Tom

Retired Firefighter

These stories are of actual patients and are presented for illustrative purposes only. Individual results will vary.


BACK TO WEIGHT-LOSS STORIES

The most difficult part about being overweight is thinking about everything that I used to be able to do that my weight now prevents me from doing. Now that I’m a retired firefighter, I have time to think about all the things I’ve accomplished over the years and how active I used to be.

"As a firefighter, there were physical demands to meet that helped keep me fit. Outside of my job, I was always involved with sports like playing football or running. I never thought my size would get in the way of doing the things I enjoyed most."

It was about a decade ago when I began gaining weight. At the time, I was still firefighting, and knew I wanted to lose the weight fast so I could continue doing my job well. I remember trying a liquid fasting diet that required me to drink four “meals” each day. I lost a lot of weight in only a few months, but I was constantly hungry. The moment I stopped the liquid fast, I gained the weight back. After 6 months, I was heavier than when I started the diet.

A few years later, I suffered a stroke which changed my life forever. I had to retire from firefighting and soon traded my uniform for the television. With strict doctor’s orders and the physical repercussions of my injury, my weight went up again, and with it came several other health issues. The injuries I had sustained in the line of duty to my joints, back and ankles were further aggravated by the extra weight. I was suffering from sleep apnea, which caused me to wake up throughout the night. Even walking was a challenge. I would have to stop and sit after 20 minutes of just wandering around the store because I was so drained of energy. I didn’t know how to deal with my weight gain and my new reality and I just kept eating.

I was prescribed several medications in an attempt to manage my cholesterol, and was eventually diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. After countless attempts, my family doctor wasn’t able to get my numbers under control, so he sent me to a weight loss specialist for help. After seeing the specialist, I knew that I needed to lose weight as part of my overall health. As a person living with type 2 diabetes, weight loss and certain medications can impact my blood sugar. I have to make sure that I get my blood sugar checked both before and while taking BELVIQ.


My weight loss physician thought I was a good candidate for BELVIQ®. He reviewed the benefits and risks of taking the medication, and we determined that BELVIQ along with diet and exercise was an appropriate treatment option for me. After starting the medication, I began to notice subtle changes in my appetite. Prior to BELVIQ I would wake up ravenous. I would snack all day and eat big meals. But since starting BELVIQ, I feel full for longer periods of time and my mind isn't so focused on the food in my refrigerator. I've been able to refocus my thoughts. Instead of thinking about food I now think about the activities I enjoy. BELVIQ is helping me in my weight loss efforts.

With BELVIQ®, I've lost almost 10 percent of my weight, and now I feel good about my progress. I try to get out of the house and walk around at the local store. I can't stress enough the role my doctor has played. He provides me the support I need during my visits and I hold myself accountable to him to continue on my journey.

BACK TO WEIGHT-LOSS STORIES

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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.