FDA Bans Weight Loss Drug ContravePosted: February 28, 2011 in Obesity Medicine by Craig Primack MD FACP
The FDA has banned the weight loss drug Contrave, arguing that it poses a risk to health. Although two ingredients in Contrave, bupropion and naltexone, are already in use, the FDA decision to ban Contrave is based on its potential risks to the heart, outweighing its benefits in treating obesity.
With the rapid rise in obesity rates in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas, along with the rest of the United States, medical professionals are seeking effective medical weight loss solutions. The increase in the overweight population has caused an accompanying rise in chronic health problems. This is a major health concern facing the US.
While many medical professionals look to solutions through medications and surgical interventions, many others believe addressing the root cause of the obesity problem should focus on lifestyle changes. Some see the FDA’s decision as a step in the right direction. Rather than viewing medications as the ultimate solution to stem the obesity increase, changes in diet and exercise should be emphasized.
Two basic aspects of modern life lead to weight gain. The abundance of high calorie foods and the lack of physical movement brought about by modern technologies combine to promote weight gain. Our ancestors did not have a steady supply of high calorie foods, and they incorporated movement into all aspects of life. Now, calorie intake exceeds calorie output resulting in a lifetime of struggling with weight gain.
Medical weight loss solutions are needed to address the health risks of obese patients, but along with medical interventions, lifestyle changes need to be implemented. Effective drugs can play an important role in reducing the dangerous health risks associated with obesity. The FDA’s decision to not approve Contrave is a result of the drug’s possible heart-health risks and its unknown long-term benefits in controlling weight.