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      Some reports point to 65% of the US population being overweight, a troubling report indeed. Although most of these people would find diet and exercise along with a healthy lifestyle enough to combat their problem there still remains a percentage of the population that may need more. And soon 'more' may come in the form of a new diet drug called Lorcaserin. Lorcaserin may be the new FDA approved medication if all continues to go well, perhaps in 2010. But no guarantees, many medications come and go and never make it though the FDA's selection process.

      Lorcaserin is a Selective Serotonin 2C Receptor Agonist, which basically controls ones appetite and metabolism. Studies show that Lorcaserin helps people to lose weight. It has a similar chemical make up as an old medication that was pulled called Phen-Fen, but Phen-Fen was pulled soon after being on the market due to it causing heart valve problems. Lorcaserin however, has been shown not to cause any heart issues.
      After stage 3 trials is was shown that after one year of using Lorcaserin that patients typically lost and average of over 8% of their body weight or 18 lbs. It also showed that it was generally tolerated quit well. There where some side effects reported by some of the patients including headache, sinusitis, nausea, respiratory tract infections. But it should be noted that these are only in some of the patients and at a rate of 4% or less than the placebo group. In past Stage 2 trials, patients had lost between 4 and 8 pounds in a 12 week test. What was also promising was that unlike other past weight loss drugs such as AcompliaŽ (Rimonabant) or Taranabant, there where not alarming issues regarding anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts. What also is looking positive for Lorcaserin is that although the weight loss benefits where not quit as high as what has been reported with QnexaŽ or ContraveŽ, the side effects where reported as less. So time will tell if this new trial obesity drug makes it or not.

December 22nd 2009 News is out today that Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has submitted Lorcaserin to the FDA for final approval. This does not mean that the medication is available, but that this should be the final step in the process if it is.

The latest information on Lorcaserin is available here. Also visit the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research for information about all drugs, including dieting pills. Consult the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Warnings and Safety Information pages to learn about recent medication alerts, diet supplements alerts and other diet product warnings.

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