Is Contrave any Good?
The attraction of the new weight-loss pill apparently hasn’t waned at all. A new compound, one that goes by the brand name Contrave, has joined dozens of other brands and compounds already on the shelves, having just been approved by the FDA. It’s been formulated with two different medications at once. And so, here we go all over again – is it safe, and does it really do what it’s supposed to do?
It’s an interesting combination really for a weight-loss pill. Contrave contains two familiar drugs, repurposed for a new goal. It contains Bupropion, the familiar antidepressant, and naltrexone, a drug that people who have been to alcohol rehab, know about. So why would anyone want to treat weight loss with antidepressants and rehab drugs?
The antidepressant is intended to help raise the levels of dopamine that you have floating about in your brain. What that does is, it suppresses your appetite and makes you feel a lot more energetic. And the alcohol rehab chemical on the other hand, just makes your food less delicious.
So does it really work? They’ve done year-long trials several times with thousands of obese people. They found that people who took Contrave lost perhaps 4% more weight than people who took the placebo.
The Endocrine and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee reviewed results from Orexigen’s four placebo-controlled, one-year, phase III clinical trials, which enrolled 3,200 obese patients with at least one comorbid condition, including diabetes and depression.
In all four trials, patients on the naltrexone/bupropion combination lost more weight than those in the placebo group (P<0.001), and more than 30 percent lost at least 5 percent of their body weight, which is one standard by which the FDA judges efficacy of weight-loss drugs.
As far as the FDA is concerned, if a new drug doesn’t make you lose weight that’s at least 5% better than someone taking a sugar pill, it isn’t a good enough drug. Still, in some of their tests, they found that their subjects did lose 5% more. And the drug passed FDA approval. So this isn’t a miracle fast weight loss m weight-loss pill.
In trials, some people found that they had a slight increase in blood pressure when they took Contrave – at least for the first couple of months. People taking the drug also often complain of feeling nauseous and suffering from constipation and headaches.
An FDA advisory committee has voted 13-7 that the modest weight-loss benefits of an investigation combination of naltrexone and bupropion — marketed under the brand name Contrave outweigh the drug’s blood pressure risk.
If you are interested in taking this new weight loss pill first discuss the idea with your doctor. Anyone who already suffers from high blood pressure may not be a good candidate.