Contrave - The Latest and Greatest Weight Management Drug.

contrave Dec 09, 2020

Contrave. The latest weight-loss tool to hit the Aussie market.  


But what is it exactly? And is it all that it’s talked up to be? Today, we will run through the cons, pros and effects of contrave.


Contrave was designed to control appetite and cravings within the brain. The drug is intended for obese adults, who have metabolic conditions caused by being overweight. This is an adjunct form of therapy and is recommended to run alongside diet and lifestyle changes. Adults are encouraged to follow a low-calorie diet and increase their physical activity, to optimise the benefits associated with this medication.


Cons of Contrave

  1. Expensive. Contrave costs $250 per month, which equates to $3000 per year. If you think about it, it’s more cost-effective to buy fresh produce!
  2. Adverse side effects. Contrave has been associated with nausea, vomiting, constipation and insomnia. In severe cases, it has led to mental health disturbances.
  3. Weight loss can be underwhelming. Research shows that the average weight loss was 5% over 12 months.  

A 5% reduction in weight is not something to be scoffed at. Research indicates that a 5% total loss of weight can significantly improve metabolic health and reduce the risk of heart attacks, diabetes and cholesterol.


Pros of Contrave

  1. A tool for the toolbox. Contrave has added to the resources health professionals can use, alongside diet, lifestyle changes and gastric bypass surgery.
  2. Appetite regulation. The drug is beneficial for people who are in situations where they are surrounded by food temptations.
  3. Weight maintenance. Contrave can be very useful when people are looking to maintain their weight, mostly if they have lost a significant amount.


When people lose weight, their body responds by increasing hunger hormones. This is because our body does not want to starve, so it goes into a protection mode. Therefore, people need to be careful about the balance between managing appetite and eating food or fluid. 

The real challenge lies with maintaining weight loss over the years. New evidence has emerged, which suggests that is we can keep our weight off for 12-24 months, our body and its hormones can adjust. Essentially, our body stops fighting us to put the lost weight back on, and our appetite cues improve.

In conclusion, contrave can be an excellent resource to use in the weight loss battle. It's good at regulating appetite and it can support people through the 12-24 month weight maintenance phase. However, this drug is not advised as the first line of therapy and should be used in combination with diet and lifestyle changes.  For personalised dietary and lifestyle strategies, book a consult with one of our dietitians. 

Here is a link to book in with one of our expert dietitians at any of our locations https://www.cqnutrition.com.au/booking/ 

Want an online consultation? Book in on my calendar and in comments write online: https://bit.ly/AnnieROK 

Written by Annabel Johnston, BAppSc&MDietPrac


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