Contrave: The Latest Weight Loss DrugPosted: July 15, 2014 in Obesity Medicine by Craig Primack MD FACP
A new weight loss drug may be on the horizon for people suffering from obesity. Contrave, which is also known as NB32, is up for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September 2014. Although this drug has already been rejected by the FDA once, manufacturers are hopeful that the new data they have collected will be sufficient to satisfy regulators this time around.
How It Works
According to Forbes, Contrave is made from a combination of two drugs already used in medical treatment: bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion is marketed under the brand name Wellbutrin and is typically prescribed as an antidepressant. Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors in the brain and is most often prescribed as a treatment for addiction. Wellbutrin has been shown to promote weight loss on its own. When combined with naltrexone, this effect is enhanced.
Competing Weight Loss Medications
If approved, Contrave will join a short list of weight loss medications already on the market in the USA. Although the majority of drugs currently prescribed for weight loss have been available for more than 13 years, two medications were just released in 2012. Marketed under the brand names Belviq and Qsymia, the drugs have yet to be widely accepted in the United States.
Can Contrave Succeed?
Local Diet Doctor reports that Contrave has a few advantages over these other new weight loss drugs that may improve its chances of success in the market, assuming the FDA approves its release in September 2014.
Intensive Research and Testing
Contrave has undergone more testing than its competitors have. In fact, after the FDA denied its initial request for approval, the manufacturers of Contrave invested in an extensive study to examine the possible cardiac side effects of the drug.
Plans to market Contrave are already in place. Contrave’s manufacturer has joined forces with Takeda Pharmaceuticals in order to create campaigns that will raise awareness among physicians and patients alike.
Unlike Belviq and Qsymia, Contrave is unlikely to be classified as a controlled substance and is therefore easier for patients to obtain and use.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for obesity. The condition can have many different contributing factors, and no drug will solve the problem for everyone. However, if approved, Contrave is likely to help a number of patients. In addition, because of its advantages over the competition, it may even become one of the more popular weight loss medications on the market.