Updated: 02/02/2016 - Sponsored by Leptigen

Contrave Review - Does This Diet Drug Really Work? Are high cost and serious side effects deal breakers?

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0

Contrave-product-imageThis review is what happened after I obsessed for weeks over Contrave. We decided to take an extremely close look at the ingredients, side effects, customer care and clinical research. We also went through hundreds of user comments we found online. At this point we condensed and refined to give you the bottom line.

EDITOR'S TIP: Combine Contrave with a proven fat burner such as Leptigen for better results.

What You Need To Know

To start, Contrave is a prescription diet medication for individuals who are considered obese (have a BMI of 27 or higher). This drug must be obtained through a licensed physician. It contains two different parts, which are bupropion hydrochloride and naltrexone hydrochloride. When taken in conjunction with a low-calorie meal plan and regular exercise it should help you lose weight. You take one tablet each morning for the first week and then a second dose in the evenings thereafter. You’ll eventually take four daily.

Contrave has been available since 2014 and was approved by the FDA. Both women and men can take this diet pill and a healthy lifestyle is encouraged, but read on…

High Cost – “Pay What?”

The first thing dieters need to take into consideration with Contrave ingredients is the fact that they are costly to try. “The actual price of the drug varies depending on your insurance coverage. You could end up paying $300 per month for this weight-loss medication,” says our Research Editor.

One dieter stated, “Without insurance, my scrip would be $299 per month.”

According to another user, “It was $142 without insurance!”

Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.

Serious Side Effects – “Proceed With Caution”

There are several common side effects that can occur while using Contrave diet pills. According to the official website, these include vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, headache and trouble sleeping. One user complained, “I started two days ago and have felt very Dizzy!!! and throwing up to the point that I’m in tears.”

“I have started 10 days ago and I’m still fighting side effects (nausea, diarrhea, dizziness mainly),” said another customer.

According to our research, if there is a certain part of a weight-loss pill or diet program that is especially troublesome or concerning (serious adverse reactions, high price, an FDA warning) the likelihood of real results for the long run is minimal. This means if Contrave does lead to serious side effects in a lot of people, this could be a major concern.

The Science – “Clinically Proven?”

There have been clinical studies conducted with the two key ingredients used in Contrave. We certainly appreciate this, because here at DietSpotlight, we like to see real science that supports the weight-loss product in question. Even through there are some weight-loss trials that support this option, dieters must take into consideration the risk of side effects, weighing them against potential rewards.

The Bottom Line – Does Contrave Work?

Well now, what about this prescription medication? While we appreciate that Contrave is regulated by the FDA, we certainly don’t feel comfortable recommending it to all dieters. After all, this product can lead to some serious side effects, as reported on the official website. Furthermore, the FDA rejected this drug back in 2011 because they thought it would increase risk heart related problems. It was later approved. The truth is there are safer weight-loss options available that produce real results.

If you really want to shed excess pounds and slim down, we recommend you go with a weight-loss product that does not cause adverse effects, is backed by clinical research and will not break your bank account.

Among the best diet products we’ve seen in 2015 is one called Leptigen. This supplement contains a unique blend of four key ingredients, which have been proven in documented clinical research to help accelerate fat loss and increase metabolism. Also, we can’t pinpoint any complaints of harmful side effects and dieter reviews around the web show people are seeing solid results.

Plus, we find it positive that the makers of Leptigen are so confident in their formula they’re offering a Special Trial Offer.

Learn More About Leptigen »
GD Star Rating

How Does Contrave Compare?

Previous Contrave Review (Updated August 12, 2014):

What You Should Know

Click Here To See Our Highest Rated Review

2/2/2011 UPDATE: Today, the FDA rejected Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.'s Contrave pill, citing fears that the pill may increase heart risk. The FDA has not approved a new weight loss medication in ten years. The agency says it will evaluate Contrave again after Orexigen undertakes a costly new study examining possible links to heart risk. A spokesman for Contrave said that the company is evaluating next steps and deciding whether they will go through with the expensive study. Sorry, bad news for everyone who was looking to try this promising new drug.


