An up-to-date evaluation of lorcaserin hydrochloride for the treatment of obesity

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2020 Jan;21(1):21-28. doi: 10.1080/14656566.2019.1685496. Epub 2019 Nov 6.


Introduction: Obesity is a chronic disease caused by dysfunctional neurohormonal systems that result in excess weight, adiposopathy, and increased risk for many comorbidities including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Lorcaserin is a serotonergic agonist specific to the 5HT2C receptor that is FDA-approved for the long-term management of obesity in adults with BMI>30 kg/m2 or BMI>27 kg/m2 and at least one weight-related comorbidity.Areas covered: The authors review the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetic properties of lorcaserin alongside updates on serotonin's mechanism of action in the central nervous system. The efficacy of lorcaserin in the management of obesity, its related comorbidities, and potential therapeutic applications are also discussed.Expert opinion: The future of obesity management requires a multimodal and personalized approach. The high medical complexity of patients warrants polypharmacotherapy to achieve their metabolic goals. Lorcaserin has proven efficacy and safety in the treatment of obesity and its weight-related comorbidities including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. New evidence elucidating its effects on dopaminergic pathways and on glucose homeostasis expands its prospective uses.

Keywords: 5-HT2CR; 5-HT2CR agonist; Lorcaserin; anti-obesity medication; obesity; serotonin; serotonin receptor; weight; weight loss; weight management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzazepines / administration & dosage*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Weight Loss / drug effects


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Benzazepines
  • lorcaserin