On September 10 the FDA approved the extensively studied drug Contrave as a treatment for weight management when used in addition to a reduced-calorie diet and physical activity.
The drug is approved for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater or adults with a BMI of 27 or greater who have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.
Contrave is a combination of two FDA-approved drugs, naltrexone and bupropion, in an extended-release form. Naltrexone is approved to treat alcohol and opioid dependence. Bupropion is approved to treat depression and seasonal affective disorder and as an aid to smoking cessation treatment.
Contrave was studied in clinical trials enrolling more than 4,500 people. The Central Ohio Nutrition Center was selected to participate in this study. In these clinical trials, 53 percent of study participants taking Contrave and 21 percent of those taking placebo lost five percent or more of their body weight over the 12 month trial duration. Many patients saw improvements in cholesterol levels and blood sugar control. Those who combined Contrave with intensive diet and exercise experienced the most reduction in body weight.
CONCI physicians will make Contrave available to patients who meet the criteria for its use and for whom the medication is appropriate.