Contrave is a prescription weight-loss medication that has gained popularity in recent years. While it can be an effective tool for weight loss, it’s important to understand the potential side effects before starting the medication.
What is Contrave?
Contrave is a combination medication that contains two drugs: naltrexone and bupropion. Naltrexone is typically used to treat alcohol and opioid dependence, while bupropion is an antidepressant that is also used to help people quit smoking.
When combined, these two drugs are believed to help reduce appetite and cravings, which can lead to weight loss. Contrave is typically prescribed to people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or those with a BMI of 27 or higher with at least one weight-related health condition.
Common side effects of Contrave
As with any medication, Contrave can cause side effects. The most common side effects of Contrave include:
- Nausea. This is the most commonly reported side effect of Contrave. It may be helpful to take the medication with food or at bedtime to reduce nausea.
- Headache. Headaches are also a common side effect of Contrave. These can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Constipation. Some people may experience constipation while taking Contrave. Drinking plenty of water and eating a diet high in fibre can help alleviate this side effect.
- Dizziness. Dizziness is another potential side effect of Contrave. It’s important to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving, until you know how the medication will affect you.
- Dry mouth. Some people may experience dry mouth while taking Contrave. Drinking water and chewing gum can help alleviate this side effect.
Less Common Side Effects of Contrave
In addition to the common side effects listed above, Contrave can also cause less common side effects. These may include:
- Increased blood pressure. Contrave can increase blood pressure, so it’s important to have your blood pressure monitored regularly while taking this medication.
- Seizures. There is a risk of seizures when taking Contrave, particularly in people with a history of seizures or eating disorders. If you have a history of seizures, talk to your doctor before taking Contrave.
- Liver damage. There have been reports of liver damage in people taking Contrave. It’s important to have your liver function monitored regularly while taking this medication.
- Allergic reactions. In rare cases, Contrave can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience these symptoms.
Who should not take Contrave?
Contrave is not suitable for everyone. People who should not take Contrave include:
- Those with uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Those with a history of seizures or eating disorders
- Those who are taking certain medications, such as opioids or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
- Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding
If you fall into any of these categories, talk to your doctor before taking Contrave.
Contrave can be an effective tool for weight loss, but it’s important to understand the potential side effects before starting the medication. The most common side effects of Contrave include nausea, headache, constipation, dizziness, and dry mouth. Less common side effects may include increased blood pressure, seizures, liver damage, and allergic reactions.
If you are considering taking Contrave, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your medical history and any medications you are currently taking to ensure that Contrave is safe for you to use. Your doctor may also recommend regular monitoring of your blood pressure and liver function while taking Contrave.
In addition to taking Contrave, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly to achieve and maintain weight loss. Contrave should be used in combination with a healthy lifestyle, not as a substitute for it.
If you experience any side effects while taking Contrave, talk to your doctor. They may recommend adjusting the dosage or switching to a different weight-loss medication.
Contrave can be a helpful tool for weight loss, but it’s important to understand the potential side effects before starting the medication. Talk to your doctor about whether Contrave is right for you, and be sure to maintain a healthy lifestyle in conjunction with the medication.
Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.