For the first time in 13 years those struggling with obesity have a new weight loss drug option that could help them.
The federal Food and Drug Administration has approved the weight-loss drug lorcaserin, the first prescription anti-obesity medication to win the FDA’s backing since 1999, according to the Hartford Courant.
The drug must still be approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration before it can be marketed and is specifically intended for the medically obese, defined as those with a body mass index higher than 30 or those with illnesses related to being overweight, including elevated blood pressure, cholesterol or Type 2 diabetes.
The drug is an appetite suppressant that tells the brain you’re full even when you’re not.
With obesity now ranking as one of the top health issues in this country - 1 in 3 American adults are considered obese - some are heralding the drug as an important step toward addressing what could become a national crisis. Others, however, have questioned whether lorcaserin could damage heart valves in some patients or promote brain and breast tumors.