Is This the New Miracle Diet Pill We Have Been Waiting For?
According to NBC News Today’s Health segment, a new diet pill has just been approved by the FDA and is slated to be out possibly as early as the end of this year. This diet pill is a combination of an antidepressant and a drug that treats addiction. But is this really the new miracle diet pill we’ve been waiting for? And if it is, is it for everyone?
On Today’s Health, NYU professor Doctor Roshina Raj tells viewers that obesity is not just about being overweight, but a lot of it has to do with brain chemistry, which is why this drug combo may just be what many people need who find losing weight so difficult through dieting and exercise alone.
“I think that we are finally reaching a point in this country where we realize obesity is not just about people eating too much, it really has to do with brain chemistry. And just telling them to go on a diet and exercise may not be enough for a lot of people,” says Dr. Raj.
This new diet pill, called “Contrave” is reputedly only the third obesity treatment in over ten years to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration to be marketed as a prescription weight loss medication. Contrave is a combination of the antidepressant bupropion and Orexigen's formulation of naltrexone, which is designed to prevent drug dependence.
Recent rewording of the packaging warnings was the final hurdle toward approval. Because Contrave contains an antidepressant, it will now carry a warning for users and prescribing physicians about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Bupropion has a history of having caused some people to have suicidal thoughts or actions or unusual changes in behavior―whether or not they were previously taking medicines used to treat depression.
According to the Contrave.com website, earlier investigation into its effectiveness through clinical trials enrolling more than 4,500 people found that 53 percent of study participants taking Contrave and 21 percent of those taking placebo, lost five percent or more of their body weight over a 12 month-long trial period.
They also reported that many patients saw improvements in cholesterol levels and blood sugar control, and that those who combined Contrave with intensive diet and exercise experienced the most reduction in body weight. However, they explicitly state that this does not guarantee that Contrave will help patients lose weight. But that it may.
Contrave is a product of Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc.―a biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of obesity.
Contrave is reported to have the following most frequent side effects:
• Nausea and/or vomiting
• Headaches and/or dizziness
• Dry mouth
All of which were mostly mild to moderate in severity in patients studied.
So is Contrave for everyone who wishes to lose a few pounds or more? According to the company literature and Dr. Raj in the newscast, the answer is “no.” Currently, Contrave is meant to be prescribed only to obese individuals with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater; or, for overweight adults with a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater with at least one weight-related medical problem such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Raj points out to viewers that although Contrave is promising, it is not a miracle diet pill as she cites the facts that the weight lost was on average about 5 percent of the dieters’ beginning weight at the start of the study and that these results are “on par” with other FDA-approved weight loss diet pills.
“Is this the miracle cure for everything?—No. But it is a step in the right direction,” says Dr. Raj.
For an informative article on weight loss pills, here is how you can lose weight the smart way with this new diet pill guide.
Image Source: Courtesy of NBC News Today’s Health webcast
NBC News Today’s Health
Contrave. Com “A new, FDA-approved treatment for weight loss”