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Health Guide Review: 2,9/5

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Contrave Review: Does it work?

Intro: What is it?

Contrave is a prescription weight loss pill made to deliver results through appetite suppression.  It’s a combination of 2 ingredients which were originally used as an anti-depressant and drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

In order to use this drug you must introduce diet and exercise. It’s also necessary to have a body mass index of 30 or above. If you have an obesity related illnesses you can also take this brand if you have a BMI of at least 27.  Before using this drug a doctor has to establish that a person qualifies and isn’t susceptible to the numerous potential side effects. So is there any significant weight loss possible? What kind of use does this brand have for someone looking to lose weight? This full Contrave review has the information you need to know.

Contrave Ingredients

Naltrexone Bupropion

 

Bupropion: Antidepressant drug also used to reduce appetite. In the US and Canada it’s the number one prescribed antidepressant.  This drug has shown very little weight loss benefits. In one clinical study it showed just over 5 pounds of weight loss after being used for a full year.  It can potentially lead to the following side effects:

  • Epileptic seizures.
  • Severe hypertension.
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior.
  • Psychosis and delusions.
  • Irritability and anxiety with a sense of mania
  • Aches and pains.
  • Death.
  • Addiction and drug abuse.

Naltrexone: Used as a way to block the effects of alcohol and narcotics in people who are addicted. It’s most commonly used as a way to block opioid drugs.  There have been numerous reported side effects:

  • Diarrhea and abdominal pains.
  • Liver damage which the FDA lists as a warning of boxes of this.
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts, and actual suicide.
  • Extreme nausea. In clinical studies people had to quit due to this effect.
  • Blurred vision, light sensitivity, strained ears, and tinnitus.
  • Oily skin, acne, and cold sores.
  • Paranoia, disorientation, hallucinations and night terrors.

Inactive ingredients include:

Microcrystalline Cellulose Hydroxypropyl Cellulose Lactose Anhydrous L-cysteine hydrochloride
Crospovidone Magnesium Stearate Hypromellose Edetate Disodium
Lactose Monohydrate Colloidal Silicon Dioxide Opadry 2 Blue FD&C Blue #2 Lake

 

Lactose Anhydrous: A nonnutritive ingredient used as filler to increase size.  Since it contains lactose, people that are lactose intolerant are advised to avoid it.

Edetate Disodium: Used to remove heavy metals such as lead in an ingredient mixture.  It’s also used to reduce calcium in the blood when they are in dangerous limits. It’s unknown why this ingredient is added to this mix, or if there’s potential contaminants such as heavy metals added.

FD&C Blue #2 Lake:  Simply added to give Contrave a blue color. This food additive has no nutritional value. Rats fed this ingredient had significant increases of brain cancer.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest has tried to ban this ingredient due to its potential for serious side effects. It has also been linked to hyperactivity in children.

Contrave Quality of Ingredients

When mixing both of these drugs together the intended benefit is supposed to be change in the brain. The change is supposed to make food less rewarding in the brain, which is supposed to reduce food addiction.

This drug has been linked to:

  • Suicidal thoughts.
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Increased risk for seizures, especially when taking with high fat meals.

Each box of Contrave is required to have these warnings listed.

The drugs work in combination by hitting areas in the central nervous system.  Due to the uncertainty of what kind of an effect this may have on the body, a doctor has to ensure that one is healthy and at a certain level of obesity.

Since the side effects can be deadly, there’s too much risk for an unguaranteed result.

The Price and Quality of Contrave

It’s advised to slowly build up to this brand with one pill a day, after 4 weeks it’s recommended to take 4.

Also, the cost of this brand depends on where you get it from. Good RX.com mentions the list of the current prices for pharmacies. The lowest price is available for $216.55 for a 120 tablet bottle.

So the first 4 weeks will result in taking 70 pills. To calculate the cost after the body adjusts to four pills a day would equal:

$216.55/30= $7.21 for a daily serving.

There are a lot of restrictions one has to abide by. Such as keeping fat intake low in order to prevent seizures, and telling your doctor if you’re not losing enough weight.

Since there’s no guarantee of safety or effectiveness, this brand may be a potentially risky and expensive pill.

Clinical Studies

Before a drug is introduced into the market, the FDA has to see that the clinical studies showed an effect.

This brand had major studies done on 4,500 obese people which the FDA looked over and approved. This still requires reduced calories and exercise as well as a high BMI.

The study showed a 4.1 drop in weight in one year.  42% of the people who partook lost at least 5% of their body fat.

To calculate the average, this means that a 200 pound person could lose 4.1 which are 8.2 pounds in one full year. This is also with diet and exercise, which alone can cause a drop in weight.

In a major clinical study on Contrave published in Pub Med it was advised that:

“dietary and lifestyle changes should always remain the first-line treatment of obesity.”

The company does mention to limit calories and include exercise. However, since the brand only shows about 4.1% fat loss in one year, diet and exercise alone could contribute to much more changes.

