There aren’t many dieters who never struggle to control their food cravings, and if you’re fighting your food demons on a daily basis, you’re really not alone. You may have heard of Contrave® – a prescription drug which promises to help stop food cravings. Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast. Before you run to your doctors to beg for a bottle, it’s important you know about the Contrave® side effects you may potentially experience. Trust us, they’re not for everyone.
What is Contrave®?
Contrave® is an appetite suppressant only available on prescription in the US. It contains naltrexone and bupropion – both of which help to control addictive cravings.
Naltrexone is a synthetic drug that competes with opioid receptors to help individuals combat opioid, (and sometimes alcohol) addiction. The typical dosage for this sort of treatment is about 50 milligrams of naltrexone daily. However, low dose naltrexone, at about 4.5 milligrams per day, has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory which helps people with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and Crohn’s disease. You’re probably thinking, ‘That’s great, but what has it got to do with weight loss?’. Well, in recent times, it’s become apparent that naltrexone also suppresses the appetite, even in low doses. It’s been shown that this can actually cause weight loss in those taking the drug.
The other ingredient in Contrave® is bupropion, which you may have heard of for its use in treatments for depression and seasonal affective disorder. This medicine is also used for other off-label reasons too, such as helping people to quit smoking, and now with Contrave® to help reduce hunger. This medicine acts on the reward center of your brain, but the exact mechanism for its role in weight loss is unknown. Regardless, weight loss does occur in patients who take this drug. The typical dosage for bupropion is around 100 milligrams once or twice daily.
So how does Contrave® help with weight loss?
Contrave® is thought to target the hunger center and the reward system of your brain. Its effects are two-fold. By helping to control both hunger and reward responses in your brain, Contrave® helps you to feel more in control of your cravings, which can help you eat less and really assist you in achieving your weight loss goals.
Contrave® contains about 8 milligrams of naltrexone and 90 milligrams of bupropion per tablet, which is close to the anti-inflammatory low dose of naltrexone and close to the minimum dose of bupropion.
The dosage schedule for Contrave® involves taking one tablet in the morning during the first week, and a gradual increase in dosage to two tablets in the morning, plus two in the afternoon each day by week 4 of treatment.
So, does it work?
In short, yes! On the Contrave® website, reports show that during three separate 56-week studies, people taking Contrave® lost 2-4 times more weight than those performing diet and exercise alone.
With results like this, it’s easy to see why the drug has become so popular in recent times.
Where to get Contrave®
Contrave® is only available on prescription. You can chat with a doctor online at the Contrave® website to set up a prescription, or if you prefer, you can get your healthcare provider to prescribe it for you.
The side effects of Contrave®
When you start any medication, you need to be aware of any side effects that may make you feel worse before you feel better. Common Contrave® side effects to watch out for include:
- dry mouth
You could also experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking this drug, which is one good reason it’s only available on prescription.
Possible drug interactions
Another reason Contrave® is only prescribed by a doctor is due to the fact that it may interact with certain medications. If you take any of the following, be sure to mention it to your doctor before being prescribed Contrave®:
- opioid-containing medicines such as cough medicines
- MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors)
Like many drugs, Contrave® shouldn’t be taken if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, so bear this in mind if there’s a possibility you could have conceived recently.
The alternatives to Contrave® for weight loss
If the Contrave® side effects make you a little uneasy, or if the mystery surrounding its weight loss properties make you nervous, you may be wondering whether there’s a viable alternative with fewer side effects.
PhenQ is one alternative you might want to consider. It’s an all-natural weight loss supplement that carries no side effects. It helps you burn stored fat, suppresses your appetite and also improves your mood and energy levels, so you can feel more positive while you’re eating less and exercising more.
How does PhenQ work?
PhenQ contains α-Lacys Reset®, which has been shown to accelerate the metabolism and help the body to burn fat more efficiently. As the name suggests, it helps to ‘reset’ your body’s fat-burning power and improves energy levels, in turn making you feel better than ever.
Capsimax powder is another ingredient. Made up of natural ingredients like capsicum, piperine, caffeine and niacin (vitamin B3), these compounds turn up the heat in your body, which also boosts your metabolism.
Another natural ingredient in PhenQ is Calcium carbonate. Being deficient in this nutrient is bad news for weight loss, as your body puts itself into ‘survival mode’, believing there is no nutritious food available right now. It makes sense then that supplementing with this nutrient rights that wrong, helping your body to realise that all is well, and it doesn’t need to store any more fat for energy. The result? It begins to burn fat freely as normal.
Also found in PhenQ is chromium picolinate. This mineral is found in meats, vegetables, and whole grains, and it helps the body control blood glucose levels. Having this under control helps control your sugar cravings.
The high fiber Nopal cactus helps promote fullness and flushes fluids from the body, while the naturally occurring amino acid L-carnitine fumarate helps turn stored fat into energy. And you guessed it; PhenQ features both of these!
When you look at the label of PhenQ, you won’t see any long and confusing compound names that you need an encyclopedia to define. All of PhenQ’s ingredients are naturally-derived. This helps to ensure the likelihood of side effects will be reduced, and you can concentrate on enjoying your weight loss journey without the worry of further health issues cropping up.
Are there are safety concerns with PhenQ?
PhenQ has a clean safety record with no known side effects reported so far. As with any new medicine you decide to take however, you should always speak to your doctor first if you have any concerns. This is especially important if you have a chronic condition or are currently taking any other medicines, to prevent possible drug interactions and complications.
For example, those with chronic kidney disease who take phosphate binders may have negative interactions with any medicine that contains calcium carbonate. Furthermore, calcium carbonate may affect absorption of those taking iron supplements.
PhenQ can be taken while on birth control, but like all weight loss medications, it shouldn’t be taken if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Take the natural route
If you want to lose weight and burn fat without suffering any harsh side effects, we recommend you stick with the all-natural approach. After all, why take the risk of Contrave® side effects when PhenQ can help you to lose weight without risks?