Cardiovascular Safety of Lorcaserin in Overweight or Obese Patients
In some patients, weight-loss guidelines recommend the use of pharmacological agents as adjuncts to lifestyle modification. Although not many are licensed, they have been shown to be effective for long-term weight management. One of the serious downsides of these drugs is the side-effects. Depending on their sight of action, they have been known to precipitate severe complications in the cardiovascular or neuropsychiatric systems, leading to their removal by regulatory agencies over safety concerns.
Lorcaserin is a selective serotonin 2c receptor agonist that modulates appetite. It has proven efficacy for weight management in overweight or obese patients. This paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine sought to determine the cardiovascular risk associated with its use as an obesity treatment. From the study of 12,000 patients, it found no increased risk of cardiovascular complications. It also found that alongside significant weight loss there were also reductions in triglyceride levels and in dysglycaemia. In addition, it was found that there was an improvement in heart rate and blood pressure, which is in contrast to most other weight loss agents. Overall, this drug is an effective adjunct to lifestyle interventions in patients with obesity and cardiovascular disease, and doesn’t increase the risk of cardiovascular events.