Contrave is a prescription only, FDA approved weight loss pill.
It is prescribed to people with a BMI of more than 30. Although it can also be prescribed to those with a BMI of 27 or more if they have a medical condition connected to their weight
Contrave claims to reduce the appetite and therefore reduce the amount of calories consumed.
What is Contrave? Contrave is a FDA approved prescription weight loss medicine for both men, women with a BMI of over 30 who want to lose weight.
Is Contrave effective? Yes, Contrave has been shown to be effective in medical trials. It is also FDA approved.
Is Contrave a controlled substance? No, Contrave is not a controlled substance.
How long do you have to be on the pill for it to work? This will heavily depend on individuals and their current lifestyle. Contrave official studies were conducted over a 56 week period, in combination with a diet and exercise program. According to their website, during this time, average weight loss on Contrave was 25 pounds each. Results will vary and Contrave may not be suitable for everyone. If you have not lost any weight after a few months, your doctor may tell you to stop taking Contrave.
How to take Contrave? Contrave dosage is increased gradually over the first 4 weeks of use. For the first week, it is advised to take only 1 pill in the morning. For the second week, you take 1 pill morning and evening. For the third week, you would take 2 pills in the morning and only 1 in the evening. Then from week 4 onwards, you would take 2 pills in the morning and evening.
If you wish to stop taking Contrave, you should consult with your doctor. This is because some people have experienced withdrawal symptoms.
Who should use Contrave? Contrave is for use by people who have a BMI of more than 30. If you have a BMI of 27 or more, and a health condition related to your weight, you can apply for Contrave. It can only be prescribed by your doctor and not FDA approved for children under 18.
How much does Contrave cost? Contrave can cost between $55 and $300 per month. Costs vary depending on your location and insurance coverage.
Is Contrave safe? Contrave is FDA approved. But it does have a long list of quite concerning risks and potential side effects. Potential Contrave side effects include; headaches, nightmares, dizziness, insomnia, itching, mood disruption, restlessness and aggression. One of the main ingredients – bupropion, may cause suicidal thoughts in children and young adults. We recommend you discuss these in depth with your doctor before deciding to use Contrave.
Does Contrave give you energy? There is some evidence to support that one of the ingredients in Contrave, bupropion, can cause an increase in energy levels.
Is Contrave legal? Yes, Contrave is legal. It is FDA approved, but is a prescription only medicine. Contrave should only be used at the advice of your doctor.
Where to buy Contrave? You can get from your doctor or buy Contrave online via the official website.
Does Contrave work? Contrave has been clinically proven to have a positive effect on weight loss when used in combination with diet and exercise. Individual results will vary therefore Contrave may not be suitable for everyone. If you have not lost any weight after a few months of use, your doctor may tell you to stop taking Contrave.
Are there any Contrave alternatives? Some common alternatives to Contrave are Phentermine and Belviq. These are both prescription medicines. There are also numerous other non-prescription, herbal based weight loss pills on the market.
Contrave is a prescription only medicine due to the strength of the drugs it contains.
This means your doctor must recommend it to you and cannot be purchased by just anyone.
It works by reducing your appetite and stops you from consuming too many calories. Contrave can help you lose weight and maintain this weight loss.
Contrave is generally for use by people which have a BMI of 30 or higher. However, if you have a BMI of more than 27, and a medical condition caused by your weight, you can also qualify for Contrave.
Here are the benefits of Contrave:
Contrave acts as an appetite suppressant – reducing the appetite and cravings in the ‘reward center’ of our brains.
Contrave works in two particular areas of our brains—the hypothalamus, and the mesolimbic reward system.
The hypothalamus is the hunger centre of the brain. Contrave works here to reduce feelings of hunger.
The mesolimbic reward system is responsible for food cravings, and the satisfaction we feel from giving in to sugary snacks. Contrave works upon this system to help control these potentially diet ruining cravings.
Reducing the appetite helps people to consume less calories throughout the day. If you consume less calories than you burn off, your body burns excess fat for energy.
Therefore Contrave claims to help you resist temptation of consuming more calories by lowering your hunger levels.
Thus, Contrave helps you to both lose weight and keep it off.
Contrave contains a blend of two active drugs: Bupropion Hydrochloride and Naltrexone Hydrochloride. They are included in strengths of 360 mg and 32 mg respectively. Here’s some further information about both of them:
Bupropion Hydrochloride is known by other names, such as “Zyban” and “Wellbutrin”.
It is often prescribed as an antidepressant, although it is known to have other effects when used in combination with other drugs.
It has been used to assist patients with smoking cessation, and also help people manage withdrawal symptoms.
Bupropion HCI is used in Contrave due to its’ appetite reduction properties. (1)
It has a balancing effect on the chemicals of the brain, restoring any imbalances that would lead to a feeling of hunger.
Bupropion stimulates the neurons in the brain’s’ hypothalamus. This encourages the neurons to release transmitters which reduce hunger.
This will help users to control their eating habits and prevent them from consuming too many calories.
Bupropion may also contribute to an increase in energy due to its antidepressant properties. This can be helpful for those who are trying to be more motivated and active to lose weight. (2)
Also sold under other names such as “ Revia” and “Vivitrol”, Naltrexone Hydrochloride is known a an “opiate antagonist”.
It works by preventing the activity of opioids in the body.
In plain english, this means it reduces desire for addictive substances such as alcohol and opioids.
This can be useful for people who’s main source of excess calories comes from alcohol.
Naltrexone HCI also has well-documented appetite suppression effects when used in combination with Bupropion HCI. (3)
This is where things could get a little concerning.
We have seen that Contrave has been clinically proven to help with weight loss and maintenance.
However, it also has a long list of clearly stated warnings and potential side effects – of which many of them can be very serious.
As with any medication, it is important to consider the possible consequences before use.
Some potential side effects from using Contrave are; headaches, nightmares, dizziness, insomnia, itching, mood disruption, restlessness and aggression.
It is also very important to note that the active ingredient bupropion, may increase the risk of suicidal tendencies. In particular it can have this effect on children, adolescents and young adults.
Patients taking Contrave are advised to make sure they monitor mood for anything unusual.
Other, more serious risks include: liver damage, heart damage, hormonal imbalances, seizures, mania and visual disturbances.
If you are considering asking your doctor for Contrave, ask about the potential side effects before making a decision.
The recommended Contrave dosage varies depending on how long you have been taking the medicine. Contrave dosing increases gradually for the first 4 weeks of use.
If you are just starting, it is advised to take 1 pill in the morning for the first week of use.
For the second week, you take 1 pill morning and evening.
For the third week, you would take 2 pills in the morning and only 1 in the evening.
Then from week 4 onwards, you would take 2 pills in the morning and evening.
Throughout this review we have seen that Contrave has been scientifically proven to be helpful for those who need to lose weight. The ingredients are FDA approved and have been used individually to treat other conditions for many years.
That said, Contrave does have a worrying list of risks and potential side effects ranging from headaches across the board to suicidal tendencies. These need to be carefully considered.
We strongly recommend that you discuss these with your doctor before deciding whether to use Contrave. We feel that there are safer alternatives to Contrave which may give similar results.
Therefore, we believe that a Contrave diet plan could be a good ‘last resort’ option for some people. In particular those who have tried dieting, but fail due to struggles with self control.
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