Weight Loss Medications: What Is Contrave?

January 16, 2020


Losing weight can be a frustrating and daunting task. There are different types of medications developed to help with weight loss, with most failing to accomplish the desired result. In 2014, the FDA approved Contrave as a weight loss medication for overweight or obese adults. However, before discussing Contrave for weight loss, it is vital to understand why losing weight is essential.

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Why Should You Lose Weight?

Individuals who need weight management are identified by measuring their BMI. If you are obese or overweight, understanding the benefits of losing weight can help you in your journey. Being overweight negatively affects your lifestyle and health.  Some essential health benefits accompanied by weight loss are:

  • Regulated blood pressure
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Decreased heart disease risks
  • Regulated blood sugar levels
  • Enhanced mobility
  • Decreased risk of stroke
  • Decreased risk of diabetes
  • Decreased risk of cancer

In addition to the health benefits above, losing weight also helps you to improve your lifestyle significantly. People who have lost weight often report that the benefits are:

  • Enhanced body image
  • Confidence boost
  • Low-stress levels
  • Improved moods
  • Better sleeping patterns
  • An active social life

Now that you know the advantages of losing weight, let’s take a look at contrave weight loss medications.

What Is Contrave?

Contrave, also known as NB32, is an FDA-approved combination of two drugs, namely naltrexone and bupropion, that helps manage weight in adults with weight-related problems. Bupropion is a widely used antidepressant medicine, while naltrexone is used to reduce hunger and cravings and is classified as an opiate antagonist drug. Naltrexone also mitigates the effects of using drugs such as narcotics or alcohol in addicts. It is vital to note that contrave can not treat weight-related conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.


Contrave is a combination of bupropion and naltrexone.

How Does Contrave Work?

Hormonal systems affect the process by which your body gains weight. If these systems are not regulated, there can be changes where the amount of fat your body chooses to keep is more than what it chooses to reduce. Contrave helps you lose weight by influencing factors such as how your body controls these hormones and modulating appetite.

As mentioned, contrave is a combination of naltrexone and bupropion, which work together to affect the impulse, hunger, and reward sections of your brain. The drug works by blocking opioid receptors in your brain that associate food with large amounts of calories as enjoyable. Therefore, using contrave ensures that you eat less since you feel full quicker.

Besides the brain, contrave also affects other body systems and hormones. The drug alters thyroid function in your body and reduces insulin resistance. So why is this important? Thyroid function is responsible for balancing your total weight. Studies show that progressive weight gain reduces thyroid hormones in your body, making it difficult to lose weight.

The naltrexone in contrave increases T4 and T3 conversion and increases T3 levels, which improves your thyroid hormone status and metabolism. Naltrexone also makes your body sensitive to sugar, which leads to reduced insulin resistance and blood sugar levels. This effect is substantial since studies show that 50% of people in the United States dealing with weight and health problems have a certain amount of insulin resistance.

Who Should Use Contrave?

You can use contrave if you are struggling to lose weight and have:

  • Chronic pains – Mainly due to progressive weight gain
  • Thyroid issues
  • Setpoint defects – Occurs when you stagnate at a certain weight and cannot lose it further
  • Insulin resistance 

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Who Should Not Use Contrave?

Contrave is not safe to use for every individual. Therefore, it is essential to know which factors to consider before using the drug. It is vital to remember that you should not use narcotics and alcohol alongside contrave. Using either of these reduces the potency of the drug.

You should also not use contrave if you are on antidepressant drugs that contain bupropion. It is also not advisable to use contrave if you haven’t withdrawn from opiates or take opioid pain medications. Therefore, ensure you let your doctor know about these drugs or any other type of drugs such as sedatives to avoid any adverse effects on your overall health. Only use other medicines if your healthcare provider says it is okay to use them alongside contrave.

Individuals with eating disorders should consult with their doctors before taking contrave. These can be conditions such as anorexia, eating very little, or bulimia, which is eating in excess. Taking contrave while you have these eating disorders can make the condition worse than before since your body’s metabolic balance is affected.

You may also be allergic to the components used to make contrave. Therefore, do not take contrave if you had previous reactions to any of its components or experience allergic reactions once you start using the drug. Contrave may also contain inactive ingredients that may trigger allergies or other complications, which is why it is vital to consult your health professional before use.

Preexisting conditions should be considered before taking contrave. Contrave is known to cause seizures in individuals who have certain medical conditions. These seizures can also present themselves if you had such episodes in the past. Using the drug also disorients blood sugar levels, which is why it is essential to let your doctor know if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure. Also, ensure you notify your health practitioner of other conditions such as hypersensitivity, pregnancy, diabetes, or heart problems. Note that the efficacy and safety of contrave in children and young adults ages below 18 years are not established.




How To Use Contrave 

Besides using the drug, doctors recommend that you exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and sleep well. The amount of weight you lose is significantly dependent on the diet and exercise programs you set at the start of your weight loss journey. When taking contrave, ensure that you take lots of water, especially if you experience side effects such as nausea after using the drug. Talk to your doctor for advice on the types of diets and exercises that go along with contrave weight loss medications.

Also, ensure that you take the right dosages of the medication. In most cases, the drug is administered in doses of a 1-morning tablet daily, which changes as you progress with the treatment. When taking contrave, ensure that you do not chew, cut, or crush the pills to avoid releasing all the drug contents to the body all at once. Also, avoid high-fat food when taking the drug.

In instances where you miss a dose, take it the next day and at the regular time or as soon as you remember if it is not too close to your scheduled dosage. Taking two or more tablets against what your doctor has prescribed can lead to adverse effects such as seizures or even death. In cases of contrave overdose, ensure you seek medical attention immediately. It is also vital to avoid taking the medication right before you sleep, especially if you have recently started using it since it causes restlessness.

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Contrave has significant effects if you are after losing excess weight. However, it would be best if you only used contrave at the discretion of a qualified health practitioner. If you are troubled by your weight and feel that you can benefit from contrave for weight loss, make consultations by visiting our website or calling us on (786) 422-9327.

Weight loss medication should be taken with precaution. Consult a physician first!


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