There is a new, promising weight loss drug Contrave ER available in US market. To buy Contrave weight loss drug you need a certified physician’s prescription. Contrave consists of naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride which come in 8mg/90mg dosage respectively. Contrave ER 8mg/90 mg, along with lifestyle modifications, is the latest favorite among physicians for obesity treatment.

In September 2014, US FDA approved Contrave ER 8mg/90 mg to treat chronic obesity in adults. When launched, it was the fourth drug designed treat longterm obesity patients. Prior to that, both ingredients of Contrave (naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride) were approved by FDA for other disease and conditions as monotherapy. Bupropion is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor and is approved to treat smoking addiction and depression. Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist and is approved to treat alcoholism and opioid dependence.

Earlier, clinical studies were conducted for sustained release form of Contrave and it was found that sustained release form of the Contrave tablet has adverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract and causes symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

Later on, Contrave ER 8mg/90 mg is approved by FDA to treat adults with BMI more than 27 or 30, having other obesity-related conditions. Contrave combination drug with extended release formula was approved after numerous clinical trial and studies. These researches are called Contrave Obesity Research (COR), which are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of Contrave.

These studies were conducted on patients with dyslipidemia, controlled hypertension, and diabetes. Patients with cardiovascular disease, seizure, stroke, type 1 diabetes were excluded when conducting this research. The patients were instructed to take a low-calorie diet of around 500kcal/day and follow exercise schedule. After one year, it is observed that patients who are taking Contrave extended release tablets, lose 5% more body weight as compared to the ones who were taking a placebo. Contrave ER 890 mg is a boon for the patients who are not able to lose weight through controlling diet and exercise alone.

Recently Orexigen therapeutics conducted a study named as IGNITE to analyze the effects of taking the Contrave diet pill along with lowfat diet and exercise and lifestyle changes in weight loss management. Results of this study were published by The Obesity Society journal. After initial 26 weeks of treatment with the Contrave extended release, it is observed that patients treated with Contrave ER lost significant 9.5% weight as compared to other patients who are not taking Contrave.

84.5% patient lost 5% of weight. 42.3% patient lost 10% of body weight and 12.7% patients lost 15% of body weight in 26 weeks of treatment with Contrave ER. This treatment was continued till 78 weeks & it is found that those patients maintained weight achieved after initial weight loss. The most common side effects were nausea, vomiting.

Absorption mechanism (pharmacokinetics) of Contrave extended release tablet plays a crucial role in determining the therapeutic effect of the drug. Active ingredients in the regular form of Contrave tablet get absorbed within 25 to 30 minutes after intake while extended release formula slowly releases the active ingredients over the day. Naltrexone gets absorbed in 2 hours while bupropion gets absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract in 3 hours. This way the drug Contrave works slowly on brain & reduce appetite while having minimal side effects and works optimally compared to sustained release formula. If Contrave ER is administered with a highfat meal, it decreases the absorption of active ingredients. Due to this reason, Contrave ER should always be taken with a lowfat meal to get maximum benefit out of it.

If coadministered, Contrave ER affects systemic absorption and exposure to other drugs such as desipramine, metoprolol and dose adjustment needed for these drugs to work effectively. While drugs such as atorvastatin, glyburide, lisinopril, lamotrigine do not get affected if taken simultaneously with Contrave ER.

Contrave ER is contraindicated in following disease and conditions:

  • Seizure disorder

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Anorexia

  • Known allergy to naltrexone or bupropion

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • When discontinuing alcohol, antiepileptic drugs

  • Opioid antagonist intake

  • When taking MAO inhibitors (allow at least 14 days gap between taking the medications)

Certain precautions and warnings should be taken care of when taking Contrave extended release tablet as mentioned below:

  • Depression patients may show worsening of the symptoms on the Contrave intake.

  • Invokes suicidal thoughts and actions, patient need to be monitored regularly.

  • Pulse rate and blood pressure to be monitored regularly for tachycardia and hypertension.

  • Patient medical history must be known to the physician to avoid complications

  • Caregivers and family of the patient should be alert and should observe any behavioral changes during Contrave extended release treatment.

  • The physician should prescribe small quantity of medicine so that overdosing can be avoided.

  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms should be observed early and should be taken care of.

  • You should contact your physician or emergency medical service if any adverse reaction symptoms like rash, nausea, headache being found.

Contrave Extended release is a wonderful drug to treat chronic obesity. However, its contraindications (such as pregnancy, lactation, cardiac disease, seizures), interaction with other drug and diseases should be taken care of when you are planning to go for Contrave weight management plan. Inform your physician if you found any unusual symptom, any rash, anxiety, mood swing, increased pulse rate, monitor vital signs regularly when you are taking Contrave ER 890 mg. Do not take double dosage if you missed a dose. Skip the dose and take the next dose on a scheduled time.

Contrave is not a weight loss drug for everyone. You need to be aware of the specific requirements of your body and consult your physician before planning Contrave regimen for weight loss. If you have already consulted your physician and have a prescription in hand, it is advised to Take your Contrave ER medication regularly, make healthy changes in your sedentary lifestyle, do exercise, take lowfat lowcalorie diet and be a witness of healthy weight loss in you.

Disclaimer: Information available in this article are based on available clinical research and studies about the drug Contrave. You are not advised to follow this treatment without consulting the physician.