Exceptions for Use

Before being considered for Contrave you cannot have a history of or are:

  • Seizures.
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
  • Untreated high blood pressure.
  • Any type of kidney damage including kidney failure.
  • Pregnant or nursing.

Also, if you have any of the following it’s advised to tell a doctor:

  • History of head injury.
  • Diabetes or a history of low blood sugar.
  • Addiction to any substances.
  • Past or present mental disorders including depression, bipolar thoughts, or suicidal thoughts.
  • A history or tumors or injections of the brain or spinal cord.
  • If you have a history of alcohol abuse.
  • Heart disease or history of blood clots/strokes.

You also have to keep close contact with a physician since there’s very unique things about this drug. For example, you can’t eat high fat meals with this drug since it greatly increases the chance for seizures. Avoiding alcohol is also recommended as it can lead to dangerous side effects.

Business of Contrave

Takeda Pharmaceuticals from Japan own this brand. Their US customer service can be reached below:

Phone Number: (224) 554-6500

Address: 1 Takeda Pkwy

Deerfield, Illinois 60015

They were subject to 2 major lawsuits:

  • 9,000 people participated in a class action lawsuit against the company for receiving bladder cancer from one of their drugs. It cost the company $2.37 billion in settlement money. They were found guilty of knowingly releasing a drug with dangerous side effects.
  • Their diabetes medicines lead to an increased risk for cancer. They were fined $9 billion in a lawsuit. This was reduced to $37 million. The company was cited once again for not releasing enough information about the possible side effects.

Customer Opinions of Contrave

There are many reviews available on Drugs.com:

“There are better, less toxic symptoms”

“Worsened heart problems”

“I had horrible constipation”

“It made me sick as a dog, I couldn’t think correctly”

There are many customers mentioning how they didn’t lose weight, some that did add that they couldn’t continue due to the side effects. The effects of nausea were too much to stomach further use.  When taking this brand it’s advised to stop taking it altogether and to watch out for dosing.

Conclusion

Here are the important details to remember about Contrave:

  • It can promote dangerous side effects: Certain factors increase the likelihood of experiencing an increase of potential symptoms. Those with certain medical conditions either current or present are advised to speak to their doctors beforehand. Also, you can’t eat high fat meals as it increases the chance of seizure. The possible side effects list is long with possible threats of skin disorders, organ damage, and sleep problems such as insomnia, convulsions, blurred vision, liver problems, dangerously high blood pressure, and death. This drug can only be recommended by a doctor if they deem a person healthy enough yet still with a high rate of obesity. It’s strictly advised to follow a doctor’s regimen alongside a nutrition and exercise plan. Also, a strict dosing serving is advised in order to reduce the change of side effects.
  • Many customers have complained about a lack of benefits: There are several reviews online from customers complaining about either no weight loss, or about the high rate of side effects. For some suing this product was impossible due to the extreme symptoms they faced. Some of the most common include nausea, headaches, and difficulty seeing. People added that even with diet and exercise there wasn’t enough change to justify the cost. There was also some mentioning that they failed to see any weight loss at all. Considering this brand costs over $200 for around a month’s supply, one would expect more guaranteed benefits.
  • There’s no guarantee of weight loss: The pill isn’t a sure thing for everyone. In many reported customer opinions there wasn’t a drop in weight. The company does not offer a money back guarantee, and in fact it’s advised to stop taking it if there isn’t weight loss. So this means for some there might not be any change in weight at all. The company does mention that diet and exercise are necessary, which for some might be enough for weight loss. This lack of a guarantee coupled with the high amounts of potential side effects makes this brand an expensive, potentially risky weight loss pill.
  • The clinical studies showed only slight drops in weight: The average study only showed a 4.1% drop in weight, which isn’t guaranteed. This means that a 200 pound person can expect around 8 pounds of weight loss. This small figure is for a years’ worth of supplementing alongside diet and exercise. To put that into perspective, it means on average a person loses less than a pound a month. This small drop in weight isn’t a guarantee either. For some there might be no change at all. With such a limited amount of possible weight loss, it would be much less expensive to seek other alternatives. Keep in mind that since a 120 capsule bottle is priced at pharmacies at the lowest price of $216.55, you’re paying at least $2,598.60 for less than a pound of weight loss a month.
  • A lot of effort and management is placed on the customer: In order to see results it’s advised to introduce diet and exercise. It’s never explained how much effort is required on customers in order to see results. Clinical studies showed that only 42% of people lost up to 5% of their body weight. Still, with the necessary daily intake of pills which have to be taken on a regimented basis to avoid side effects, it takes a lot of dedication. You also have to make sure you not take Contrave with any high fat meals. So you also have to count your macronutrients as well. On top of this you have to keep close contact with a physician in order to prevent the possibility of side effects. If you don’t lose enough weight it’s advised to discontinue use. However, the required lifestyle changes may be the sole reason for weight loss.

Due to the high rate of unsatisfied customers and the long list of potential side effects, Contrave isn’t the best weight loss pill available.

It’s also very expensive at the lowest pharmacy price of $212.55 for one bottle. There’s also no guarantee that you’ll be able to lose any weight.

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