Updated: 01/10/2017 - Site operated by Leptigen
By Summer Banks Jan 02, 2017

This review is what happened after I obsessed for weeks over Contrave. We decided to take an in-depth look at the prescription diet pill, side effects, ease of acquiring and clinical research. Additionally, we examined hundreds of dieter comments and testimonials. Then, we summarized and refined to give you the info you need.

Contrave Readers: Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Leptigen.

What is Contrave?

To start, Contrave is a prescription weight-loss medication for individuals who have a BMI [1] of 30 or greater or a BMI of 27 or greater with medical condition related to their weight [2]. The ingredients are bupropion hydrochloride [3] and naltrexone hydrochloride [4]. You’ll take one tablet each morning for the first week. The second week you’ll use one in the morning and another in the evening. By the third week, it’s two tablets, twice per day. Dosage depends on the prescription received from your physician.

Contrave [5] has been available since 2014 and was approved by the FDA. The medicine, which affects the appetite and reward center of the brain [6], is made by Orexigen Therapeutics. We like that we found some positive dieter comments and that a healthy lifestyle is encouraged, but read on…

High Cost – “Too Expensive?”

The first concern relating to Contrave ingredients [7] is the high price tag. “The cost of this medication varies, depending on your insurance coverage,” said our Research Editor. “Some dieters have reported spending upwards of $200 for a 30-day supply.”

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

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

We found some Contrave reviews that didn’t mention the cost.

“Yes, it’s pricey, but the results I’ve seen are worth every penny,” said a consumer.

Contrave Side Effects – “Not Good!”

There is a list of Contrave side effects [8] available on the official website. One user commented, “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.

According to some Contrave reviews, side effects are rare.

“I did have some of the side effects initially. I had dry mouth, was dizzy, hot flashes and had headaches. They all went away in the first two weeks,” stated a user.

“I have been on this Medicine for exactly 7 days and I haven’t had any side effects everyone talks about,” reported another.

According to our research, if there is a small issue or problem with a weight-loss product, like side effects, that can negatively affect result and long-term dedication to a program. With Contrave, the list of potential risks are openly published on the official website. As is the case with all prescription medications, the risks need to be weighed against the rewards.

The Science – “Clinically-Proven?”

There have been clinical studies conducted with the two key ingredients used in Contrave. They have been proven effective in the medical treatment of depression [9], smoking cessation [10], weight-loss and other conditions. However, there are a couple roadblocks. You have to have a prescription and there are strict guidelines doctor’s have to follow before prescribing. Taking everything into consideration, we believe Contrave could be beneficial for some patients who are overweight or obese. Regular medical visits will be necessary during treatment.

The Bottom Line – Does Contrave Work?

Well now, what about this prescription medication for weight-loss? We like that Contrave is regulated by the FDA and that we found some favorable customer comments. We are concerned about customer comments relating to the high cost and negative side effects.

If you’re looking to slim down, we always suggest a supplement made with clinically tested ingredients shown to have the effect you’re looking for. It’s also nice if you don’t need a prescription or a loan from the bank.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Leptigen. This supplement contains four clinically-tested ingredients, which have been shown to help accelerate fat loss and increase metabolism. Also, there’s no talk of harmful side effects and dieter reviews around the web show people are seeing solid results.

Plus, the makers of Leptigen are so confident in their supplement, that they’re offering a Special Trial Offer.

Previous Contrave Review (Updated August 12, 2014):

Contrave: What You Should Know

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. Opposite to the focusing on the mind, Phentermine suppresses the appetite, tricking the mind that the body isn't hungry.

List of Ingredients in Contrave

The two main ingredients that are being studied in the Contrave formula include Naltrexone and Bupropion. On the other hand an alternate product, Jadera Diet Pills concentrates on a bitter orange, cassia seed and mulberry leaf said to boost the metabolism and burn fat. 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. Aside from Contrave, some clinical research found with BiphedAdrene show rapid weight loss results from increased energy endurance.

Advantages of Contrave

  • 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.

Disadvantages of Contrave

  • 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 Questions & Answers:

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

What are the side effects of Trave?

Some Trave or Contrave side effects may include diarrhea, dry mouth, sleeplessness, dizziness, vomiting, headache, constipation and nausea.

What are the ingredients in Contrave?

Contrave are ingredients bupropion hcl[1], naltrexone hcl, microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, lactose anhydrous, L-cysteine hydrochloride, crospovidone, magnesium stearate[2], 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, but there are also clinically proven side effects.

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 Trave 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 Trave?

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 on the official website.

Who uses Contrave?

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

Can I stop Trave 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 Trave.

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 savings card. However, our readers have been going crazy over the past few months taking advantage of Leptigen’s Sample Trial Offer. Click above to learn about the sample offer.

