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, MD, DPhil, 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% had occurred in 38.7% of the 5135 patients in the lorcaserin group and in 17.4% of the 5083 patients in the placebo group at one year (odds ratio, 3.01; 95% confidence interval, 2.74 to 3.30; P < 0.001). The rate of the primary safety outcome was 2.0 and 2.1% per year in the lorcaserin and placebo groups, respectively, during a median follow-up of 3.3 years (hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% 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%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.87 to 1.07; P = 0.55). More patients receiving lorcaserin experienced severe hypoglycemia (13 vs 4; 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.

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

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