Obesity Drugs Under Review

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 10:09am

FDA advisors could vote to recommend a new drug to fight obesity.

This week, food and drug administration advisors could vote to recommend a new drug to fight obesity and vote to yank another one off the market entirely.

When a healthy diet and exercise aren't enough to reach weight-loss goals, millions of Americans turn to medication.

But one obesity drug, Meridia, has been linked to higher rates of heart attacks and strokes in patients with heart disease.

"A lot of times people who are overweight may have unrecognized hypertension or heart disease maybe if they don't go to the doctor regularly," said Dr. Lenna Khaitan of the uh case medical center in Cleveland.

Wednesday, an FDA panel of experts will weigh Meridia's risks and benefits and discuss whether it should stay on the market or be pulled.

Thursday, FDA advisors will consider whether an experimental drug called Lorcaserin should be placed on the market.

Researchers say it had few side effects in clinical trials, where patients lost an average of 17 pounds over a year.

And researchers say it improved health in other ways.

If approved, Lorcaserin would be the first new prescription weight-loss drug in a decade.


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