Contrave is the newest FDA approved weight loss drug. It is not only for the obese (BMI >30); it is approved for overweight individuals with BMI = 27 who have risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes).
Contrave combines two drugs already on the market:
- Wellbutrin — an antidepressant.
- Naltrexone (Revia) — an anti-addiction drug that is an opioid receptor antagonist.
How does it work? It takes away hunger and the cravings for food. Experts do not fully understand the drug combination effects on weight loss. However, they think wellbutrin decreases appetite and naltrexone probably blocks the receptors in the brain and curbs cravings.
You should not take this drug if you have a seizure disorder, eating disorder or are pregnant. And, it is meant to be used with a healthy diet and exercise plan.
In clinical trials, participants loss 5% to 10% and kept the weight off for up to 1 full year. On average, those who took contrave for 6 months combined with a weight management program loss 25 pounds.