Weight Loss Prescription Belviq and Possible Cancer Risk

October 21, 2020 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Weight Loss Prescription Belviq and Possible Cancer Risk

Recently, the FDA made the public aware that a weight-loss drug known as Belviq was reported to have a link to multiple different cancers ranging from lung cancer to pancreatic cancer. While the FDA has made it clear that there is an increased risk of developing cancer with long term use of the drug, they are currently not suggesting a special cancer screening for those who have taken it.

The FDA still might be unaware of just how detrimental this weight-loss drug can be; this does not mean those who have been taking Belviq should be taking this news lightly. The experienced defective drug attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can help you take the proper and necessary steps to obtain the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses that cancer from Belviq has caused.

How Does Belviq Work?

Without insurance, retailing at around $300 a month, this expensive weight-loss drug is prescribed to adults with an increased body mass index of 30 and who also suffer from other medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. 

Usually taken twice a day by tablet form and used in conjunction with diet and exercise, Belviq works by affecting the signals in the brain that control hunger and appetite. By affecting the signals that control hunger, the patient is able to eat smaller meals while also feeling fuller. It is also stated that the drug should not be used unless in conjunction with proper nutrition, exercise, and weight control.

Five Year Study Done on Belviq

A study was conducted on Belviq by their manufacturer, Eisai, and published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Tracking 12,000 participants over the course of five years, half either took a placebo and the other half took Belviq. The study originally had good weight loss results, finding that the participants who took Belviq did indeed lose more weight and helped overweight or obese people lose at least 5% of their body weight just after a year of being on the medication. However, at the five-year mark of the study it was noticed that those that took Belviq also had an increase in cancers compared to those that had only taken the placebo.

The study found that 7.7% of those that took Belviq developed cancer as opposed to the 7.1% that developed cancer while taking the placebo. It was also noted in the study that there was not just one form of commonly found cancer among the participants, but multiple different types of cancer such as pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer. 

belviq cancer study infographic - dolman law group

Other Harmful Side Effects of Belviq

There are a plethora of other side effects that people can suffer from as a result of taking Belviq that do not include cancer. Listed below are a few:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucinations 
  • Swelling of breasts
  • Mood changes
  • Memory problems
  • Headache/Dizziness 
  • Low blood sugar (in people with diabetes)
  • Trouble breathing
  • Dry eyes
  • Swelling in arms, legs, or feet

Medication that Should Not Be Combined with Belviq

Aside from the risk of cancer and other possible side effects, there is an extensive list of medications that are advised to not be taken with Belviq because of adverse health effects they might have. A few of those medications are:

  • Eleltriptan
  • Any cough or cold medicine containing a cough suppressant (dextromethorphan) 
  • Hydrocodone 
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Tramadol
  • Tryptophan
  • Lithium 
  • Any anti-depressant medication
  • Erectile dysfunction medicine 

This list is not inclusive and does not include over-the-counter medications or vitamins. 

Preexisting Conditions That Increase Danger of Belviq

Preexisting health conditions can also be a problem when taking Belviq. Already putting your heart and body as risk, certain medical conditions can further the harmful effect of the medication. Listed are a couple health conditions that can have a severely negative reaction with the drug:

  • Depression
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart valvular disease 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Understanding Product Liability Claims

When we spend our hard-earned money on a product and put our trust into the doctors and manufacturers providing it, we expect the product will perform as intended, as well as be safe for use as long as it is used as instructed. Product liability law is in place to help compensate victims when products fail to work as intended. The three basic types of product defects that fall under the law of product liability are:

  • Design defects: The design of a product makes the product unsafe for its intended use.
  • Manufacturing defects: The design of the product may be safe, but the product was made in an unsafe way for its intended use.
  • Warning and/or label defects: The design and manufacturing of a product may be okay, but the manufacturer's failure to warn about inherent dangers of the product when used as intended makes it unsafe. Like the cancer-causing drug Zantac and the current Zantac lawsuit for those suffering from taking the drug.

Contacting an Experienced Florida Harmful Drug Attorney 

If you or a loved one has taken Belviq and been diagnosed with cancer, our attorneys are ready to speak with you regarding the legal options you have available. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has provided award-winning legal representation for those who have suffered because of defective medications.

When you purchase a prescription, you have the right to assume that what you have been prescribed by a medical provider is safe. Unfortunately, it has become all too common for these prescription manufacturers to be extremely negligent in the production and packaging of these medications in the name of quicker and increased profits. 

You do not have to suffer alone while those that may be responsible continue to profit. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA we would be more than happy to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to go over the details of your situation. Please do not hesitate to contact our office by going online or by telephone at 833-606-DRUG (3784).

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 3375 833-606-DRUG (3784)


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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