Contrave Scientific Abstracts:

Bupropion Hydrochloride

Regarding both conduct issues as well as hyperactivity, there was a significant effect visible in the Conners 10 and 39-item teacher’s checklist as early as the third day. On day 28, there were significant visible effects on both conduct issues as well as restless-impulsive behavior (93-item parent’s questionnaire).  The results were found to be smaller regarding the parent ratings compared to teacher ratings. There had been substantial effects with treatment on both Continuous Performance Test as well as memory retrieval test. The magnitude of the consequences of bupropion and placebo were smaller within parent and teacher ratings than in standard drugs used in the treatment of ADDH. Bupropion had been found to be well tolerated in children, for the most part. Bupropion could be a helpful addition to treatments for ADDH, with an urge for further comparative trials using methylphenidate to solidify bupropion’s clinical merit. [1]

Bupropion blocks the re-uptake of dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmission minus significant direct activities on serotonin neurotransmission. Bupropion has proven its effects as an antidepressant with comparable efficacy to other antidepressants. It is considered to be well tolerated for both short and long-term treatments with a headache, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, and insomnia being the most common negative reactions. Some allergic reactions and seizures were reported, but rare. Bupropion has shown to have the lowest reports of sexual dysfunction, somnolence and weight gain in comparison to newer antidepressants on the market in the US. Bupropion is and will be a crucial part of major depressive disorder treatment in adults, among other related disorders. [2]

Naltrexone Hydrochloride

Any clinical data which backs up its use is extremely preliminary, suggesting further research before treatment can be recommended on a broad scale. Analysis from a plethora of basic and clinical research indicates that LDN has promising potential for being a treatment for chronic pain involving inflammatory activities. Dosing and other relevant parameters still require refinement. LDN could find itself emerging as the first glial cell modulators used in the treatment of chronic conditions, with the development of more certain medications in the future. [3]

Contrave Side Effects:

As us true with all diet supplements, there is a chance of adverse side effects. In the case of Contrave, users have reported several troubling effects that should be considered prior to usage.


Nausea is a sensation of uneasiness that is triggered by the brain and centered in the stomach or abdomen Nausea is not itself a an illness but is a sensation that is felt. It occurs when the brain sends a message to the abdominal region that something may be awry. Nausea is nearly always linked to vomiting. [1]

What causes nausea?

Nausea can be caused by both slight and serious conditions. Nausea can occur due to motion sickness or from stress or anxiety. It can be brought about by medications, supplements or alcohol. It can also be a result of a problem within the brain or the circulatory system.


Every person has diarrhea from time to time. Diarrhea is watery, loose and frequent bowel movements. Diarrhea is often associated with nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea is when the intestines empty themselves in a defensive manner over concern for its contents. Excessive diarrhea leads to dehydration and can become life-threatening. [2]

What causes diarrhea?

Diarrhea can be caused by food poisoning, alcohol, medications, supplements, food allergies and lactose intolerance. Stress and anxiety can also be contributors. More serious causes include ulcers, cancer, obstructed bowel and IBS.


Dizziness is the sensation that you cannot steady yourself. It’s the feeling that either you or your surroundings are spinning or in motion. Dizziness comes from the brain and is a message that all is not right. The brain is crying foul and telling the body to shut down immediately. Typically, dizziness occurs in conjunction with nausea and vomiting.

What causes dizziness?

There can be many causes of dizziness including head injuries, brain tumors, or other debilitating diseases. Less severe causes can be the flu, food poisoning, alcohol, or adverse reactions to medications or supplements.

As always, consult your physician before taking any weight-loss product. In the case of Contrave, there are many side-effects that should be considered.

  • References
  • 1. Nausea (2005). WebMD. November 1, 2016.
  • 2. Diarrhea (2016). Mayo Clinic. November 1, 2016.

Contrave is a prescription weight-loss medication that contains an anti-depressant. It is not unheardof for these drugs to be used for a variety of reasons like weight-loss and smoking cessation. You cannot purchase this formula in stores or online without a prescription.

Contrave Ingredients and Supplement Facts

Serving Size: Varies
Serving Per Container: Varies
Amount per Serving % DV
Buproprion Hydrochloride * *
Naltrexone Hydrochloride * *

Other Ingredients: None

We dug deep into the Contrave ingredients to give you the details you need.

Bupropion Hydrochloride

Bupropion hydrochloride is a prescription medication that goes by the names of Aplenzin and Wellbutrin XL.

What is it Supposed to Do?

It is used to treat depression and prevent seasonal affective disorder. There are other uses, including the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder[1] (ADHD), and smoking cessation. It may also be used with other mood stabilizers to treat bipolar disorder[2], and may be used to treat anxiety in people with depression.

Clinical Research

There are a number of clinical studies available on this medicine, because it has been tested for FDA approval. One of the main side effects associated with Bupropion is weight-loss.

