Eisai Launches BELVIQ® VOICES™, an Online Community of Personal Weight Loss Stories, Featuring Real Life Experiences with BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl) CIV
“I was always active and healthy growing up, but with the added responsibility of work and long commutes it became difficult to manage my weight,” said Jim, 62, a retired utility line worker from Massachusetts. “The challenges of getting healthy are not easy to overcome, but for me options like BELVIQ and having a strong support system to lean on, made me realize that I did not have to be alone in this fight. I am excited to share my story and hope to encourage others to take action, talk to their doctor and find the tools that are right for them.”
BELVIQ is used along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) with at least one weight-related medical condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes. It is not known if BELVIQ is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight loss products, nor is it known if BELVIQ changes the risk of heart problems or stroke, or death due to heart problems or stroke.
“Personal stories can be a powerful motivator for people affected by obesity,” said Joe Nadglowski, president and CEO of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a national non-profit organization dedicated to giving a voice to those affected by obesity. “Oftentimes, people blame themselves, however, obesity is a complex disease and it’s not that simple. These stories allow people to identify with others who have been active in their weight management efforts, and that can be just the inspiration they need to get on the right track.”
Each of the BELVIQ VOICES patient stories provides a personal account of obstacles faced, and challenges overcome with a comprehensive approach to weight management. From reducing hunger to understanding the impact of extra weight on everyday life and overall health for people who are obese, each story provides a unique perspective and firsthand account of the tipping points that drove them to take action.
“At Eisai, our patients are our first priority,” said Frank Ciriello, President, Global Neurology Business Unit at Eisai. “With obesity rates continuing to escalate across the nation, it is important that patients have the right tools, resources and support to help them lead a healthier lifestyle in a way that works for them. BELVIQ VOICES aims to inspire action and encourage conversations among patients and physicians to address obesity, a chronic and progressive disease that needs to be treated.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over two thirds of adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, with the percentage of obese people more than doubling (from approx. 15% to 36%) between 1980 and 2010. Being obese or overweight may be accompanied by other comorbid conditions such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension, constituting a major medical and social problem.
Important Safety Information about BELVIQ®
- Pregnancy: Do not take BELVIQ if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as weight loss offers no potential benefit during pregnancy and BELVIQ may harm your unborn baby.
- Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)-like reactions: Before using BELVIQ, tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, especially medicines that treat depression, migraines, mental problems, or the common cold. These medicines may cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken with BELVIQ. Call your doctor right away if you experience agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in mental status; coordination problems; uncontrolled muscle spasms; muscle twitching; restlessness; racing or fast heartbeat; high or low blood pressure; sweating; fever; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; or stiff muscles.
- Valvular heart disease: Some people taking medicines like BELVIQ have had heart valve problems. Call your doctor right away if you experience trouble breathing; swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet; dizziness, fatigue, or weakness that will not go away; or fast or irregular heartbeat. Before taking BELVIQ, tell your doctor if you have or have had heart problems.
- Changes in attention or memory: BELVIQ may slow your thinking. You should not drive a car or operate heavy equipment until you know how BELVIQ affects you.
- Mental problems: Taking too much BELVIQ may cause hallucinations, a feeling of being high or in a very good mood, or feelings of standing outside your body.
- Depression or thoughts of suicide: Call your doctor right away if you notice any mental changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, or if you have depression or thoughts of suicide.
- Low blood sugar: Weight loss can cause low blood sugar in people taking medicines for type 2 diabetes, such as insulin or sulfonylureas. Blood sugar levels should be checked before and while taking BELVIQ. Changes to diabetes medication may be needed if low blood sugar develops.
- Painful erections: If you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours while on BELVIQ, stop taking BELVIQ and call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
- Slow heartbeat: BELVIQ may cause your heart to beat slower.
- Decreases in blood cell count: BELVIQ may cause your red and white blood cell counts to decrease.
- Increase in prolactin: BELVIQ may increase the amount of a hormone called prolactin. Tell your doctor if your breasts begin to make milk or a milky fluid, or if you are a male and your breasts increase in size.
- Most common side effects in patients without diabetes: Headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, and constipation.
- Most common side effects in patients with diabetes: Low blood sugar, headache, back pain, cough, and fatigue.
- Nursing: BELVIQ should not be taken while breastfeeding.
- Drug interactions: Before taking BELVIQ, tell your doctor if you take medicines for depression, migraines, or other medical conditions, such as: triptans; medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or antipsychotics; cabergoline; linezolid (an antibiotic); tramadol; dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter (OTC) common cold/cough medicine); OTC supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort; or erectile dysfunction medicines.
BELVIQ is a federally controlled substance (CIV) because it may be abused or lead to drug dependence.
BELVIQ® is a registered trademark of Arena Pharmaceuticals GmbH.
VOICES™ is a trademark of Eisai Inc.
About Eisai Inc.
At Eisai Inc., human health care is our goal. We give our first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., we have a passionate commitment to patient care that is the driving force behind our efforts to help address unmet medical needs. We are a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with discovery, clinical, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Our key areas of commercial focus include oncology and specialty care (Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and metabolic disorders). To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at www.eisai.com/US.
Eisai Inc. has affiliates that are part of a global product creation organization that includes R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as a global demand chain organization that includes manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. Eisai’s global areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; metabolic disorders; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs.
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