Old Drugs Learn New Tricks For Weight Loss Pill: Contrave®
Two drugs, one used to combat drug and alcohol addiction and the other to quell nicotine addiction, have been combined to fight food cravings. The new drug, a pill developed by Orexigen Therapeutics, is called Contrave® and the company reports that the results of the Phase 3 trials have surpassed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's requirements to prove effectiveness.
Orexigen's Phase 3 program included two separate trials for obese persons and one for diabetes patients. All three experimental groups showed a total weight loss of at least 5 percent of their body weights after a 56 week study; whereas the placebo group members lost only about one-third as much.
Secondary results were also noted, such as improvements in cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors such as waistline measurement, visceral fat, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Additionally, Contrave group members had more ability to control their eating patterns and fewer cravings than the placebo group.
Side effects were mild, for the most part, and often transitory, the study reported. They included nausea, constipation, and dizziness. (Those would likely curb your appetite, hey?)
Contrave32, the dose that was administered, is a proprietary fixed-dose combination of bupropion SR 360mg and naltrexone SR 32mg.
Bupropion was approved for marketing in the U.S. in 1985 for depression and, in 1997, it was approved for smoking cessation. Bupropion appears to increase dopamine activity in specific brain receptors, leading to appetite reduction and an increase in energy expenditure.
Naltrexone was approved in the United States in 1984 for the treatment of opioid addiction and in 1995 for the treatment of alcoholism. Naltrexone works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, inhibiting the reinforcement one gets from addictive substances, thereby reducing their perceived reward. It has been shown in numerous studies to negatively alter the palatability, or taste, of many foods, particularly sweets.
There's a once a day pill to prevent heart attacks; maybe soon, there will be a once a day pill to fight all addictions, even sex, gambling, and sudoku addictions! In the meantime, look for Contrave to be approved in early 2010.
Keeping you posted...