FDA Approves New Weight Loss Drug.....Contrave.

The FDA has just approved another weight loss medication called Contrave.  It is a combination of buproprion (an antidepressant) and naloxone  (an anti-addiction drug). This is the third medication for weight loss approved by the FDA since 2012, behind Qsymia and Belviq.

Contrave works by taking away hunger and cravings for food, but the manufacturer, Orexigen, isn't exactly sure how this combination works for weight loss. The medication is approved for patients with a BMI of 30 (by definition this is obese), or a BMI of 27 (which is overweight) and comorbid conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or elevated cholesterol which put patients at higher risk of stroke or heart attack.

So who CAN NOT take Contrave? No one with a seizure disorder; those who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or are breast feeding; anyone with bulimia or anorexia; anyone who is already on a buproprion containing medication (like Wellbutrin); those who take opiates (such as hydrocodone or oxycodone and some others; those who are being treated for addiction with buprenorophine (Suboxone, Zubsolv, or Subutex for example) or methadone. Alcoholics may not take Contrave either.

How much weight can you expect to lose? First let me say that as with all weight loss medications, you absolutely MUST modify your diet and start exercising. No excuses....you CAN eat better and you CAN do some type of activity. At Sei Bella we will soon have a certified nutrition coach who can help you with meal plans. With that said, studies show the average weight loss is 5-10% of body weight. And Contrave helped patients keep the weight off up to a year.

And what about side effects? In clinical trials, nausea was the most common side effect, reported in 34% of people. Other side effects that were reported in much lower percentages included headache, constipation or diarrhea, dry mouth and dizziness. The FDA has also required post marketing research to look at heart and stroke outcomes and potential for interaction with any other drugs.

The cost is expected to be $180 to $210 per month retail. This will vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. It is likely the marketing company, Takeda, will provide coupons to offset the price. It's not known yet if any insurance companies will have it on their formularies.

Call today to make your weight loss consultation appointment and we can help determine which medication my be right for you!.......501-228-6237

Anne R Trussell MD