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Contrave Weight Loss Medication

Contrave® is an FDA-approved prescription medication specifically designed to assist in weight loss.

Contrave weight loss medication header

Contrave Benefits

Weight loss can often feel like a constant battle with hunger and cravings. This is where the benefits of Contrave comes in.
Contrave works directly on the brain to help curb those feelings of hunger and keep cravings under control. It is an effective tool when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Contrave weight loss medication eating

Contrave Targets Multiple Eating Triggers

What Is Contrave

Contrave® is an FDA-approved dual-action weight loss medication in the form of an oral formulation, containing 8mg of naltrexone and 90mg of bupropion.
This unique formulation targets the experiences of hunger, satiety, and cravings in the brain to stimulate weight loss.

Who Can Take Contrave?

Contrave is used as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or adults with a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) who have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.

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BMIClassification For Asians
Less than 18.5:Underweight
18.5 - 22.9:Normal weight
23 - 27.4:Overweight
27.5 - 32.4:Class I Obese
32.5 - 37.4:Class II Obese
37.5 upwards:Class III Obese

How Does Contrave Work?

Contrave combines two medications, naltrexone and bupropion, to help with weight loss.

1. Naltrexone: Naltrexone in Contrave helps reduce food cravings. It works by affecting certain receptors in the brain that are involved in the reward system. By blocking these receptors, naltrexone can help decrease the desire for food.

2. Bupropion: Bupropion in Contrave acts as an appetite suppressant. It affects certain chemicals in the brain that influence hunger and feelings of fullness. This can make you feel less hungry and reduce the urge to eat excessively.

Contrave weight loss medication how does it work 1

Contrave Results

In clinical trials1, patients treated with Contrave achieved significant weight reduction when compared with a placebo. 
Participants who completed 1 year of treatment, weight loss of at least 5% at Week 16 was associated with a mean weight loss of 11.6%2 at Week 56. 85% of these participants had Week 56 weight loss of ≥5%. 

Contrave Weight Loss Medication Study

Contrave Side Effects

Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion) is a medication that, while effective for weight loss, can come with a range of side effects including nausea, constipation, headache, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, and diarrhea.
To help manage these potential side effects, Contrave is designed to be introduced to the body gradually. The dosing starts at a lower level and increases over time, allowing the body to adjust to the medication and thereby reduce the severity of any side effects.

Note: It is important to note that like any medication, it is not without risks. Therefore, consulting with a trained doctor is essential to determine its suitability for you.

Tips To Manage Contrave Side Effects

This is the most common side effect. It can be mitigated by taking the medication with food or by starting with a lower dose and gradually increasing to the full dose.

Increasing fiber intake, drinking plenty of water, and regular physical activity can help manage constipation.

Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to manage headaches. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new medication.

These side effects may decrease over time as your body adjusts to the medication. If they persist or worsen, consult with a healthcare provider.

Taking the medication in the morning can help manage insomnia. Avoiding caffeine and creating a regular sleep schedule may also help.

Drinking plenty of water, chewing sugar-free gum, and avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and spicy foods can help manage dry mouth.

Eating bland, low-fiber foods can help manage diarrhea. It’s also important to stay hydrated.


Contrave (naltrexone/bupropion) has several contraindications that are important to consider:

Contrave can lead to increases in blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore, it should not be used in individuals with uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Bupropion, one of the active ingredients in Contrave, can increase the risk of seizures. Therefore, Contrave should not be used in individuals with a history of seizures or conditions that increase the risk of seizures.

Contrave is contraindicated in individuals with anorexia nervosa or bulimia because these patients are at a higher risk for seizures, which is a potential side effect of bupropion.

Naltrexone, the other active ingredient in Contrave, is an opioid antagonist and can precipitate withdrawal in individuals who are physically dependent on opioids. Therefore, Contrave should not be used in individuals who are currently using opioids or are in acute opiate withdrawal.

Contrave can cause harm to a fetus and should not be used during pregnancy.

Contrave should not be used in conjunction with certain medications, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) due to the risk of hypertensive reactions, and other bupropion-containing products due to the increased risk of seizures.

Contrave should not be used in individuals who have shown hypersensitivity to bupropion or naltrexone, or any other ingredients in Contrave.

Note: Always consult with a trained healthcare provider for medical advice.

Contrave FAQs

It’s not recommended to take Contrave with other weight loss medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Combining weight loss medications can increase the risk of side effects and may not necessarily lead to greater weight loss.

Yes, Contrave should be used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for the best results.

If you haven’t achieved at least a 5% weight loss after 12 weeks of treatment with Contrave, it’s unlikely that you will benefit from continuing the medication. You should consult with your healthcare provider about alternative weight loss strategies.

It’s recommended to minimize or avoid alcohol consumption while taking Contrave, as it can increase the risk of seizures and other side effects.

Contrave and Saxenda are both FDA-approved medications for weight loss, but they work in different ways and have different active ingredients. Contrave is a combination of naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, and bupropion, an antidepressant. It works by reducing hunger and controlling cravings.
On the other hand, Saxenda (liraglutide) is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It works by mimicking an intestinal hormone that tells the brain your stomach is full. Saxenda is injected subcutaneously, while Contrave is an oral medication.

Both Contrave and Saxenda are intended for adults with a 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, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.
However, the choice between Contrave and Saxenda may depend on individual patient factors, including their medical history, lifestyle, and personal preference. For example, Saxenda might be a better choice for someone who is comfortable with injections and is looking for a medication that directly affects feelings of fullness. Contrave might be more suitable for someone who struggles with food cravings and prefers an oral medication.

Yes, Contrave is available in Malaysia. It requires a prescription and regulated by the NPRA.
If you are considering taking Contrave, it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of the medication. Contrave can be a safe and effective weight loss option for some people, but it is not right for everyone.

Yes, weight loss medication can be effective as an adjunct to a balanced diet and regular exercise. However, it’s important to consult with a trained doctor for suitability and personalised guidance.

At Alainn, our weight loss programme begins by determining your ideal weight (calculate here), followed by a tailor-made programme designed specifically for your needs. Here’s how we guide our patients at Alainn to achieve a gradual weight loss. 
To find out if this programme is the right fit for you, please contact us.

Meet Dr.Ain..

Dr Ain Obesity Colloq Speaker 2

Since 2015, Dr. Ain has established herself as a prominent Key Opinion Leader in the field of body contouring and weight management. As the driving force behind Alainn Clinic, she has been at the forefront of adopting cutting-edge treatments. Dr. Ain’s active involvement in clinical studies, along with her extensive knowledge and expertise, ensures that patients at Alainn Clinic receive optimal and significant outcomes.

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