Belviq Lawyer

We count on regulators, doctors, drug manufacturers, and others in the healthcare industry to always look out for the best interest of patients. Human nature being what it is, that isn’t always the case. This is particularly true when it comes to prescription medications. These drugs can have dangerous, potentially fatal side effects if proper procedures aren’t followed.

In the case of the drug lorcaserin, known by the brand names Belviq and Belviq XR, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had the drug withdrawn after a clinical trial found that the drug increased incidents of cancer in patients compared to those who took a placebo.

The lawyers at Ward Black Law are here to hold the makers of the drug responsible for any damage they’ve caused. If you have suffered complications from taking Belviq or Belviq XR, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out more, call or text our office today at 800-531-9191 or visit our contact page.

What Is Belviq and How Did It Work?

Belviq was a weight loss drug made by Eisai, Inc., for use in patients who were obese – defined as having a body mass index (BMI) rating of 30 or higher – or overweight – defined as having a BMI of 27 or higher – with an aggravating condition like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or type II diabetes.

There was also an extended-release version of the drug marketed under the name Belviq XR.

Belviq and Belviq XR worked in a similar fashion as other weight-loss drugs. The medication activates receptors for the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps regulate your mood, appetite, and a handful of other bodily functions. By activating these receptors, the drug triggers a response in your brain that makes you feel full, so you don’t eat as much.

The basic idea behind Belviq and Belviq XR is sound, and there are other weight-loss drugs that work in similar ways but lack the potentially dangerous side effects of Belviq and Belviq XR.

History of Problems with Belviq

Belviq was initially put on the market in 2012 after manufacturer Eisai, Inc., earned approval from the FDA. While FDA officials did allow Belviq to come to market, they also noted that there was a need for a further, long-term study to make sure the drug was truly safe. Thus, another round of clinical trials was ordered.

The results of this new clinical trial were problematic. The trial included 12,000 patients over five years. From the data compiled, researchers found that patients who had taken Belviq had an increased incidence of cancer – specifically pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer – compared to those who had taken a placebo.

Once the FDA looked at this new data, they requested that the drug be withdrawn, and Eisai complied. This withdrawal request took place in February 2020.

Dangers of Belviq

In the FDA’s statement on why they were asking Eisai, Inc., to withdraw Belviq and Belviq XR from the market, the FDA said, “We are taking this action because we believe that the risks of lorcaserin outweigh its benefits based on our completed review of results from a randomized clinical trial assessing safety.”

The FDA’s words clearly state the dangers of continuing to use either Belviq or Belviq XR. Some of those dangers include:

  • Increased risk of cancer – This was the primary safety concern unearthed by the five-year clinical conducted after Belviq was initially approved in 2012. Belviq XR, the extended-release version of the drug, wasn’t approved until 2016. Specifically, researchers cited increased cases of pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer among those who took Belviq, compared to patients who received a placebo.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the hardest to treat and deadliest types of cancer, accounting for seven percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. with an overall five-year survival rate of only nine percent. Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. for both men and women, and a little over 52,000 people are predicted to die from colorectal cancers in 2020. Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer by far, with around 25 percent of all cancer deaths occurring as a result of the disease.

A diagnosis for any of these three types of cancer is a potential death sentence, and research suggests taking Belviq or Belviq XP makes it more likely that you will face one of these deadly diseases. Treatment for any type of cancer can be a painful experience in and of itself. 

  • Depression – Belviq and Belviq XR both activate receptors in the brain for serotonin, which is the same neurotransmitter that many antidepressants work on. This means that Belviq and Belviq XR may potentially interfere with antidepressants, which could have all manner of side effects, especially when it comes to mental health.
  • Serotonin syndrome – In addition to depression, increased levels of serotonin can lead to serotonin syndrome if your brain ends up with too much of the neurotransmitter. Some symptoms of serotonin syndrome are fairly mild (headaches, diarrhea, heavy sweating, etc.,) but others can be more severe (seizures, muscle rigidity, agitation or confusion, irregular heartbeat, high fever), and in some cases, it can be fatal.
  • High blood pressure – Having high blood pressure isn’t fatal in and of itself, but it makes you more at risk for a wide range of other illnesses. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and heart failure, strokes, kidney damage, vision problems, and memory problems, including dementia.
  • Low white blood cell levels – Your body relies on white blood cells to help fight off bacterial and viral infections. If your white blood cell levels get too low, your body is more susceptible to illnesses of all kinds.
  • Anemia – Anemia is a condition that occurs when your blood isn’t delivering enough oxygen to your body. Left untreated, anemia can cause heart problems and other complications, especially in pregnant women.
  • Mitral valve or aortic valve insufficiency – These two conditions both involve valves in your heart that help regulate blood flow. If either your aortic valve or your mitral valve (they each lead to different arteries) doesn’t close tightly, blood can flow backward into the heart, which causes a range of bad outcomes.

