Is Belviq Safe for Weight Loss? – GoodRx

Turns out, a long-term, robust study published late last year answered these questions about Belviq for you. Belviq is expensive and there’s no generic yet. But, is it worth a closer look, and how does it compare to other weight loss medications?

How does Belviq cause weight loss?

Belviq is known as a selective serotonin 2C receptor agonist, which means it activates very specific parts of your brain that make you feel full. Less hunger leads to less eating, which leads to weight loss.

Is Belviq safe for the heart?

Yes, it appears so. A recent clinical trial involving 12,000 folks with obesity and high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol (known risk factors for heart disease) were given 10 mg of Belviq twice a day for over 3 years. Belviq reduced patients’ weight and did not increase the risk of cardiovascular complications.

How well does Belviq work?  

Belviq vs. Orlistat

Belviq and Orlistat result in the same amount of weight loss: 3 – 4 kg on average or almost 9 lbs. But Belviq has a leg up on side effects. Orlistat reduces how much fat you absorb from the food you consume, which results in frequent loose stools and gas. This isn’t the case with Belviq. Orlistat may also lower your vitamin D and B levels, and its weight loss effects tend to plateau at 3 – 4 months of use.

Belviq vs. Qsymia

Qsymia causes slightly more weight loss than Belviq. So, why not just choose Qsymia? Qsymia comes with prescribing restrictions because it may cause birth defects. If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, you should not use it. Qsymia may also cause your heart rate to speed up, and at higher doses, may result in depression and anxiety.

Belviq vs. Contrave

Contrave results in the same amount of weight loss as Belviq, but has more side effects, including nausea, headache, and dizziness. Contrave also does not have the long-term heart safety data that Belviq has.

Belviq vs. Phentermine

While Belviq and phentermine haven’t been compared head to head, phentermine is FDA-approved for short-term use, works well, and has been around forever. It’s also available as a cheap generic. But be aware: It may cause some dry mouth at doses of 37.5 mg daily.

Does Belviq have other benefits?

Yes. Here is an area where Belviq shines. In addition to causing weight loss, Belviq can lower blood sugar levels and possibly, blood pressure and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. By lowering blood sugar levels, Belviq reduces the risk of diabetes among prediabetic patients, and for people with diabetes, it helps lower Hb-A1c levels.

What are the common side effects of Belviq?

People taking Belviq generally tolerate the medication well, but mild side effects may include headache, upper respiratory infections, dizziness, and nausea.

Who should not take Belviq?

Folks who are taking SSRI antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like sertraline (Zoloft), atypical antidepressants like bupropion (Wellbutrin), or tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline (Amitril) and nortriptyline (Pamelor) should not take Belviq. Mixing these medications can cause a serious reaction known as serotonin syndrome, which can consist of tremors, sweating, fever, diarrhea, seizures, and muscle deterioration.

What has your experience been?

Dr O.

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