Naltrexone Hydrochloride

This medication is available by prescription only, and may also be marketed under the name Revia. It’s designed to treat opiate addiction, and used as part of a more comprehensive treatment program. The medication may also be used to treat alcohol abuse.

What is it Supposed to Do?

It works in the brain to prevent the affects of opiates – pain relief and feelings of well-being from taking place. It also works to decrease the desire to use opiates.

Clinical Research

There are a number of studies on this medication, though none are directly tied to weight-loss. According to a study published in Journal of Clinical Pyschopharmacology, “Although both groups showed decreases in smoking urge scores through treatment, the reductions were larger in the naltrexone group, with an average Brief Questionnaire of Smoking Urge scale score decrease of 13.6 ± 1.17 points in the naltrexone group compared with 9.58 ± 1.39 points in the placebo group (β [SE] = −4.37 [2.05], P < 0.05).”

Clinical research is an important part of the equation when it comes to choosing a diet supplement. You may want to take a look at a product like Leptigen, which is formulated with clinically tested ingredients, and available without a prescription. Click above to learn more.

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About the Author:

Summer Banks, a content strategist at Leptigen, has researched over 5000 products in the past 10 years. She has years of nursing training, experience as a manager responsible for 15 supplement brands, and completed coursework on Food and Nutrition from Stanford University. full bio.

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User Comments

123 Comments on "Contrave Review"


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I would like to try it but don’t know how much and is it worth it

I have been taking contrave for almost 3 weeks. When I increased from 1 to 2 pills in the AM I started having bouts of itching. On my hands and feet mostly, now it’s the back of my neck. The itching isn’t constant but it is bothersome nonetheless. Anyone have this issue and if so what to do?

Leave a comment…Sounds like an allergic reaction, stop taking the med and see your doctor immediately

I also had problems with the insurance company not accepting it at first; they wanted my doctor to call a special phone number so I was reimbursed the 98$ dollars for a supply of 120 tabs. The approval for the medication is good until April, but my doctor will have to request the refill.

I began Contrave last week. By the third day, I decided to take one in the a.m. and one by 2 p.m. I’m on day 7 and I’m up to three (mind you I’ve had to balance my Wellbutrin dosage to make what I was taking). Here’s what I’ve found- the first two days I had nausea, but only mildly and felt like I was “less” hungry. I’m also on the “Lose It” app as suggested by the doctor (the basic app is free). She’s not worried about my calories as much as my carb. intake, but the holidays were tough. I have no excuses now, today I’m ravenous and craving carbs. I don’t think I’ve lost any weight at all in the first week, but I’ve ramped up my intake from 1-3 in that short time. It’s very frustrating because my doctor says Zyrtec makes me gain weight and Klonopin doesn’t help my situation either. The Klonopin will be harder to wean off of, but I feel like I need it or I’ll never sleep. So everything is relative. I’d like to have success with this medication as I’m the one who researched it to match my Wellbutrin intake. I will give it two more weeks before I see her again to determine if this is right for me, but I just don’t know after one week and no results.


Ann my DR prescribed Contrave for me and I take 60 mg Cymbalta. Everyone’s different tho.

Ann, the only person that can answer a medical question like this is the doctor who prescribed the Cymbalta. Have a great day!

If your Dr. prescribes it at 2 different prescriptions….Wellbutrin/naltrexone, It doesn’t look like it is being used for weight loss, since my insurance doesn’t pay for anything weight loss related this works for me. I actually pay nothing for it smile

Leave a comment… did this work the same as Contrave for you?

This is my second day of taking this drug, I was really worried about taking it because I don’t like taking any drug. The first day was fine but I did feel a little out of it, today I had no appetite at all I had to make myself eat something so I could take my morning drugs, so this evening I made myself something to eat because I haven’t eaten all day, well that was a mistake, I started feeling sick and so full like I hadn’t eaten a meal in a week. Because it’s the holidays I won’t be able to contact my doctor so I’m going to wait until the holiday’s are over before I take any more. Also the cost is really high my insurance will not cover it so I only brought 21 tablets and it was $45. At this point I’m going to see how it goes after the holidays and talk to my doctor about the side effects I don’t need any more problems.

I have been taking Contrave for 6 months and have lost 25 lbs. I paid 70. per month Now I am told I have to re enroll. I emailed the company and was told I could not register because I have Medicare. The cost with Commercial Insurance is 30.00 per month, the cash price if no insurance is 90.00 per month– but since I have Medicare I have to pay 228.05 per month and was told I can’t pay cash and get that cash price.. I am being penalized because being over 65 I have to have Medicare. Has any one else heard of this and what has happened to our free country?

