Patients who consulted their physicians regarding appetite suppression could have been prescribed Belviq. This medication affects the chemicals in the brain to make a person feel fuller with smaller meals. While the medications initially seemed useful to those looking to make significant life changes in regard to their diet and weight, there are now reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that taking Belviq is potentially dangerous and increases a person’s risk of developing cancer.
Common Risks Associated With Belviq
In 2012, the FDA approved the distribution of Belviq with the condition that the manufacturer would conduct a study to determine the risk of cardiovascular problems. When the medication became available as a prescription in 2013, it was only approved for people who were obese, with a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, or who were overweight, with a BMI between 27 and 30, and also had diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
As with any medication, there are risks associated with taking Belviq. Patients should be warned beforehand of the potential problems by the doctor, so they can weigh the benefits versus the disadvantages to determine if they should take the medication.
Common side effects of Belviq include:
- Dry mouth
While those symptoms are associated with a number of medications, there are additional problems a patient could experience while taking Belviq. For example, patients have noted experiencing memory problems, unusual changes in mood or behavior, heart problems, high levels of serotonin in the body, and severe nervous system reactions.
Belviq and the Risk of Cancer
While the symptoms and risks discussed above are well documented and known to patients, people were unaware of the potential risk of developing cancer as a result of taking Belviq. According to a randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted by the FDA, nearly 7.7% of individuals tracked who took the medication developed cancer. It’s estimated that during the trial, one additional cancer per 470 patients treated with the medication for 12 months was observed.
While the Belviq-related cancer diagnoses varied, the most common types included colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer. Based on prognoses and mortality rates, those three cancers tend to be aggressive, hard to cure, and ultimately fatal. Treatments include typical methods like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.
While the cause of the cancer is uncertain and the FDA cannot directly conclude Belviq contributes to the cancer risk, it’s assumed that the risks outweigh the benefits for the majority of patients. As a result of the increased risk of cancer, the FDA recommends that all patients stop taking the medication and consult their doctor for more information.
Legal Claims Associated With Belviq-Related Cancer
Any time a drug is recalled because of dangerous medical conditions or patient harm, there is the potential for legal action. When a product liability claim involves a manufactured pharmaceutical drug, there may be grounds to hold the manufacturer accountable.
While the FDA is still uncertain as to why Belviq is potentially dangerous and increases the risk of cancer, dangerous drug claims that are built on the concept of negligence are typically based on one of three scenarios:
- The drug was defective.
- The drug had dangerous side effects.
- The drug was improperly marketed.
While proving liability is challenging with little scientific evidence to show why Belviq causes cancer, a lawyer can investigate your situation and create a timeline to show that your cancer diagnosis only occurred after you were prescribed the medication and that you had no other medical conditions or concerns that could have developed into cancer.
The sooner you file your claim, the better. Claims involving dangerous medications take time, so your case will be stronger if you have time to wait for more research on the drug and why it increases cancer risks.
Thomas Law Offices Can Help
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer for negligence. When you seek legal representation through Thomas Law Offices, we can investigate your situation and determine what you’re owed for your cancer-related losses and we’ll build a claim that proves you were wronged.
Filing a claim takes time, which is why it’s best to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your treatment-related medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our attorneys today to learn more about your legal rights and options.