Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Why Is Belviq Potentially Dangerous?

Published on May 6, 2020 at 3:35 pm in Dangerous Drugs.

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:

  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

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.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

When Prior Authorization Leads to Harm Caused by Delayed Care

In March 2023, the American Medical Association (AMA) released the results of a survey conducted on the impact of health insurance prior authorization (PA) on patient care and outcomes. The survey results revealed shocking information about the extent to which health insurance companies control the type of medical care patients receive. At Thomas Law Offices, […]

Read More

How Do I Sue a Hospital for Medical Negligence?

Medical errors and other types of health care professional negligence have soared in recent years. Data recently published by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) shows that at least 251,000 patient deaths are estimated to be attributable to physician mistakes or other types of medical errors annually. Countless others fall ill or suffer injuries while […]

Read More

Ohio Car and Booster Seat Laws

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and disability for children (aged 0-14) in the United States. But most of these deaths can be prevented. When we put our children in the car, we owe it to them to give them the safest experience possible. […]

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
National Civil Justice Institute - Trustee
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Fellows of the Litigation Counsel of America
Martindale Hubbell Preeminent
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion