Recently, the Special Commission of FDA made an unexpected decision—the weight loss drug Contrave was recommended for the registration and sale. Many experts thought that Contrave won’t be approved by FDA experts. It was previously reported that Contrave had quite pronounced side effects – high blood pressure and some risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. Thus, the race of three modern slimming drugs was won not by the favorite. The management of the company that created Contrave diet pill doesn’t hide its joy – the drug sales will bring multi-million dollar profits during the first years. The following information will hopefully help the reader to take the correct decision on whether to buy Contrave weight loss drug or not.

The final official vote on the drug “Contrave”, developed by the specialists of the company “Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.”, will take place a little later, but it must not bring any surprises, as such a vote never is consistent with the decision of the profile commission.
The decision regarding Contrave ended the race of three drugs that had fiercely competed with each other even before getting the official approval from FDA.

The first drug, withdrawn from the race, was “Qnexa” developed by pharmaceutical firm “Vivus”. FDA experts concluded that even though the drug effectively reduces the body weight it has serious side effects (among which are heart failure and damage to the nervous system). Contrave weight loss drug proved as a much safer alternative in the end.

Then FDA commission brought down the second contender: the experts rejected the application for registration of Lorcaserin – the product of American pharmaceutical company “Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.”. It had serious side effects – unlike Contrave, along the weight loss Lorcaserin caused malignant tumors and memory loss.

Now the pharmacists from “Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.” celebrate the final victory of Contrave. Within a few years, the approval of such a medicine by FDA – The US Food and Drug Administration will bring the successful company hundreds of millions of dollars, as more than 30% of Americans suffer from obesity and are potential consumers of Contrave weight loss drug.

Contrave diet pill is a combination of 360 mg of Bupropion and 32 mg of Naltrexone. Both drugs belong to the group of psychotropic medicines.

Bupropion (Nosnoq, Bupron, Zyban)

The first ingredient of Contrave – Bupropion –  is a drug that belongs to the group of antidepressants of the second generation. Its mechanism of action defines it is a selective re-uptake inhibitor of catecholamine (the substances that transmit the processes of arousal and braking) — noradrenaline and dopamine.

Bupropion is a generic name for the chemical formula of the Contrave ingredient. As a stand-alone medicine, it is also known as Zyban. Initially, Zyban was used as a drug that helped to quit smoking. Its action as an anti-smoking drug is based on its antidepressant effect. It doesn’t replace nicotine but promotes the normalization of mood (that is how Contrave works as well). Bupropion smoothers the psychological negative manifestations of withdrawal, developed in a smoker when he/she is deprived of his/her usual dose of nicotine. Please note that Contrave is not intended for the treatment of nicotine dependence.

Now Contrave ingredient is the fourth most prescribed antidepressant in the US. It is used almost as often as the famous antidepressants Sertraline (Zoloft), Fluoxetine, Escitalopram (Cipralex).

Side effects of Bupropion

Like most antidepressants, Contrave ingredient bupropion can cause the following side effects: dry mouth, stomachache, and digestive problems. Other possible negative effects include increased drowsiness or, on the contrary, excitability, tremor of extremities, ataxia (shaky pace), vertigo, frequent mood swings (from rage to tearfulness), decreased libido.

Some of those side effects may manifest on Contrave as well.

There are also cases of skin itching, accompanied by the skin rash in the form of acne. Because Bupropion decreases the brain myoclonic threshold, it can cause the exacerbation of epilepsy and trigger seizures. (Contrave is also contraindicated for patients with epilepsy).

Ability to cause seizures is the most unpleasant feature of the Contrave ingredient that once caused its withdrawal from the market. It is also known that antidepressants can increase the risk of developing suicidal tendencies, especially in children, adolescents and young people aged 18 to 24. That’s why Contrave should not be prescribed to teenagers.


The second drug composing Contrave is called Naltrexone. It belongs to the group of opioid receptor antagonists. In this way, it reduces or almost removes the symptoms, caused by the administration of narcotic drugs— opiates. Due to this anti-drug effect, Naltrexone is used for the treatment of drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Note, that Contrave should not be prescribed to treat the above-mentioned conditions!

Side effects of Naltrexone, which may appear on Contrave:

G.I. — sickness, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, stomachache, liver disturbances.
CNS — a headache, sleep disturbance, weakness, vertigo, anxiety, depression, decreased potency, paranoid behavior, and hallucinations. You should stop taking Contrave if you notice any of these!
Cutaneous integument — acne, alopecia, itching, generalized erythema.
Respiratory system — wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, nosebleed.
Cardiovascular system — high blood pressure, tachycardia, phlebitis, hemorrhoids, edema. Patients with high blood pressure should carefully monitor their condition while taking Contrave.
Motor system — joint and muscle pains, tremor.

Most of the side effects are dose-dependent. Contrave proved to be safe in most of the patients with high blood pressure and diabetes if administered as prescribed. Do not increase your dose of Contrave diet pill and always discuss all your concerns with your doctor.

Contrave diet pill has no impact on fat metabolism itself. Simply put, the specialists are recommending Contrave due to the mood-elevating effects in the patients who started to restrict their calorie intake. So Contrave should be prescribed along with low-calorie diet and physical exercises.