Weight-Loss Drug Also Aids Smoking Cessation

Results of a phase 2 clinical study suggest that the weight-loss drug, lorcaserin hydrochloride, is also an effective smoking cessation aid.

Results of a phase 2 clinical study suggest that the weight-loss drug, lorcaserin hydrochloride (Belviq), is also an effective smoking cessation aid.

In the randomized 12-week trial, 603 active smokers participated in tobacco cessation counseling in addition to receiving placebo or lorcaserin 10 mg once-daily or twice-daily.

At the conclusion of the study, 8.7% and 15.3% of smokers in the lorcaserin groups, respectively, reported no nicotine use during the last 4 weeks of the trial, compared with 5.6% of the placebo group. In addition to quitting tobacco, patients receiving lorcaserin twice-daily experienced a reduction in bodyweight from baseline to week 12.

Throughout the trial, the most common adverse effects associated with the drug were headache, nausea, dizziness, constipation, and dry mouth, which were also observed in previous trials on lorcaserin.

The results of the present study provide the first clinical evidence that a selective serotonin 2C agonist can potentially help smokers quit.

Currently, Belviq is only approved by the FDA as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in obese or overweight adult patients.