A Review of an Anti-obesity Therapy
Contrave is a prescription product that comprises of two drugs, naltrexone and bupropion. It was recently approved on September 10, 2014 for use in combination with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise. The drug is manufactured by Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. However, Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. is the distributor. The drug is approved and indicated for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher as well as BMI of 27 or higher who have a medical condition related to weight such as diabetes. It appeared that the drug has long been evaluated for public use.
Method of Action
The two active ingredients, naltrexone and bupropion, are currently available individually in the market. Naltrexone is used to treat alcohol and narcotic dependence while bupropion works to help people stop smoking. With regard to the role in weight control, bupropion acts by stimulating neurons that contain peptide products of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). Similiarly, naltrexone reversibly increase the frequency of action potentials in POMC neurons. These neurons have direct connections to the area of the brain that regulates appetite.
Perception and Safety
A number of weight control products has been made available to the public. Some of these products are over the counter while others are prescription products. I am sure we are all aware of the famous product Alli. However, when there is concern regarding a particular product, the trust the public has on such product goes in doubt. Currently, contrave, which has much been discussed prior to its approval will now be a product of evaluation by the public as soon as it is used. Well, the fact that contrave is out does not stop continuous monitoring by the manufacturer. In fact, FDA requires makers of drug products to do post-marketing monitoring to ensure continuous safety. It is necessary to ensure safety for the general public.
Some of the concerns of contrave are based on the warnings and side effects of the two drug products. Bupropion has a boxed warning to alert health care professional of the potential of increased risk of suicidal thoughts. The product can cause other problems such as seizure (though it is dose related), increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, nausea, constipation, dizziness, vomitting, dry mouth, diarrhea and insomnia.
Contrave should be discontinued and not reordered in patients who experience a seizure while being treated with it. Other products containing bupropion or naltrexone should not be taken with contrave. Health insurance company have been unwilling to cover drugs that target obesity, making widespread adoption unlikely unless their position changes. People who are trying to lose weight should really create a long term lifestyle modification plan. To see any positive effect and changes in body weight, one should really consider following a reduced-calorie diet plan in addition to contrave usage.