Benzene is only one of the reasons that the FDA’s latest drug approval is a travesty. The list of likely deadly adverse effects from Belviq is stunning and frightening—and the drug provides little benefit in weight loss.
by Heidi Stevenson
Benzene is a poison. In large quantities, it can stop the heart, stop the lungs, or cause permanent brain damage. If it has any beneficial effects, they must certainly be weighed against the potential harm. Nonetheless, the FDA has just approved Belviq, a drug containing benzene, for weight loss!
That’s not the end of the bad news about Arena Pharmaceutical’s new drug, Belviq. Not only does it contain a known poison, but it also affects serotonin in the brain by activating the 5-HT2C receptor. That means it affects the brain in a manner similar to that of the SSRI drugs—which are connected with a wide range of devastating effects, including suicide.
What Arena Admits
The patient information sheet included with Belviq should be enough to scare anyone into saying, “No thanks, doc,” when offered a prescription. The warnings on the drug insert include:
- Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome: These are killers that are caused by psychoactive drugs. The insert states that “safety of coadministration with other serotonergic or antidopaminergic agents has not been established”.
- Valvular Heart Disease: This is the same condition that resulted in removal of another diet drug, Fen-Phen.The insert warns, “If signs or symptoms develop consider BELVIQ discontinuation and evaluate the patient for possible valvulopathy.”
- Cognitive Impairment: The insert states, “May cause disturbances in attention or memory.” It then warns against the use of hazardous machinery.
- Psychiatric Disorders: This means that you could be labeled with depression or schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or a bunch of other psychiatric labels because of taking Belviq. Imagine the world of hurt you’d be in if it landed you in a psychiatric institution.
- Suicidal Thoughts: This should come as no surprise, as suicidal ideation or outright killing oneself—or other people—is an adverse effect of other drugs that mess with serotonin.
- Use of Antidiabetic Medications: Belviq hasn’t been studied in people taking insulin, yet the FDA has specifically approved this drug for use in diabetics!
- Priapism: This means that an erection won’t go away. It’s excruciatingly painful.
And the FDA just approved this drug for weight loss! So, it must have been very effective, right?
What Arena Doesn’t Admit
That’s where it gets really scary. The reality is that Belviq doesn’t provide much benefit, if any. It only gave minimal help in weight loss—just 3-5 percent in a year’s time. Worse, in the trial used by the FDA for approval, only 47% of the subjects taking the drug lost at least 5% of their body weight, while 23% of the placebo-takers did, too. If you know how drug companies game the system with placebos, you know that it’s likely that even this small benefit carries little meaning.
It’s now standard to give a placebo to everyone considered for a drug trial before starting it. Then, everyone who responds to it is automatically released from the trial. That gives the drug a much better advantage in the trial itself—enough, in fact, to explain the entire results of this trial.
Worst of All
Belviq is intended for long term use. It was, of course, tested in the usual brief manner, so the effects over time will be known only by the use of human guinea pigs, the people to whom it’s prescribed who won’t even be informed of their status as lab animals.
How many of the above-referenced adverse effects—every one of them deadly!—do you suppose Belviq will claim? And all for little-to-no benefit!
By the way, there are two more obesity drugs in the FDA’s pipeline, one of which may be approved in less than month. These may be every bit as bad as Belviq, possibly even worse:
- Vivus Pharmaceutical’s Qnexa, a phentermine/topiramate conjugate. Phentermine is the Phen part of Fen-Phen, the drug pulled off the market for causing heart valve defects, and topiramate (Topamax) has a wide range of severe adverse effects, including making people lose the ability to think. (I’ve witnessed this first-hand in someone close to me.)
- Contrave is made by Orexigen. It’s a combination of bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion causes seizures, nerve damage, muscle damage, vaginal hemorrhage, heart palpitations, and much more. Naltrexone causes liver damage, phlebitis, heart problems, and a bunch of other nasty effects.
The FDA is in charge of the food supply, which is clearly the major reason that people are becoming obese. Food provided by Agribusiness, the source of most people’s diets, is mostly empty calories combined with toxic substances, some of which are designed to make us crave more more more. It’s no wonder people are growing fat. Yet, the FDA does absolutely nothing about that. Instead, they promote next-to-useless and extremely toxic drugs. In the process, they line the pockets of Big Pharma and Agribusiness.
Could anything more definitively demonstrate that the FDA doesn’t work for the people?
- FDA News Release for Belviq
- Belviq Package Insert
- FDA Fights Fat By Approving Arena Diet Pill
- Weight Loss Pill Belviq Gets FDA Approval
- Arena/Eisai obesity drug Belviq approved in the USAFDA approves the first long-term prescription weight loss drug in 13 years
- Medline Plus article on benzene poisoning
- Doctors say Fen-Phen causes heart disease