FDA approves weight loss drug

Posted at 7:33 PM, Jun 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-27 19:39:44-04

(WTVR) - The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first new prescription diet drug in a decade.

Although most patients lost just a modest amount of weight, the new drug Belviq got the green light.

Lisa Sutter says she has been struggling with her weight for years.

She says her weight was normal until she had her last child, after which she had a hard time shedding the pounds.

The 51-year-old enrolled in a clinical trial of the pill. The drug acts on an area of the brain that control appetite and metabolism.

In one year, Sutter lost 40 pounds.

"I didn't feel hungry", Lisa said "I felt like I had my self-control back."

Dr. Louis Aronne said, the pill can "double, triple, the number of people who can lose 10% or more of their body weight in conjunction with a diet program."

FDA advisers were concerned the drug could damage heart valves and say breast and brain tumors were seen in animal studies.

Doctors still say the safest way to lose weight is through diet and exercise.

When Sutter went off the pill, she gained the weight right back.

Belviq has only been approved for obese adults or those who are overweight and have at least one medical issue such as diabetes or high cholesterol.