaceuticals’ anti-obesity pill Belviq making it the first federal-approved prescription drug intended to stimulate long-term weight loss in 13 years.  The drug is expected to enter the U.S. market within the next decade.


Belviq was originally denied approval in 2010 over concerns that it might cause tumors, but Arena resubmitted its proposal this year with additional data stating that there was little of risk of tumors developing.


Studies conducted by Arena revealed that overweight or obese patients who took Belviq had an average weight loss of 3 to 3.7 per cent of their original body weight over the course of a year.  Of the patients without diabetes, 47 percent lost at least five per cent or more of their weight enough to meet the FDA’s effectiveness standards.


While the pill is going in the right direction, the results of these studies tell that people should not rely on a pill to lose weight, but instead look at their overall health and lifestyle choices in order to achieve better weight loss numbers.  



[Read: Natural Ways to Lose Weight]


Background: Orlistat (Xenical™), a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug for bodyweight loss, has recently been demonstrated to exhibit antitumor properties towards prostate cancer cells by virtue of its ability to block the lipogenic activity of fatty acid synthase (FAS). FAS (oncogenic antigen-519) is up-regulated in about 50% of breast cancers, is an indicator of poor prognosis, and has recently been functionally associated with the Her2/neu (erbB-2) oncogene.

Food Supplements for Weight Loss


  • Acai Berry is a natural weight loss supplement. Pronounced as ah-sigh-ee, this unique fruit is found from the abundant forests of the Amazon in South Brazil. Acai Berry aids in weight loss by suppressing your appetite. It also speeds up your metabolism and burn calories
  • Chromium Picolinate is a co-factor for the hormone Insulin whch is an important hormone for glucose metabolism ans protein synthesis thus important for burning fat, while maintaining and increasing body mass
  • Green Tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat.
  • Garnicia Cambogia helps in weight loss by inhibiting the body's ability to convert carbohydrates to fats.
  • Caffeine found in coffee also increases the resting metabolic rate , increases thermogenesis, thus may aid in some fat loss.


[Read: Foods that can Help in Weight Loss]


All these drugs can give a maximum weight loss of about 5%, so are not a substitute for a regular exercise schedule, a good healthy diet plan and behavioural modifications. For people over a BMI of 35, weight los surgery should be seriously considered as a permanent solution for obesity and its related co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertention, sleep apnea , joint pains, etc.


Dr. Atul Peters, Director – Bariatric, Metabolic & Minimal Access Surgery, Fortis Shalimar Bagh.


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