If you're interested in trying lorcaserin for weight loss, we have some good news for you: Recent research found that this weight-loss drug was not linked with any increased risk of heart problems, unlike other medications out there. Oh, and another thing that separates lorcaserin from other weight-loss drugs: It actually works.
An August 2018 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at 12,000 overweight adults and how lorcaserin affected their weight-loss goals and heart health over a median time period of 3.3 years. As you may be aware, lorcaserin is an appetite suppressant that is designed to increase the sense of fullness after a meal and reduce hunger before meals. Researchers randomly assigned participants to take 10 mg lorcaserin twice per day, or a matching placebo pill. In the meantime, researchers also instructed all participants to eat healthily and exercise.
After a year had passed, 39 percent of the folks taking lorcaserin for weight loss had already lost at least 5 percent of their body weight. Even more impressive? A whopping 15 percent of the people taking lorcaserin had lost 10 percent of their body weight at the one-year mark. Meanwhile, only 17 percent of the group taking the placebo pill lost 5 percent of their body weight after a year, and just 5 percent of them lost 10 percent their of body weight. According to researchers, the differences between these two groups remained significant after about 3.3 years of follow-up.
The fact that this same drug was not linked to any increased risks for cardiovascular problems — as many other weight-loss drugs have been — makes this first-of-its-kind study even more exciting.
"We have been able to show for the first time that this weight loss drug does what it is intended to do," said investigator Erin Bohula, MD, in a press release. "It helps people lose weight without causing an increase in major adverse cardiovascular events in a population at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes."
It's worth keeping in mind that lorcaserin may not be appropriate for everyone trying to lose weight. For instance, it's not approved for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and it should be used with caution for patients with congestive heart failure. If you're concerned about your weight, talk to your doctor about whether lorcaserin might be the right option for you.
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