Why Lorcaserin And Other Weight Loss Drugs Fail To Deliver

Last week, Arena Pharmaceuticals, the company sponsoring the weight loss drug lorcaserin, suffered a huge set back when the FDA rejected the company’s application. The FDA decision was upon recommendations of a FDA advisory committee which found concerning  problems associated with the research substantiating drug’s use.

Unfortunately this is just the latest attempt to get a weight loss pill to market where the health risks far outweigh the promised benefits. Why wasn’t lorcaserin able to deliver what it promised? Using information from the FDA report and other sources, this article is going to take a closer look at lorcaserin, what it was intended to do and the results that may have influenced the advisory committee to recommend against lorcaserin approval.

[box type=”important”]Is the cure for obesity found in a pill? After reading this article, you’ll be in a better position to draw your own conclusion about that question.[/box]

Obesity Is a Big Problem

lorcaserin weight lossObesity has reached epidemic proportions. Two thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese. This puts the population at greater risk for diabetes mellitus, cancer, heart disease and other ailments. It’s also a fact that weight loss is a multi-billion dollar business. An entire industry was built around diet products, gyms, spas, wellness retreats, surgery and weight loss pills.

All of these products promise to help the overweight or obese shed unwanted pounds.  Unfortunately some people delude themselves into thinking that these products can transform them into supermodels.

Often times, money and self-esteem are the only things that have been lost. But what if an effective weight loss pill that targets a person’s desire for food could be developed? Such a pill could be very effective in helping people lose weight. It would also generate hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.

[box type=”note”]If pharmaceutical companies could develop weight loss drugs that really help obese and overweight people to lose weight then they would have discovered the proverbial “magic pill” which could turn the tide against epidemic obesity. I said “if” because no one has found it yet. But that didn’t stop Arena Pharmaceuticals from trying to develop an effective weight loss pill that targeted a very specific behavior.[/box]


I hold a degree from one of the top ranked research universities in the United States. I am the administrator and publisher of Living Fit, Healthy and Happy which is a family-friendly health and wellness website with articles on fitness, anti-aging, obesity, diabetes, eating disorders, cardiovascular health and many other health related issues. Publishing fitness and healthy living blogs is my way of getting the word out to the public about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. So on Living Fit, Healthy and Happy I write articles using the pen name "healthy_blogging". I also re-publish the articles of other authors whom I deem to have scientific merit and serve the public interest. In my free time, I enjoy physical fitness, outdoor activities, reading of fiction and nonfiction material, listening to music and spending time with family and friends.

12 thoughts on “Why Lorcaserin And Other Weight Loss Drugs Fail To Deliver

  • November 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Lactulose is a potent laxative. There will be diarrhea, but that is to be expected. Normal side effects are bloating, belly cramps, etc. For patients in advanced kidney failure, things get a bit tricky, as diarrhea means excretion of potassium. Because of that hypokalemia )low potassium) and hypernatremia (high sodium) can ensue. These electrolytes need to be measured carefully in such patients and whoever prescribed the lactulose must know that patient has these health problems. Hope that helps…

  • October 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Hello Jarret and Doug,

    I’m excited by all the buzz that my article has been generating. It’s an important topic and I’m happy for the opportunity to guest post here and that so many people find the article informative.

    I agree that Arena failed to because they only looked at one aspect of obesity. Until the pharmaceutical industry helps consumers address the root causes of the problem, they will never be successful in helping the masses sustain long term healthy body weight.


  • October 27, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Joseph, thanks for the great article on weight loss pills and Locaserin, in particular. 370 retweets is definitely the most we’ve ever seen here at Hive Health Media.

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  • October 26, 2010 at 7:51 am

    One significant hurdle facing any and all obesity drug manufacturers is that obesity is a multi-faceted problem

    Brain chemistry, hormones, genetics, epigenetics, lifestyle, social pressure, advertising, etc….

    So, when a drug like Lorcaserin takes a focused approach (serotonin) to solve a multi-faceted problem, I believe that they are doomed to failure.


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