Contrave for Weight Loss: Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings - (2023)

Generic name: bupropion and naltrexone[bow-PRO-pee-on-and-dummy-TREX-propio]
Drug class: anorexic

Medically reviewed bySophia Entranger, PharmD. Last updated on April 24, 2023.

What is Contrave?

Contrave contains a combination of bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion is an antidepressant medication that can also decrease your appetite. Naltrexone is usually given to block the effects of opioids or alcohol in people with addiction problems. Naltrexone can also curb hunger and food cravings.

Contrave is oneanorexicand is used to help control weightobese or overweight adultswith weight-related medical problems. This medicine is used together with diet and exercise.

Contrave will not treat any weight-related medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.

Contrave is not approved to treat depression or other psychiatric conditions or to help you quit smoking.


You should not use Contrave if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, seizures, an eating disorder, opioid addiction, are taking opioid medications or other forms of bupropion, have bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa, are taking an MAO inhibitor, or have suddenly stopped taking it. use of alcohol, seizure medications or sedatives.

Tell your doctor about all your current medications and any you start or stop using. Many drugs can interact with bupropion and naltrexone, and some drugs should not be used together.

Do not use Contrave if you are pregnant.

Some young people have suicidal thoughts when they first take bupropion. Be aware of changes in your mood or symptoms. Tell your doctor about any new or worsening symptoms.

Do not take Contrave if you are also taking narcotic drugs or other forms of bupropion (such as Wellbutrin or Zyban), or if you are going through alcohol or drug withdrawal.

Related/similar medicines


Before taking this medicine

Do not use Contrave if you are pregnant.Weight loss during pregnancy can harm the fetus, even if you are overweight. Tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant during treatment.

You should not use Contrave if you are allergic to bupropion or naltrexone, or if you have:

  • untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure;

    (Video) Contrave Weight Loss | How to take | Side Effects

  • an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia);

  • a history of seizures;

  • opioid dependence or withdrawal (if you are taking methadone or buprenorphine);

  • if you take other forms of bupropion (Wellbutrin, Aplenzin, Budeprion, Forfivo, Zyban, and others); either

  • if you have suddenly stopped using alcohol, seizure medicine or a sedative such as Xanax, Valium, Fiorinal, Klonopin and others.

Do not use opioid medications for at least 7 to 10 days before you start using Contrave.

Do not use an MAOI within 14 days before or 14 days after taking Contrave. A dangerous drug interaction may occur. MAOIs include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

To make sure Contrave is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • depression, bipolar disorder or mental illness;

  • suicidal thoughts or actions;

  • a head injury;

  • a tumor or infection in your brain or spinal cord;

  • diabetes or low blood sugar;

  • low sodium;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke; either

  • drug addiction or if you normally drink a lot of alcohol.

    (Video) Is Contrave Weight Loss Medication Right for You? - All You Need to Know

Some young people have suicidal thoughts when they first take bupropion. Your doctor should monitor your progress at regular visits. Your family or other relatives should also be aware of changes in your mood or symptoms.

Bupropion and naltrexone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Contrave is not approved for use by people under the age of 18.

Warnings against pregnancy and breastfeeding (more details)

How should I take Contrave?

Take Contrave exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all instructions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. The tablet must not be crushed, chewed or broken. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not take more than 2 tablets at a time.

Do not take Contrave with a high-fat meal,or you are more likely to have a seizure.

If you need to use opioid medicine for any reason (such as pain, surgery, or drug addiction treatment), you may need to stop taking Contrave for a short time. Follow your doctor's dosage instructions very carefully.

Contrave can interfere with a urine drug screen and can give false results. Inform the laboratory staff that you are using this medication.

Store Contrave at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

If you have not lost at least 5% of your starting weight after 12 weeks of treatment, Contrave may not be right for you.

Detailed information on counterdose

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take additional medication to make up for a missed dose.

Do not take more than 4 tablets in 1 day.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.An overdose of this medication can be fatal.especially if you are also taking an opioid medication.

What to avoid

Drinking alcohol with bupropion may increase your risk of seizures.If you drink alcohol regularly, talk to your doctor before changing the amount you drink. Bupropion can also cause seizures in a regular drinker who suddenly stops drinking.

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Follow your doctor's instructions about any food, drink, or activity restrictions. Do not take any other weight loss products or diet pills unless your doctor has told you to.

Do not use opioid medications, methadone, heroin, or other street drugs while taking Contrave.Doing so can have dangerous effects, including coma and death.

opposite side effects

Get emergency medical help if you haveSigns of an allergic reaction to Contrave:fever, swollen glands, mouth ulcers, muscle or joint pain; hives, rash or itching; chest pain, difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.

A caregiver should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, severe drowsiness, or trouble waking up.

Stop taking this medicine and contact your doctor immediately if you have:

  • severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in the neck or ears, fast heartbeat;

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;

  • changes in mood or behavior- anxiety, depression, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, agitation, thoughts of suicide or harming yourself;

  • a manic episode- racing thoughts, increased energy, unusual risk-taking behavior, extreme happiness, being irritable or talkative;

  • liver problems- upper abdominal pain, tiredness, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); either

  • severe skin reaction- fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple rash with blisters and peeling.

Older adults may be more likely to experience certain side effects.

Common side effects of Contrave may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;

  • headache, dizziness;

  • dry mouth; ISLAND

    (Video) Bupropion Review Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Warnings and Weight Loss

  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You can report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

opposite side effects (more details)

What other drugs will affect Contrave?

When you start or stop taking Contrave, your doctor may need to adjust the dose of other medicines you take regularly.

Tell your doctor about all your current medications and any you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal remedies. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all your current medications and any medications you start or stop using.

Contraindicate drug interactions (more details)

Popular FAQs

What foods should I avoid while taking Contrave?

You should avoid taking Contrave (bupropion and naltrexone) with a high-fat meal because it can increase the level of the drug in your body and cause seizures. You should also avoid or minimize alcohol consumption. If you drink alcohol, tell your doctor before you suddenly stop taking Contrave, as this may increase your risk of seizures.continue reading

Does naltrexone cause weight gain?

Weight gain is not a common side effect of oral naltrexone therapy. When used in combination with bupropion, naltrexone is approved to help promote weight loss. Naltrexone is known to often cause stomach side effects such as nausea and vomiting, stomach pain or cramping, and loss of appetite, which can contribute to weight loss. Weight gain and increased appetite have been reported as a possible side effect, but this is not common.continue reading

More about Contrave (bupropion/naltrexone)

  • control interactions
  • compare alternatives
  • Reviews (1,959)
  • medicine pictures
  • Side effects
  • Dosage information
  • During pregnancy
  • support group
  • FDA approval history
  • Drug class: anorexic
  • In Spanish

Patient Resources

  • Advanced reading

professional resources

  • prescribing information

Related guidelines for treatment

  • Weight loss (obesity/overweight)

Mere information

Remember, keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children, never share your medication with others, and use Contrave only for the prescribed indication.

Always check with your healthcare provider to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal situation.

Medical disclaimer


Copyright 1996-2023 Cerner Multum, Inc. All rights reserved. Version: 4.01.


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