Some people are waiting with bated breath for the approval of the newest weight loss medication to be officially placed on the market. The diet drug Contrave’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is being eagerly awaited this week by many as another important addition in the fight against obesity.
Contrave was turned down by the FDA in 2011 when its maker Orexigen (a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on treatment of obesity) first submitted it, as additional requests were made for research on any possible cardiovascular risks. However, Contrave, or NB32, was resubmitted in December 2013 and interim results were encouraging from a 8900-patient Light Study. The monitoring committee also pointed to the diet drug being safe enough.
In clinical trials with Contrave, it was found that study participants lost on average five percent of their body weight, compared to other weight loss products such as Qsymia where people lose on average nine percent of their body weight and Belviq, with an average body weight loss of three percent. However, perhaps one of the reasons for the high anticipation for Contrave is that it is expected to be more easily available to the public than Qsymia and Belviq.
The latter two medications are considered controlled substances, and so health professional have to observe strict guidelines in prescribing them. On the other hand, Contrave is not expected to be approved by the FDA as a controlled substance, presenting less strict guidelines for prescriptions by doctors.
Contrave is a combination of two drugs – naltrexone (used in the treatment of alcoholism) and bupropion (an antidepressant which most people would recognize in the popular Wellbutrin.) When trial participants on buproprion had reported how much better they felt and looked, this provided a hint for researchers to explore the possibilities of its use in weight management.
Orexigen’s website explains that Contrave is believed to reduce appetite, help control cravings, increase metabolism, and improve control in overeating behaviors.