Contrave, a sustained-release formula of bupropion and naltrexone, is a potential new weight loss medication. This past December it was approved by the advisory panel of the FDA, and will be evaluated by the FDA this January.
The diet drug sibutramine (meridia), first approved in 1997 for use in obesity, was voluntarily pulled from the market by Abbott pharmaceuticals on October 8, 2010 based on the results of the SCOUT study. The large SCOUT study involved about 9800 subjects and lasted 3.4 years. All the subjects in the study had a history of cardiovascular disease and/or type 2 diabetes and were at least 55 years old. The study showed that high risk subjects with pre-existing cardiovascular disease had a 16% increase in nonfatal events (stroke or heart attack), but there was no increase in cardiovascular deaths or deaths from any cause. The diabetes-only group (without preexisting cardiovascular disease) did not show an increase in nonfatal events. The average group weight loss was about nine pounds maintained over the course of the study. Sibutramine is not recommended for patients with cardiovascular disease, so this study involved subjects who are not considered candidates for use of the drug.
There is a another new weight loss drug on the horizon called Qnexa. This drug is a combination of two medications, phentermine and topiramate.