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First New Obesity Drug in a Decade On Its Way to Approval

Written by Michael Richardson

This week, experts urged U.S. regulators to approve the drug lorcaserin, which would be the first new obesity drug on the market since before 2000.

The drug works by controlling appetite receptors in the brain, and one trial saw half of the patients lose up to five percent of their body weight.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will decide on the drugs approval on June 27, according to Yahooo! Health. According to the article, the FDA has been rather strict concerning the approval of obesity drugs in recent years because of cardiac risks.

Other obesity drugs on the market haven't done very well, making a new obesity drug in relatively high demand, considering that about two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese.

Xenical, also known as Alli, prevents the body from absorbing fat, but its digestive tract side effects have made it largely unpopular. The drug was approved in 1999.

Phentermine, approved in 1959, is supposed to help control appetite. It is a main ingredient in Qnexa, which has been relatively successful in helping people lose weight.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, the creator of lorcaserin, wants to market the drug under the name Lorqess, according to WebMD.com.

The article by WebMD also said that patients who took lorcaserin only lost a little bit more weight than patients who were given a placebo. Furthermore, some doctors on the panel voiced concerns about potential increased risk of breast tumors as one of the drugs side effects.

So for overweight and obese people looking for a magical pill to make them skinny, it still doesn't exist, leaving healthy diet and exercise as the reliable solutions.

Article Reviewed: June 1, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine

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