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  • Belviq (lorcaserin) increases risk of primary pulmonary hypertension 1.4-fold

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Saturday, November 01, 2014 12:50 pm Email this article

    Belviq (lorcaserin), a weight loss drug, was associated with a 1.4-fold increased risk of ‘possible’ primary pulmonary hypertension according to a paper looking at side effects of the drug written by James DiNicolantonio, PharmD and others.

    The difference was not statistically significant. The p-value was 0.16, meaning that there was a 16% chance that this difference was due to random chance and an 84% chance that the difference was due to the drug.

    “Lastly, there may be an increase in ‘possible’ primary pulmonary hypertension with lorcaserin,” the paper notes.

    “Indeed, data derived from a pooled analysis of both BLOOM and BLOSSOM (n=3470), using a 35 mm Hg or greater increase in systolic arterial pulmonary pressure as a cut-off for ‘possible’ primary pulmonary hypertension, yield an increased risk with lorcaserin versus placebo (OR 1.41; 95% CI 0.87 to 2.27, p=0.16). Although not a statistically significant finding, primary pulmonary hypertension is a very serious clinical adverse effect with a high mortality rate, and thus any possibility of an increased risk should be taken seriously.”


    DiNicolantonio JJ, Chatterjee S, O’Keefe JH, and Meier P. Lorcaserin for the treatment of obesity? A closer look at its side effects. Open Heart, 2014; 1(1): http://openheart.bmj.com/content/1/1/e000173.full.

    Author’s Contact Info

    James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD
    Associate Editor BMJ Open Heart
    Cardiovascular Research Scientist
    Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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