12/9/2010 UPDATE: Today, the Endocrine and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee, a division of the FDA, has voted to recommend Contrave as a weight loss aid. However, the FDA still has to give the drug final approval before it can be distributed by physicians. The FDA takes sub-panel decisions such as this into consideration before approving any pharmaceutical drug. Like, the FDA will decide on approving Contrave for weight loss in January, 2011. However, the panel also recommends additional cardiovascular studies of patients prior to beginning sales based on case study findings, indicating that this product still may not be suitable for those with heart conditions. We will continue to update our review as more information becomes available.


Contrave is still in the testing stages, but it seems to offer great promise as a medication that will actually reduce the risk factors associated with obesity. Currently, this drug is in its third stage of clinical trials to assess the "safety, tolerability and efficacy", according to the company website. The company that is responsible for Contrave is Orexigen Therapeuticals, a biopharmaceutical company that is focused on creating drugs that treat central nervous system disorders, including obesity. Current studies are showing that Contrave can effectively reduce metabolic syndrome in many patients. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors that may increase the incidence of obesity, which can also increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. This medication takes a whole new approach to weight loss, by focusing on neurological causes of obesity rather than suppressing appetite or altering metabolic function.

List of Ingredients

The two main ingredients that are being studied in the Contrave formula include Naltrexone and Bupropion. Naltrexone has been used in the United States to treat opioid addiction since 1984, and in 1995 it began to be used to treat alcoholism as well. This drug inhibits the reinforcement of addictive substances by blocking opioid receptors to the brain, according to the Orexigen website. Naltrexone has also been shown to alter the taste of foods in numerous clinical studies.

Bupropion has been used to treat depression since 1985, and in 1997 trials were begun that experimented with the use of Bupropion as an aid to help quit smoking. This drug appears to be effective at suppressing appetite and increasing energy levels, and is the most prescribed antidepressant in the United States at the time of this review. One side effect that has been noted with Bupropion is weight loss; an attractive side effect for many indeed.

Product Features

Since this medication is still in the clinical trial stage, there are few product features to report. It is suspected that this medication will only be available by prescription, since it contains potent ingredients with potentially dangerous side effects. There is no pricing or customer testimonials at this time; however, ample clinical data is provided on the Orexigen website, and this info is comprehensive and professionally displayed.

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  • The ingredients in Contrave may be effective in suppressing appetite and promoting weight loss.
  • Many clinical studies have been done on this product and are continuing at this time.
  • The company website contains ample information on the developmental progress of this product.


  • This product is not yet available to the general public at the time of this review.
  • The ingredients in Contrave may have potentially serious side effects for some. (See Contrave Side Effects).
  • May interact badly with other prescription medications.


Contrave is worth keeping an eye out for, since the initial clinical studies have been promising and plenty of research is being conducted on the product. However, Contrave will not be the right choice for everyone, due to the possible side effects and medication interactions that may occur. Also, it definitely appears that Contrave will be prescription only, and will most likely be used to treat clinical obesity. It is important to talk to your doctor about whether Contrave would be a good choice for you.

Contrave FAQ:

We picked apart hundreds of user comments about Contrave and condensed into this helpful FAQ.

What are the side effects of Contrave?

Some potential side effects of Contrave include diarrhea, dry mouth, sleeplessness, dizziness, vomiting, headache, constipation and nausea.

What are the ingredients in Contrave?

The ingredients in Contrave are bupropion hcl, naltrexone hcl, microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, lactose anhydrous, L-cysteine hydrochloride, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, edetate disodium, lactose monohydrate, colloidal silicon dioxide, opadry II blue and fd&c blue #2 and aluminum lake.

Does Contrave work?

There is scientific research into the effectiveness of Contrave as the medication has been FDA-approved. You may want to think about changing things up a little and replace Contrave with a cost-effective supplement like Leptigen, which has no known side effects and a formula consisting of ingredients shown in studies to help users lose weight.

How much does Contrave cost?

Contrave costs about $300. The price could change after insurance is factored into the equation.

How should I take Contrave?

You should take one Contrave capsule in the morning the first week, one pill in the morning and another in the evening the second week. On the third week, you will consume two in the morning and one in the evening. The fourth week and beyond, you will take two in the morning and two in the evening. The company recommends not crushing, chewing or cutting the product, as well as not taking the pill with high-fat meals.

Can I take Contrave if I have a health condition?

Women who are pregnant or nursing, those with health conditions of any kind, people under 18 years of age and anyone taking prescription medications should consult with a healthcare professional prior to using a weight-loss medication, including Contrave.

