Contrave is a type of pill approved by the FDA to be used as a medicine for managing weight in obese adults. This pill helps in reducing cravings and also works as an appetite suppressant. Also, this pill requires a minimum BMI (body mass index) as well as has a certain limitation of use.  However, if you are taking this pill, then you should have a properly balanced diet and need to exercise daily. Unfortunately, contrave weight loss pills also have certain side effects. But, before we move to the side effects, let’s first know some important things that you must know about this weight loss pill.

Composition of contrave

Contrave contains a combination of naltrexone and bupropion. Naltrexone is mainly for people with alcohol or opioid addiction as it helps in blocking the effects of alcohol and opioids. Also, naltrexone helps in reducing food cravings and hunger. While bupropion also helps in decreasing appetite as it is an antidepressant medicine. 

However, this medication will not treat any medical conditions that are related to being significantly obese. This may include diabetes, high blood pressure, and others. Moreover, this pill is approved to treat any psychiatric conditions such as depression or neither approved to take just to help in quitting smoking.


You should avoid using contrave if you have an eating disorder, seizure, uncontrolled high blood pressure, opioid addiction, and are using MAOI, or if you stop using a sedative, seizure medicines, or alcohol suddenly. Using this medication while taking opioid medicine or any form of bupropion may result in anorexia nervosa or bulimia. 

So before you use the contrave weight loss pill, make sure you tell the doctor about your current medicines and also the medicine you stop or start using. This is because most drugs can interact with naltrexone and bupropion, and some drugs may not be meant to use together with these pills. Moreover, it is neither suitable for pregnant ladies nor breastfeeding mothers.  That’s because naltrexone and bupropion contained in this pill can pass into breast milk and can harm a nursing infant.

You should also avoid using contrave if you take narcotic medicines or any forms of bupropion such as Zyban or Wellbutrin, or if you are going through withdrawal from drug addiction like alcohol. 

Potential side effects

Now that you know when you should avoid using contrave, let’s understand the potential risks this medication cause. Contrave weight loss pills may cause mild or severe side effects. The following are some of the risks factors that are associated with this medication:

Mild side effect

Mild side effects caused by contrave may include the following symptoms:

  • Hot flashes
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Vomiting or nausea

Note: These are only some of the mild symptoms caused by contrave, so to know more symptoms talk with your doctor. 

All of these mild symptoms caused by contrave may come and go within a few days or weeks. And, if these symptoms become severe or do not go away, then make sure to talk with the concerned doctor or pharmacist.

Severe side effects

Severe side effects from contrave are not common but they do occur.  So, the following are some of the severe side effects that might occur when using a contrave weight loss pill. They are as follows:

  • Increased heart rate or blood pressure. This may include symptoms like headache, rapid heart rate, and feeling lightheaded
  • Seizures. This may include symptoms like muscle spasms, loss of consciousness, and drooling or frothing at the mouth
  • Allergic reaction
  • Hepatitis or liver damage
  • Angle-closure glaucoma. This may include symptoms like eye pain, blurred vision, and severe pain
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Make sure to call your doctor right away when you experience all these mentioned severe symptoms. And, if you think you have life-threatening conditions or need a medical emergency, be sure to make a call to 911 or your emergency local number.

Things to do before using contrave

The following are some of the things you should do before using a contrave weight loss pill. This way, you can make sure that the contrave is safe for you. You only just need to tell your doctor if you ever had the followings conditions:

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • Bipolar disorder, depression, or mental illness
  • Head injuries
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Low blood sugar or diabetes
  • A tumor or infection in your spinal cord or brain
  • Heart attack, high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke and
  • Drug addiction like alcohol

If you never had this mentioned conditions then the contrave weight loss pill is safe for you. However, contrave is only approved for people who are older than 18. 

Suitable candidates for contrave

As mentioned earlier, contrave is suitable for people older than 18 and should not have any of the above-mentioned conditions. Moreover, the doctor will only prescribe contrave weight loss pills if they:

  • Have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or greater
  • Have at least one condition related to being significantly obese. Be it type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol

Furthermore, using a contrave weight loss pill is effective when combine with a proper balanced diet and exercise.