FDA approves new obesity drug


SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for obesity in adults, the agency said Wednesday.

The FDA announced the approval of Arena Pharmaceuticals' Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride), designed for use alongside reduced-calorie diets and exercise, for chronic weight management. Eisai will distribute the drug.

"Obesity threatens the overall well-being of patients and is a major public health concern," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock said. "The approval of this drug, used responsibly in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, provides a treatment option for Americans who are obese or are overweight and have at least one weight-related comorbid condition."

The drug works by activating the brain's serotinin 2C receptor, which is believed to help people eat less and feel full after eating smaller amounts of food.

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