Medically reviewed by Sophia Entringer, PharmD. Last updated on May 4, 2021.
What is Contrave?
Contrave contains a combination of bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion is an antidepressant medicine that can also decrease appetite. Naltrexone is usually given to block the effects of opioids or alcohol in people with addiction problems. Naltrexone may also curb hunger and food cravings.
Contrave will not treat any weight-related medical condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.
Contrave is not approved to treat depression or other psychiatric conditions, or to help you quit smoking.
You should not use Contrave if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, seizures, an eating disorder, opioid addiction, if you take opioid medicine or other forms of bupropion, have bulimia or anorexia nervosa, are taking a MAOI, or if you have suddenly stopped using alcohol, seizure medication, or a sedative.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using. Many drugs can interact with bupropion and naltrexone, and some drugs should not be used together.Do not use Contrave if you are pregnant.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking bupropion. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Do not take Contrave if you also take narcotic medicine or other forms of bupropion (such as Wellbutrin or Zyban), or if you are going through withdrawal from alcohol or drug addiction.
Before taking this medicine
Do not use Contrave if you are pregnant. Weight loss during pregnancy can harm an unborn baby, even if you are overweight. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.
You should not use Contrave if you are allergic to bupropion or naltrexone, or if you have:
untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure;
an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia);
a history of seizures;
opioid addiction or withdrawal (or if you take methadone or buprenorphine);
if you take other forms of bupropion (Wellbutrin, Aplenzin, Budeprion, Forfivo, Zyban, and others); or
if you have suddenly stopped using alcohol, seizure medication, or a sedative such as Xanax, Valium, Fiorinal, Klonopin, and others.
Do not use opioid medication for a minimum of 7 to 10 days before starting Contrave.
Do not use an MAO inhibitor within 14 days before or 14 days after you take Contrave. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.
To make sure Contrave is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
depression, bipolar disorder, or mental illness;
suicidal thoughts or actions;
a head injury;
a tumor or infection in your brain or spinal cord;
diabetes or low blood sugar;
low sodium levels;
liver or kidney disease;
heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke; or
drug addiction, or if you normally drink a lot of alcohol.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking bupropion. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Bupropion and naltrexone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breastfeed while using this medicine.
Contrave is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take Contrave?
Take Contrave exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not take more than 2 tablets at once.
Do not take Contrave with a high-fat meal, or you may be more likely to have a seizure.
If you need to use opioid medicine for any reason (such as pain, surgery, or treatment for drug addiction) you may need to stop taking Contrave for a short time. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Contrave may affect a drug-screening urine test and you may have false results. Tell the laboratory staff that you use this medicine.
Store Contrave at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
If you have not lost at least 5% of your starting weight after 12 weeks of treatment, Contrave may not be right for you.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Do not take more than 4 tablets in 1 day.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of this medicine can be fatal, especially if you also take an opioid medicine.
What to avoid
Drinking alcohol with bupropion may increase your risk of seizures. If you drink alcohol regularly, talk with your doctor before changing the amount you drink. Bupropion can also cause seizures in a regular drinker who suddenly stops drinking.
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity. Do not take other weight-loss products or diet pills unless your doctor has told you to.
Do not use opioid medication, methadone, heroin, or other street drugs while you are taking Contrave. Doing so could result in dangerous effects, including coma and death.
Contrave side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Contrave: fever, swollen glands, mouth sores, muscle or joint pain; hives, rash or itching; chest pain, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, severe drowsiness, or if you are hard to wake up.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have:
severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, fast heartbeats;
a seizure (convulsions);
blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
changes in mood or behavior - anxiety, depression, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, agitation, thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself;
a manic episode - racing thoughts, increased energy, unusual risk-taking behavior, extreme happiness, being irritable or talkative;
liver problems - upper stomach pain, tiredness, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
severe skin reaction - fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling.
Older adults may be more likely to have certain side effects.
Common Contrave side effects may include:
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
dry mouth; or
sleep problems (insomnia).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Contrave?
When you start or stop taking Contrave, your doctor may need to adjust the doses of other medicines you take on a regular basis.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Weight gain is not a common side effect with oral naltrexone treatment. When used in combination with bupropion, naltrexone is approved to help promote weight loss. Naltrexone is known to frequently cause stomach side effects like nausea and vomiting, stomach pain or cramping, and loss of appetite which could contribute to weight loss. Weight gain and increased appetite have been reported as a possible side effect, but is not common. Continue reading
More about Contrave (bupropion / naltrexone)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 1902 Reviews
- Drug class: anorexiants
- FDA Approval History
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Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Contrave only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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