How BELVIQ®/BELVIQ XR® works

Having a hard time losing weight? Your brain may play a role.

Your brain has many jobs. One is to ensure that you never go hungry. Unfortunately, when we diet and reduce what we eat, the body may believe we are starving. It then sends signals to the brain to eat more.

Lorcaserin, the active ingredient in BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR helps you feel full by targeting a hunger receptor in the brain. The precise way BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR produces feelings of satisfaction is not fully understood. By adding BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR to your weight-loss routine, you may be able to eat less and still feel satisfied.


How BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR works 

 


It all starts with chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Some neurotransmitters, like dopamine, can stimulate the brain, telling us to take a certain action such as "Eat now!”

Other neurotransmitters, like serotonin, can make you feel full. Basically, when we smell food, some neurotransmitters are released that make us want to eat. When we eat, serotonin is released, making us feel full.

Just as serotonin naturally turns on receptors to cause feelings of fullness, BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR is believed to selectively turn on these “fullness receptors,” helping you feel full while eating less food.

BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR is not a stimulant or narcotic. It is a federally controlled substance with some risk of abuse or dependency.

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What is BELVIQ®/BELVIQ XR®?

BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR is an FDA-approved prescription weight-loss medication that, when used with diet and exercise, can help some adults (body mass index [BMI] 27 kg/m2) living with extra weight, with a weight-related medical problem, or adults living with obesity (BMI 30 kg/m2), lose weight and keep it off. It is not known if BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products is safe and effective. It is not known if BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR changes your risk of heart problems, stroke, or death due to heart problems or stroke.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR BELVIQ®/BELVIQ XR®:

  • Pregnancy: Do not take if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as weight loss offers no benefit during pregnancy and BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may harm your unborn baby.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions: Do not take if you are allergic to lorcaserin or any of the ingredients in BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR.
  • Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)–like reactions: Before using, tell your Healthcare Provider about all the medicines you take, especially medicines that treat depression, migraines, mental problems, or the common cold. These medicines may cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken with BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR. Call your Healthcare Provider right away if you experience agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in mental status; coordination problems; uncontrolled muscle spasms; muscle twitching; restlessness; racing or fast heartbeat; high or low blood pressure; sweating; fever; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; or stiff muscles.
  • Valvular heart disease: Some people taking medicines like BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR have had heart valve problems. Call your Healthcare Provider right away if you experience trouble breathing; swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet; dizziness, fatigue, or weakness that will not go away; or fast or irregular heartbeat. Before taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR, tell your Healthcare Provider if you have or have had heart problems.
  • Changes in attention or memory: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may slow your thinking. You should not drive a car or operate heavy equipment until you know how BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR affects you.
  • Mental problems: Taking too much BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may cause hallucinations, a feeling of being high or in a very good mood, or feelings of standing outside your body.
  • Depression or thoughts of suicide: Call your Healthcare Provider right away if you notice any mental changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, or if you have depression or thoughts of suicide.
  • Low blood sugar: Weight loss can cause low blood sugar in people taking medicines for type 2 diabetes, such as insulin or sulfonylureas. Blood sugar levels should be checked before and while taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR. Changes to diabetes medication may be needed if low blood sugar develops.
  • Painful erections: If you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours while on, stop taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR and call your Healthcare Provider or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
  • Slow heartbeat: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may cause your heart to beat slower.
  • Decreases in blood cell count: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may cause your red and white blood cell counts to decrease.
  • Increase in prolactin: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may increase the amount of a hormone called prolactin. Tell your Healthcare Provider if your breasts begin to make milk or a milky fluid, or if you are a male and your breasts increase in size.
  • Most common side effects of BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR: Headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, cough, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in patients with diabetes, and back pain.
  • Nursing: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR should not be taken while breastfeeding.
  • Drug interactions: Before taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR, tell your Healthcare Provider if you take medicines for depression, migraines, or other medical conditions, such as: triptans; medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or antipsychotics; cabergoline; linezolid (an antibiotic); tramadol; dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter [OTC] common cold/cough medicine); OTC supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort; or erectile dysfunction medicines.

BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR is a federally controlled substance (CIV) because it may be abused or lead to drug dependence.
For more information about BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR talk to your Healthcare Provider and see the full Product Information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.