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.
Those patients on the highest dose of the combination lost 6.1% of body weight during a 56-week trial, compared with just a 1.3% reduction for those on placebo. The drug also brought significant improvements in HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein compared with placebo. Patients reported greatly reduced hunger or desire for sweet or starchy food, increased feelings of fullness, and an ability to resist food cravings and control eating. The most frequent adverse event in the treatment groups was nausea. Headache, constipation, dizziness, vomiting, and dry mouth were also more frequent in the drug groups as compared to placebo.
If approved, this medication will be another tool that some patients can use to help in the efforts to treat their obesity. As with other medications, however, this tool will work best with a comprehensive approach to obesity – diet, exercise, and lifestyle change. The physicians and staff of the Central Ohio Nutrition Center have participated in numerous clinical trials studying weight loss medications and their role in obesity treatment.