Lorcaserin: Sustained Weight Loss Without Increased CV Events in High-Risk Obesity

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More patients receiving lorcaserin experienced severe hypoglycemia.
More patients receiving lorcaserin experienced severe hypoglycemia.

HealthDay News — Lorcaserin facilitates sustained weight loss without increasing the rate of major cardiovascular events among overweight or obese patients, according to a study published in the Sept. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Erin A. Bohula, M.D., D.Phil., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues randomized 12,000 overweight or obese patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or multiple cardiovascular risk factors to receive lorcaserin or placebo.

The researchers found that weight loss of at least 5 percent had occurred in 38.7 percent of the 5,135 patients in the lorcaserin group and in 17.4 percent of the 5,083 patients in the placebo group at one year (odds ratio, 3.01; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.74 to 3.30; P < 0.001). 

The rate of the primary safety outcome was 2.0 and 2.1 percent per year in the lorcaserin and placebo groups, respectively, during a median follow-up of 3.3 years (hazard ratio, 0.99; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.85 to 1.14; P < 0.001 for noninferiority). Per year, the rate of extended major cardiovascular events was 4.1 and 4.2 percent, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.97; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.87 to 1.07; P = 0.55). More patients receiving lorcaserin experienced severe hypoglycemia (13 versus four; P = 0.04).

"In a high-risk population of overweight or obese patients, lorcaserin facilitated sustained weight loss without a higher rate of major cardiovascular events than that with placebo," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Eisai, which manufactures lorcaserin and funded the study.

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