7-Jan-15 9:30 AM  CST

FDA Approved Contrave is the Newest Weight Loss Option

As we being the New Year it is once again time to make resolutions for the coming year, and for many of us, one of those resolutions includes losing weight. Obesity is the United States has reached epidemic proportions, and many health professionals believe it will continue to plaque Americans. Contrave, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September 2014, is the latest drug approved in the battle against obesity.

Contrave, the third weight loss drug approved by the FDA since 2012, is actually meant for those considered to be “overweight” and not clinically obese, but who are also at risk for other disease factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.  Approved by the FDA in 2012, Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate) and Belviq (lorcaserin) are the other two prescription weight loss drugs currently on the US market. Contrave, which is a combination of bupropion, better known by the brand name of Wellbutrin and naltrexone, an anti-addiction drug. Contrave carries a black box warning due to the antidepressant bupropion. Use bupropion, like many antidepressants, may lead to an increased risk for suicide.

Contrave like Qsymia and Belviq, work by decreasing hunger and taking away food cravings. Experts warn that Contrave should not be given to anyone who is at increased risk for seizure disorders, pregnant women or women who may be trying to become pregnant. Crontrive, is recommend for those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or those with a BMI of 27 with increased risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes.

The ideal patient for Contrave should be looking to replace poor health habits with health ones and not simply trying to shed extra pounds. A 56-week study found that patients that took Contrave while adopting healthy eating habits lost 9% of their original body weight. During clinical trials the average weight loss was approximately 17 pounds. Health professionals caution that while Contrave may assist in weight loss, there is no substitution for a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh produce and balanced levels of proteins and carbohydrates as well as daily exercise. Patients wishing to try Contrave for weight loss should speak with their physician.




Dohney, K., (2014) “Contrave: Newest Weight Loss Option “WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20140911/contrave-weight-loss-drug?page=2, retrieved 30. December 2014

“FDA approves weight management drug Contrave”(2014), Food and Drug Administration, http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20140911/contrave-weight-loss-drug?page=2, retrieved 30. December 2014

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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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