The manufacturer of weight-loss medication Lorcaserin (Belviq, BelivqRX) voluntarily withdrew the drug from the U.S. market at the request of the FDA. This was due to emerging data showing that people who had taken the drug as part of a large clinical trial had an increased occurrence with cancer five years later.
An increase in several different types of cancer were observed, including pancreatic, colorectal, and lung. 7.7% of Loracserin subjects developed cancer as opposed to 7.1% taking placebo.
Based on the evidence we have now it is still uncertain if Loracserin truly increases the risk of cancer. It is important to reiterate the increase in cancer occurrence is very small.
People taking it should stop taking it and contact their doctor for guidance and next steps. The FDA is not recommending any special testing or screening currently.
This is a good reminder to only use weight–loss products that have scientific studies that evaluate safety as well as benefits. Anyone considering weight-loss medications or products should work with a licensed health care professional.