What do users like about Contrave?

Some users liked that Contrave has been approved by the FDA and that they lost weight.

What do users NOT like about Contrave?

We found that some users didn’t like the high price tag of Contrave and the side effects.

How do I contact the Contrave customer service department?

You can contact the Contrave customer service department by mailing correspondence to Takeda Pharmaceuticals One Takeda Pkwy. Deerfield, IL 60015, calling a representative at 1-877-825-3327 or by using the customer feedback form.

Who uses Contrave?

Individuals that are considered overweight or obese use Contrave. Your BMI has to be more than 27.

Can I stop Contrave on my own?

No, you can’t stop Contrave on your own. You will need to contact your healthcare provider prior to stopping this medication because of the potential for withdraw symptoms.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Contrave?

You should tell your healthcare provider if you have a medical condition, if you are taking prescription medication or if you are pregnant or nursing.

What should I avoid while taking Contrave?

You should avoid using alcohol on Contrave.

Does Contrave come with a guarantee?

There’s no mention of a guarantee with Contrave.

Do you know of any special deals or discounts on Contrave?

There are special deals or discounts on Contrave, if you sign up for the Contrave card. You will save $10 on your third refill. However, our readers have been going out of their minds taking advantage of Leptigen’s Special Trial Offer, which is just the cost of shipping and handling. Click here to give it a try.

54 User Reviews About Contrave

Leave comments below
  • 1

    first week terrible headache and waking up many times during the night with weird dreams, then headache went away the second week my mood went down the toilet I couldn’t Perform at work and really irritable with little things , got hungry and craving sweets , constipation , the 3rd week at 2 pills in the morning and 1 in the afternoon at the 3rd day I had enough , became a different person and had to stop in other words I got depressed that never happens to me ever , this med work totally the opposite with me , the worse thing ever that happens to me


  • 2

    Started using contrave on 1/8/2016 i was 259 pounds as of today 1/20/16 i weigh 239, which is pretty awesome i feel great first day side effects was throwing up but that went away quick


  • 3

    Was on it for 3 mo. Im in my mid forties, go to the gym 4 days a week. 5 ft 5 190. Healthy ithet than needing to lose some weight. The fatigue on this drug wqs incredible. I almost fell asleep at the wheel twice. The last few weeks I was irritable, slightly depressed, a little manic and became almost hostile. Ive never had a history of depression. The nausea and dizziness came and went here and there but the neurological side effects were too much for me. If it works for you great for me it couod have been deadly



    I took Contrave for three consecutive months.
    Really it does not work with my body. Some lose weight very slowly, then quickly recovered quickly. I spent over $ 600 for a medicine that only helped to worsen my lack of sleep, alter my nervous system.
    Conclusion … treatment to lose weight to improve my health is totally contradictory. I feel I paid over $ 600 for a scale technologically advanced system.
    Very disappointed with this medicine that offer as revolutionary miracle for weight loss.

    … And add more to the concept
    “I now” have the “miracle Contrave” My Doctor I give a discount coupon for the first payment of Contrave. Including corresponding cover my medical insurance,
    I paid more than $ 200. per month.
    My Doctor says “no more than $ 80. I should pay.”
    This seems to me rather than help the health of people is to help laboratories or distributors who profit before thinking about the welfare of people.
    I feel cheated and swindled.

    Elena S. Hart


  • 4

    I am giving this 3 stars because I only started Contrave a week ago. I think I lost about 3 lbs. I’m definitely less hungry. Hasn’t yet curbed the cravings. I woke up this weekend with a subconjunctival hemorrhage (bloody spot on my eye). Has this happened to anyone else. I have never had one in my 48 years


    Karen (Editor)

    Hi Cheryl, hopefully your doctor can relive you of this unwanted side effect. We hope you are ding well and continue your path of safe weight loss.


  • 5
    Carol Bailey

    I just started Conrtave on September 5,2015 no side effects, eating less food, no sweets and feeling great.


  • 6
    Your Name

    Me too! I would like free samples as well. My doctor had me on phentermine for a month, and I lost 12 lbs! I loved it, but now I may have to switch to contrave & I’m a little weary.


