Lorcaserin may potentially increase the risk of cancer, according to results from a clinical trial assessing the safety of the weight loss agent.

Lorcaserin, a serotonin 2C receptor agonist, is currently indicated as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial BMI of ≥30kg/m2 or ≥27kg/m2 in the presence of at least 1 weight-related comorbidity (eg, hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes). It is marketed under the brand names Belviq and Belviq XR.

Data obtained from a large postmarketing study conducted in roughly 12,000 patients found that the weight loss treatment was linked to a potential cancer signal. According to a drug safety communication issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), over a 5-year follow-up period, a greater proportion of patients taking the drug had been diagnosed with cancer compared with those who received placebo.

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While the investigation into this potential safety signal continues, the FDA is recommending that healthcare professionals consider the benefits and potential risks of lorcaserin therapy before prescribing. “We are continuing to evaluate the clinical trial results and will communicate our final conclusions and recommendations when we have completed our review,” the Agency stated.

For more information visit fda.gov.

This article originally appeared on MPR