Generic Name: bupropion and naltrexone (bue PRO pee on and nal TREX own)
Brand Names: Contrave
Medically reviewed on August 9, 2018
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 narcotics 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 narcotic medicine or other forms of bupropion, 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 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 breast-feed 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 narcotic 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.
Store Contrave at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
If you have not lost at least 5% of your starting weight after 16 weeks of treatment, Contrave may not be right for you.
Contrave dosing information
Usual Adult Dose of Contrave for Weight Loss:
-Week 1: One tablet (8 mg naltrexone/90 mg bupropion) orally once in the morning; then
-Week 2: One tablet orally twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening); then
-Week 3: Two tablets orally in the morning and one tablet orally in the evening
Maintenance dose: Week 4 and onward: Two tablets orally twice a day (morning and evening)
Maximum dose: Two tablets orally twice a day
-Discontinue therapy if a patient has not lost at least 5% of baseline body weight after 12 weeks at the maintenance dose.
-The effect of this drug on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been established.
-The safety and effectiveness of this drug in combination with other products intended for weight loss, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal preparations, have not been established.
An adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index (BMI) of:
-30 kg/m2 or greater (obese) or
-27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition (e.g., hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia)
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
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 a narcotic (opioid medicine).
What should I avoid while taking Contrave?
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.
See also: Contrave and alcohol (in more detail)
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 narcotic 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:
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);
increased blood pressure - severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed; or
severe skin reaction - fever, mouth or throat pain, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple rash that spreads and causes blisters 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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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.
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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