Hi. Sorry to hear about the increased cost of Contrave. If you want to improve results, without breaking the bank, you may want to consider Leptigen. Click above to learn about the sample offer.

today is Oct 6, i started taking Contrave May 12 weighing 200 lbs, 66 yrs old, female. I have lost 30 lbs with no ill side effects. All of a sudden, i want to snack. I want potato chips! I have never been a chip eater! I am up now at 2:00 am wanting and craving chips. Im fighting the urge, but it is hard! Im loosing sleep over this. I thought maybe it was my body telling me i needed salt! But i dont think so now! I have not lost any weight in 2 weeks (since ive started this potato chip craving). I didnt have any cravings since ive been on contrave–why now after ive been doing so well?

This is in response to “Libby” who suddenly had potato chip cravings…I had to laugh. I too have never been a ‘chip’ eater and for reasons unknown to me…suddenly crave potato chips.

I have been on contrive since mar 2015, lost from size 16 to 8 in about 6 mnts. the 1st 3 weeks I lost 11 lbs, but I did walk every day or every other day and watched my eating (no craving sweets at all, so I did not try, because this is a good thing), weight just started falling off fast. I started with the high mg and was not feeling well, contacted dr and he put me on their other lower mg 8/90 mg.. and I take 2 pills am and 1 pm ( I do not do the 2 and 2)No side effects at all. I have been able to stay at my weight gaining 4 lbs loosing them back, so my body plays with 5 lbs.. but the price in 2015 until sep 2016 was $70, then down to $58.00 a month, now it’s $93.00 (their new prices I was told) and this do not go down, it stays at $93.00 a month.. a little to expensive.. so after this month I will be going off the product, my question is if I keep up doing my exercise and eating as I know do, will the weight stay off or will it come back like other weight controls ..

Proud of you – amazing. Hope you keep up walking and I need to do the same. You guys have really got me thinking….

anyone try just one pill a day at lunch? It makes me spacey and dizzy in the am.

Hi Ani. Please make sure to consult with your physician before continuing to take this product and let them know about the side effects you were experiencing.

I’ve only been taking Contrave for four days and I’ve gained two pounds. No side effects just a little dry mouth. I will continue taking the correct dose. If I gain any more or at least don’t lose some weight then I will stop taking it.

I started Contrave in February, as of today I have lost 51 pounds. I would have lost more but a bad accident got in the way. I stopped taking it and I did not gain any weight back. I am very thankful for Contrave.

I would like to pick your brain about your experience. Would you mind emailing me at lplasencia1@aol.com? Thanks so much!

I have been on contrave for 33 days and I have lost 20 lbs. I have no craving for snacks, sweets, or anything fried. I am now so motivated to exercise that I walk 2 miles a day. I had no side effects. I still have about 20 I’d like to lose. Contrave has changed my life.

What dosage were you taking when you lost the 20lbs in 33 days?

I am taking contrave and i am taking it once around seven in the morning and the other at one or two in evening so by time i go to bed i sleep fine and it is working for me no side effects

I have been off of Contrave for about 2 weeks because I was under the weather, can I start back up do I have to start my doses over

Hi Gegee. You may want to contact your healthcare provider prior to starting any dietary supplement, including Contrave. However, there’s one out there that we have our eye one; Leptigen. It contains clinically-tested ingredients and has been shown to help accelerate metabolism and boost fat loss. Click above to learn about the sample offer.

I’ve been on Contrave for a little over a month now. I have never had any of the side effects that are reported. It definitely does its job, which is to reduce your appetite. Within a week, I noticed that my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach, and I’ve had to learn how to adjust my ordering out. I’ve lost about 10 lbs with not necessarily a healthy diet and working out about 3 times a week. I saw lots of up and down results, until the past 2 weeks, which was a steady loss. You definitely have to ride it out and see if it works for you. Listen to your body and stop when it’s full. This isn’t a fat burner pill, that just magically helps you lose weight, so when you do stop taking it, you won’t necessarily gain all of that back.

i started taking Contrave 8 days ago and I just can’t get passed the side effects. I have felt horrible. Between the headaches, excessive tiredness, dizziness, and Nausea I have decided to stop taking this medication. I was trying to see if I just stop since I only took it for 8 days or if I have to do something else. I just can’t feel like this all the time.

I just took 1 week and to start on 2nd. I need to stop how do I do that?

I started using Contrave last September, but stopped taking it after I got up to the recommended dosage of 4 per day. I lost weight, but once I was up to 4X’s per day, I started having horrible nightmares and quit taking it. I’ve since talked to my doctor about it and he recommended that I just take 1 per day. I will hopefully be able to start again soon.

I’ve been taking it for quite some time. Maybe 5 or 6 months and I’ve lost weight but that’s because I workout as well. My question is, once I get to my goal weight and I stop taking it, will I gain the weight back if I stop working out? I enjoy working out anyway, so I will continue but Im afraid of gaining all I lost back…does anyone know if this will happen? Thanks