  • 7

    Took contrave for 3 months lost 80 pounds, almost 1 pound a day. Had to stop for a month to ck elevated liver enzyme, also stopped Lipitor had an ultrasound everything good. Started back 6 days ago with 2 pills a day, not the 4 I was taking. I was off contrave for a month during that time I fluctuated between 243 and 248 still walking 3 to 5 miles aday but kept falling off the wagon, gain some weight lose it gain it back. After July 4 went to 250 then July 6 252.2 called doctor for ultrasound results. After the good news asked to start contrave again he said yes but 2 pills a day not 4. This morning 237, 91 pounds lost” working for me. I had more reaction to the drug starting back than when starting contrave the first time. The first 2 days starting again had 2 very sleepless nights 1 headache day but everything good last few days. Have more work to do another 50 pounds but in so much better shape now blood pressure very good.


  • 8

    I just started taking Contrave 1 week ago today. My DR prescribed me to start 2/day, but in fear of the side effects, I started out only taking 1/day. I have not noticed ANY benefit. It hasn’t helped curb my appetite at all and I find myself even over-eating more than normal. Will the medicine work better when I increase my dosage to 2/day?! I hope so!! I was on Phentermine for 4 months and lost 30 lbs. I wish you could take that long term. It worked wonderfully.



    There is a prescription discount card that comes with your Rx. It is from Contrave. If your insurance does not cover. Your first 2 refills are $70. The 3rd on, it is $60.


    Your Name



  • 9

    Have been on Contrave for 3 weeks. Have lost 12 lbs. Cravings are gone for food and alcohol. Eating is becoming something that takes up my time and would rather not do.


  • 10

    I’ve only lost 10 lbs in 2 and half months is that normal? I eat really healthy and no fast foods or pops I walk 3 to 4 miles a day and do yoga


    Adrian (Editor)

    Hello Rina. All dieters have different weight loss results. Some users loose weight faster/slower than others.


  • 11

    I just started today 1pill week1 2-wk2 i was afraid to start because I had been on an opiate.but day 1 went fine.No side affects and no appetite.had to force myself to eat something.


  • 12

    I have been ramping up the dose from 1/day to 4/day over the last 4 weeks. I have been nauseous with a headache for at least 5 days following each added pill. I want to stop nearly every day but have hopes that now that I am on the full dose that my body will adjust and I will feel better. As I read these reviews I want to know how many people started with the full dose and who ramped up like me. I have not lost any weight nor have I had any added energy. My only appetite suppression is due to my nausea. I feel positive in seeing other reviews and hope the next week brings some improvements.


    Marcia Hartgrove

    I have been on for 3 months & have lost 18 lbs. I talked to my Dr. yesterday about the nausea which seems to have gotten worse with the increase in dosage. She told me it was ok to cut back to only 3 a day to see if that helps. I noticed others have stayed on a lower dosaage. If it does not work on the lower dosage, I can add another one.


  • 13

    Hello, I’m on week 2 of Contrave and it really does work I don’t crave for sweets I focus better I felt dizzy only one day, all because I had no appetite and did not eat but after I consumed food I felt find. You really get full faster….. I recommend this pill


  • 14

    I’ve been on contrave for two weeks still taking 1+1. the dizziness still hasn’t gone away. I’ve lost 8 lbs. in the two weeks with diet and exercise. im kind of scared to take the recommended dose of 2+2. any advice?


    Adrian (Editor)

    Hello Natalina. If you continue to have these side effects, please consult with your physician before continuing this diet.



    Hello~ I was doing very well on the 1&1 dose, lost 11 pounds since march 14th. The day after I increased my dose per the dosing schedule to 2 & 1 I woke up with an allergic reaction. Red bumps on my arms, legs, stomach and red around the eyes. I went back to the 1:1.


  • 15

    I’ve been taking contrave for almost 5 weeks now and have lost 17 pounds, I have no side effects except for some days I’m a little tireder then others. but other then that this pill has been my wonder blue pill and I have been very pleased with the results. Oh yeah I do spin classes 6 days a week and watch my food intake, although I’m not very hungry with the pill. Hope my experience helps.. :)


  • 16
    Kathy VonSeggern

    I’ve been on Contrave over 2 moths I still weigh same
    I drink 2 was water minumim a day
    Ever size every day 20 min cardio
    30 min weights


  • 17

    I have been on it for almost a month, I was having problems with light headed and dizzy increased my water intake and it seems to have subsided. Good luck


  • 18
    Amy G

    So far, so good. I am just finishing up week 2, 1 + 1… No side effects and I am beginning to notice a decrease in appetite and cravings, I think!


