BELVIQ, a product of Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH. is an FDA-approved prescription weight-loss medication that helps overweight and obese adults lose weight and keep it off. BELVIQ has to be taken along with a prescribed diet and exercise program suggested by the physician. It Targets a hunger receptor in the brain, consequently enabling the user to feel satisfied with less food. FDA clinical trials exhibited the effectiveness of the drug to achieve weight loss as well as improve health risk factors, such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.
The obesity market has witnessed a revival after more than a decade with the advent of various innovative therapies that are expected to address the issue. This includes the use of combination therapies that regulate appetite control and simultaneously targeting multiple pathways, as well as new mechanisms of action having novel entities. The market is expected to experience substantial growth over the next decade due to this growing pipeline of late-stage drugs. Increased base of overweight and obese population that requires pharmacological intervention is one of the biggest drivers for the growth of this market. Physicians resort to earlier treatment as a proactive measure to curtail disease progression resulting in frequent prescription of pharmacological therapy. This is expected to further boost market growth. Greater responsibility of reimbursement on third party payers allows greater access of medications to patients. The manufacturer has released safety information that users have to go through before consuming this drug which contains a list of side-effects caused by it. These side effects are expected to restraint the growth of this market. Some of the side effects caused include confusion, hallucinations, agitation, inability to pay attention, inability to retain memory, suicidal thoughts or other changes in mental status, uncontrolled muscle spasms, coordination problems, restlessness, muscle twitching, stiff muscles, racing or fast heartbeat, sweating, high or low blood pressure, diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, heart valve problems, low blood sugar, slow heartbeats, decrease in blood cell count, increase in prolactin and others. Consumption of BELVQ is not advised during pregnancy as it may cause harm to the baby. Additionally, BELVIQ may cause drug interaction with other drugs used for countering depression, migraines and other medical conditions. Furthermore, for people suffering from diabetes, it produces symptoms such as low blood sugar, headache, back pain, cough and fatigue.
BELVIQ is not yet approved in any of the European markets, Brazil, Canada and Japan. It is not expected to reach the Brazilian market until 2016, Canadian market until 2017 and European market until 2018.
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