These are some of the potentially dangers of using Belviq or Belviq XR. More common but less dangerous side effects include backaches, constipation, cough, dizziness, dry mouth, headaches, low blood sugar, low energy, nausea, and throat irritation.

Compensation for Victims of Belviq

Filing a claim against a drug company regarding a defective drug is a different process from filing a claim against an individual doctor, though there are similar elements.

You’ll have to show that you took the drug (if you don’t have your own records, you can obtain them from your pharmacy) and that the drug is what led to your injuries. Proving the link between the drug and your injuries is the tricky part of the process, which is often why these cases are handled as large groups of claims involving potentially thousands of victims.

If you prevail in your claim, there are several different types of compensation for which you may be eligible. These include:

  • Medical bills – You may be compensated for any money you spent on doctor’s visits, surgeries, physical therapy appointments, travel costs to make those visits, and other related medical expenses.
  • Lost income – If you missed work as a result of your illness, you may recover compensation to cover the wages you didn’t receive.
  • Lost future income – Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may not be able to work as much after your illness, if you can work at all. But you still have bills to pay, and you may receive compensation for the wages you would have earned but couldn’t because of your injuries from taking Belviq.
  • Funeral and burial expenses – If someone in your family died as a result of taking Belviq, you could have their funeral and burial expenses covered as part of the compensation in a wrongful death claim.
  • Loss of support or companionship – Similarly, while filing a claim won’t bring back your lost family member, you can be compensated for the loss of their support or companionship.
  • Pain and suffering – While putting a price on your anguish may seem impossible, compensation for pain and suffering offers a measure of solace and justice.

If you’re curious about what kinds of compensation for which you may be eligible, speak with an attorney. They can review your case and tell you more about what compensation you could potentially receive if your claim is successful.

How Our Belviq Cancer Lawyer Can Help You

You’re undoubtedly looking for some measure of justice if you were injured after taking Belviq, but taking on a major pharmaceutical company is no easy feat. These companies have teams of experienced, aggressive lawyers at their disposal, and they have lots of money to spend.

To take on a deep-pocketed pharmaceutical company, hiring a qualified attorney is crucial. Here are some ways that having a Belviq cancer lawyer at your side can help:

  • Expert testimony – Often the hardest part of proving any claim against a drug manufacturer is proving how their drug led to your injuries. We work with teams of researchers and seasoned expert witnesses who we can call on in cases like these. With their help, we can show how the company’s dangerous drug led to you getting sick.
  • Handling the paperwork and communication – A defective drug lawsuit is a painstaking process. There’s a lot of paperwork involved, and it involves a lot of lawyers. We can handle that communication and paperwork for you to make sure you don’t miss any crucial deadlines or say something that might jeopardize your claim.
  • Dealing with the stress – You don’t need or want the hassle of a major legal battle when you’re recovering from a serious illness, or if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one. We’ll fight your battles for you so you can live your life as best you can.

Time Is Limited for Filing a Belviq Lawsuit

Like most personal injury claims, there are strict deadlines for filing a claim related to a defective drug. The deadline for injury claims in North Carolina is generally three years from the date of your injury, or two years from the date of death in a wrongful death action.

You have a limited window to file your claim, so make sure you speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

Talk to a Belviq Lawsuit Attorney Now

Holding drug companies accountable for their dangerous products is a key part of our practice at Ward Black Law. We understand the toll these defective drugs can take on victims, which is why we fight so hard to see them find some kind of resolution through the legal system. We operate on a contingency fee system for personal injury claims, so if we take your case, you don’t pay us anything unless and until we secure compensation on your behalf.

Our firm has a proven track record of getting results for our clients. That’s why Janet Ward Black was recently named “Lawyer of the Year” for personal injury litigation claims in North Carolina’s Triad area by U.S. News & World Report. If we take your case, we’ll bring that same drive and dedication.

For a free, confidential case review, call or text our office today at 800-531-9191 or visit our contact page.