  • 19
    Irene Hecht

    I have been on Contrave two weeks. I have had to stop taking it because it absolutely sickened me. The most foul metallic taste in the mouth coupled with constant nausea was more than I could bear. It reminded me of my bout with chemotherapy. In fact the side effects were so similar. I am truly sorry and disappointed since I truly had high hopes of being successful with the help of this medication.


  • 20
    jonathan bowen

    my dr. prescribed contrave for me and I have been taking it for one month with no adverse side affects. and I am losing weight while on the meds. it does cut your appetite. I don’t even think of eating my wife has to remind me to eat. I think it works wonderfully.



    How are you doing now? I just got prescription and afraid of having seizures and side effects.


  • 21
    M R

    I have been for five weeks now I have not experienced any side effects and I have lost 23 pounds. Of course diet and exercise Is very important. Contrave helped curb the appetite and took the cravings away I can very easily choose to say no thank you to A piece of cake. And yes without insurance it is quite expensive . I wish insurance companies would understand people losing weight and less money will go into keeping them healthy.


  • 22

    Mines is 57 a month ..just got it today …I hope it works



    Hi I just sent off for mine 2 days ago, how are you doing on yours?



    How is it going so far my Dr just prescribed this for me but have not received it yet



    I have started 10 days ago and I’m still fighting side effects (nausea, diarrhea, dizziness mainly). No effect I can see yet but I’m only taking 1+1 right now. How are y’all doing?



    I started two days ago and have felt very Dizzy!!! and throwing up to the point that im in tears…just wondering if your side effects have gone away?



    Where did you get contrave for 57 a month? How are you doing on it?


  • 23

    i would like to try concave .wold like to loose some weight i am not on medications i dont have high blood pressure dont have heart disorders .I do exercise and my thyroid is great dont know y i cannot loose i eat healty and small portions


  • 24
    Cindy Johnson

    Please keep me in mind if you are looking for volunteers to try Contrave before it hits the market.


  • 25
    Kathy Schwab

    I would like to know about Warfarin and this product, along with medication for diabetics, high blood pressure, pain meds for chronic lower back pain, Effexor RX, acid reflux med., and about 180 LBS. needed to lose


  • 26

    it s on today but can t find much more still new chack with your Dr, asap


  • 27

    I too was in the study. It was wonderful. I could look at something temping (like cookies, candy ect. and say no thank you.) Trust me, that has never happened in my life! I lost 30 lbs and never gained it back. I still can’t wait for it to come out. I still have a lot of weight to loose.


  • 28
    Julie Byrd

    I owuld be interested in being a part of the clinical trial also.


  • 29

    I am very interested in being part of the clinical trial too but I think it’s too late. So I just want to know when it will be available on the market. Thanx :)


  • 30
    Sandee J

    I was on the 52 week trail. I went from 190 to 129 & was advised to gain at least 6 back. shoud be 135 to 140. I am now 180 after being on an antideprssant. I can’t wait until it is approved so I can go back on it. IT WAS GREAT.



    What was the name of the diet pill you used and how did you get ahold of it?



    How long did it take to lose the bulk of your weight


  • 31
    Fred Reeves

    interested in being part of trial study



    Great so far!! Yeah i hope they do put me in study…when my scales.get.here


  • 32

    let me know when it come out cuz i try everything and nothing had work…thank you


  • 33

    I was in the clinical trial for this, and lost over 40 pounds (started at 171, ended at 130). Unfortunately, when the study was over (I finished in Dec 2008) and it was no longer available to me, I gained it all back plus 10 more pounds. I can’t wait for it to be approved by FDA and made availalbe – I’ll definitely go back to this!



    Hi Lisa for hw long did you lose 40 pound



    Lisa, how long did it take to lose the bulk of your weight


  • 34

    Great news ! I would also like to be part of the clinical trial. I used Phen-Phen and lost the weight but gained back when stopped. I am really hoping this product will work for me and be also safe, I am so very tired of being overweight, I am trapped in this big body when inside I’m thin, healthy and happy…


  • 35

    I would like to try Contrave when it becomes available.


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