US study of 12,000 people shows medication lorcaserin does not increase hazard of serious heart problems
A weight-loss pill has been hailed as a potential “holy grail” in the fight against obesity after a major study demonstrated it did not increase health risks of serious heart problems.
Researchers say lorcaserin is the first time weight-loss drug to be deemed safe for heart health with long-term utilize. Taken twice a day, the drug is an craving suppressant which works by stimulating brain chemicals to induce a feeling of fullness.
A US study ensure 12,000 people who were either obese or overweight given the pills or a placebo- with those who took the drug shedding an average of 4kg( 9lbs) in 40 months.
Further analysis depicted no big differences in exams for heart valve damage.
Tam Fry, of Britain’s National Obesity Forum, said the drug is potentially the “holy grail” of weight-loss medicine.
” I think it is the thing everybody has been looking for ,” he said.
” I think there will be several holy grails, but this is a holy grail and one which has been surely at the back of the mind of a lot of experts for a long time.
” But all of the other things apply- lifestyle change has got to be root and branch one of the purposes of this .”
Prof Jason Halford, an obesity expert at the University of Liverpool, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the drug’s accessibility in the UK would depend on whether it is approved by National Health Service regulators.
” We don’t have any appetite suppressants available on the NHS. We have a massive great gap between lifestyle adjustment and surgery ,” he said.
” At the moment you either get support and advice, or you get to surgery – there is nothing in between. This could be widely prescribed if it is approved by Nice( the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) in the UK .”
The Food and Drug Administration, the US medicines watchdog, approved lorcaserin’s use in some adults in 2012.
The drug has been on sale there since 2013 under the name Belviq, where it expenses $220 – 290( PS155-225) a month.
The study into its long-term consequences was led by Dr Erin Bohula, a cardiovascular medication expert at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
” Patient and their doctors have been nervous about use medications to treat obesity and for good reason. There’s a history of these drugs having serious complications ,” she said.
As well as affecting the heart, there are concerns weight-loss narcotics can lead to mental health issues.
The results of the study into lorcaserin were discussed at the European Society of Cardiology in Munich on Sunday and have been published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
The researchers found after one year 39% of participants dedicated lorcaserin had lost at least 5% of their commence weight, compared with 17% of those dedicated placebo. Analysis also depicted fewer people taking lorcaserin developed diabetes, 8.5% compared with 10.3% on placebo.
Tests for heart valve injury were done on 3,270 participants, but no significant differences in rates were identified.
Suicidal guess or behaviour was presented in 21 people taking lorcaserin compared with 11 people dedicated placebo, however those taking the weight-loss medication had a history of depression.
The researchers said:” Among overweight or obese patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or multiple cardiovascular risk factors who were being treated with dietary and exercise interventions, those who received lorcaserin had better long-term rates of weight loss than those who received placebo at a median follow-up of 3.3 years.
” The higher weight-loss rates were achieved without an accompanying increase in health risks of cardiovascular events .”
Read more: www.theguardian.com