To this day obesity represents one of the most significant public health concerns, especially in the United States. It has been proven numerous times that obesity significantly raises the risks of developing various heart problems, high blood pressure and diabetes.
And while a low-calorie diet combined with regular exercise is the only way to fight obesity, it can be too difficult, especially for patients who have already developed the overweight-related health problems and who need to lose weight fast. That is why scientists have come up with medication, such as Contrave weight loss pill, which could assist obese patients in losing weight.
What is BMI and how to count it?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), more than 30% of adults in US are obese, and more than two thirds are considered overweight.
To determine obesity, doctors and health care providers still use the measures, created years ago – the Body Mass Index. The system helps measure the body fat, according to the height and weight of an individual (both male and female).
There are special kinds of electronic scales that could help assess one’s body mass index more accurately. Otherwise, to get an approximate evaluation, one can divide the weight in kg by one’s height in m. The result is then divided by person’s height once again. What you get then is your BMI.
The weight loss medication that is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, like Contrave diet pill, is only prescribed to patients with the BMI higher than 30 (in some cases also to overweight patients with the BMI 27 and higher ).
What is Contrave?
Contrave is an original drug, which is basically a combination of other two (naltrexone and bupropion) and is currently used to treat obesity. After almost thirteen years of no available legal medication for weight loss, Contrave diet pill hit the market in September 2014. Both components (naltrexone and bupropion) have also been approved by FDA as separate treatments.
Naltrexone, for instance, is prescribed to patients to help treat various dependencies, such as alcohol and opioid. Meanwhile, Bupropion is mainly used to treat smoking dependence, SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and depression.
When combined in one (resulting Contrave), the drug is used to manage the appetite and is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. However, it is important to mention that Contrave diet pill is only used to treat obesity and help patients lose weight, thus it will not affect other health conditions, such as obesity comorbidities or smoking and alcohol dependencies.
Is Contrave weight loss drug effective?
Contrave has been examined during several randomized clinical trials over the 12-months period. Overall about four thousand and five hundred obese adults have participated in the trials (both male and female, as well as with and without diabetes). Participants were prescribed a lower-calorie diet, regular exercising and given either Contrave weight loss drug or placebo (the pill that is inactive).
The trial on patients without diabetes has shown the following results: the average weight loss from Contrave was 4.1% over the placebo. The goal of the trial was to make patients lose at least 5 percent of their body weight. That goal was achieved by 42% of participants in the group that was given the actual Contrave diet pill. Meanwhile, only 17% of the placebo group has also reached the same goal.
Another randomized clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of Contrave was conducted on patients with Type-2 Diabetes. This time the average weight loss from Contrave was 2%, compared to the treatment with placebo. Over the course of one year, 36% of enrolled participants who we given the actual drug have managed to lose 5% of their total body weight. In the meantime, 18% of participants in the placebo group have lost the same amount of weight.
Such weight loss might seem insignificant at first look, but doctors and health care providers state that this is the best way to lose weight. The process might be slower than anticipated, but the progress is real and maintainable. Furthermore, even such weight loss can have a significant effect on one’s health and might even be crucial for prolonging the life of a patient.
The efficacy of the Contrave weight loss drug, therefore, has been proved numerous times. However, there are certain factors which depend on an individual and which could prevent the medication from working properly. That is why, after the first 12 weeks of using the medication, you will have to get an evaluation that could help determine whether the drug is working for you.
You are not expected to lose weight fast, but you are expected to lose at least 5 percent of your initial body weight after the 12-week Contrave course. In case if you don’t reach the expected result, the medication must be discontinued, as the drug, apparently, will not be any more effective in future and won’t help you lose nor sustain weight.
Is Contrave diet pill safe?
The fact that Contrave was approved by the FDA to be used as a treatment to fight obesity, gives even more confidence in the safety of the medication, especially considered that no weight-loss drugs were available for so long due to safety issues.
However, one should not forget that Contrave diet pill is a federally controlled substance and is only available with a prescription. Furthermore, because it contains naltrexone and bupropion, it can cause some serious side effects and health complications.
For instance, bupropion, which is usually used to treat depression, can in fact increase the risks of developing suicidal thoughts and depression-like behaviors that are sometimes linked to most antidepressant medications. Inform your doctor about any antidepressant medications you are currently taking or have been taking in past. Also, be sure to immediately contact you doctor, health care provider or the closest emergency room if you start noticing any changes in your normal thoughts and behaviors.
Furthermore, although Contrave combined with the lifestyle modifications is one of the best ways to lose weight, it is contraindicated to some people. For example, pregnant women, women who expect to get pregnant in close future and women who are breastfeeding are not allowed to take Contrave diet pills.
What’s more, Contrave can raise the risks of experiencing seizures, which is why it is not allowed for patients with any seizure disorders. And, of course, the medication course must be discontinued if patient experiences a seizure during the treatment.
Finally, Contrave weight loss drug cannot be taken by patients with uncontrolled hypertension, as it can raise the heart rate and the blood pressure. It is crucial to properly measure the pulse and the blood pressure before starting the Contrave course, to determine if you are at risk.
Make sure to tell your doctor about any heart problems you have ever experienced and discuss your options.