A drug has been deemed safe for heart health in long-term treatments for people willing to lose weight. This news is great, encouraging more to lose weight and curb the global obesity epidemic.
The drug is called Belviq, and it has been sold in the US since 2013. It is one of the first treatments that has been studied for years to see if it’s safe for heart health and if regulators should allow it on the market or not. The study leader and doctor at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Erin Bohula stated:
“Patients and their doctors have been nervous about using drugs to treat obesity, and for good reason. There’s a history of these drugs having serious complications.”
The Weight Loss Pill Is Safe For Cardiovascular Health
Bohula explains that the pill didn’t affect heart risks. In the study, a group that took Belviq shed nine pounds in 40 months, which was twice as the group which was on placebo pills.
Although Belviq did not raise heart risks, it didn’t lower them, either. The weight loss it produced was
Some doctors concluded that weight loss alone will not lower heart risks and that the overweight individuals must do more than lose weight.
The results of this study were discussed on 25 August at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Munich. The sponsor of this study was Belviq’s maker – Eisai Inc.
What Did the Research Find?
First, Belviq is a stimulant for the brain, giving it the signal that the stomach is full, so it suppresses the appetite. The study was tested on 12,000 people who were overweight or obese and had high blood pressure or cholesterol. They were given either Belviq or placebo twice a day, along with diet and healthy lifestyle advice.
After a year, 39% of the people using Belviq lost 5% of their weight, while the ones on placebo only lost 17%. Other previous studies showed that this drug was effective in helping lose weight.
After three years, both groups had 6% people suffer a heart-related problem or death.
Diabetes risk was lower in the people that used Belviq (8.5%), compared to those on placebo (10.3%).
There were no differences between heart results from 3,270 participants. Two of the editors of the journal – Drs. Julie Inglefinger and Clifford Rosen added in a commentary that Belviq could be replaced by alternative pills, but for now, it can be used “on a cautious basis, according to the needs of individual patients.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.