* Lorcaserin (Belviq) is a newly approved drug that promotes weight loss when used in conjunction with diet and exercise. It is approved for use in obese patients and in overweight patients who also have at least one health problem related to obesity. Lorcaserin increases the risk of heart valve disease.
* The drug can induce the potentially lethal serotonin syndrome or neuroleptic malignant syndrome–like reaction. Coadministration with drugs that increase serotonin or monoamine oxidase levels or drugs that carry their own risk of these syndromes needs to be done very cautiously.
* Lorcaserin is a pregnancy category X drug and is contraindicated in pregnant women.
Diane S. Aschenbrenner is the course coordinator for undergraduate pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD. She also coordinates Drug Watch: firstname.lastname@example.org.