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Adipex vs Contrave: Medications for Weight Loss

Adipex vs Contrave: Medications for weight Loss

Losing weight is the most common problem today. In the USA, many people are facing this problem. More than people are opting for pills, peptides, and injections to lose weight. Adipex and Contrave, are two medications. Both are prescribed as weight loss drugs approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

In this blog, we will distinguish between Adipex and Contrave medicines, according to their meaning, use, dose and dosage strengths, efficacy, and side effects.

Difference Between Adipex vs Contrave Drugs

1) Overview


The alternative name of this drug is Adipex-P, in which, P stands for Phentermine (generic name of Adipex-P). Suprenza, Adipex-P, and Lomaira are the three widely termed branded prescribed weight-loss pill medications. Adipex-P belongs to two common drug classes namely, Anorexiants and CNS (Central Nervous System) stimulants.

Anorexiant is the drug class of Adipex-P, which suppresses the appetite while acting on the brain. Another drug class is CNS stimulant, including brain and nerves, which acts in such a way that it increases a person’s heart rate and blood pressure and also decreases their appetite. This drug is most familiar to Amphetamine, which is also a stimulant drug.

This drug is the best weight loss medicine for adults, who are above 16 years and have a body mass index (BMI ) of more than 30. Also, the medicine can be prescribed to adults having a BMI greater than 27. Many people may suffer from severe obesity-related health conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.


Contrave is a branded prescription drug to treat obesity in adults having a body mass index (BMI) greater or more than 30 kg per m2 are considered obese. Also, adults having a BMI higher or more than 27 kg per m2 are represented as overweight.

This drug is a formulation of two generic drugs: Bupropion and Naltrexone. Bupropion is an antidepressant drug, which minimizes appetite in individuals. Naltrexone is another antidepressant drug that functions in such a way, that it blocks the effects of both opioid and alcohol medications in people experiencing addictive issues. This drug may control the problem of starvation as well as the great desire to eat a specific food or dish.

This weight-loss medication acts on two sides of the brain that require eating food and are tied to carvings. The above-mentioned two generic drugs help in controlling the feelings of excitement while eating as well as to decrease appetite, which in turn also helps in managing carvings.

2) Uses: Adipex vs Contrave

Adipex-P can be used for the short-term treatment of obesity among individuals as compared to Contrave. As this drug is considered an appetite suppressant, it can be used with a combination of both diet as well as exercise. It can affect those people, who are suffering from major health risks such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.

The most common use of Adipex-P is to help people lose their overall body weight, which tends to make them feel less hungry. Also, it can help in increasing the feeling of fullness. The generic drug is usually prescribed by a doctor and can be used to lessen appetite.

The Contrave drug can be used to help either obese adults or overweight people in reducing their weight. For instance, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and weight. It can also be used with a combination of both a decreased-calorie diet and increased physical activity or exercise.
This medication can increase the risk of heart or stroke problems or can lead to death if left untreated. It is considered the safest and most effective branded prescribed medicine when combined with other OTC (over-the-counter) medications, herbal weight-loss oral pills, or other prescription drugs.
However, this drug has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the problem of depression, mental disorders etc. It is used to help individuals to withdraw from smoking.

3) Dose and Dosage Strengths

Adipex-P comes in the shape of both oval and long-round capsules, mostly in blue and white colors.

The dosage strength of this branded prescription drug available in the market, which includes:

The fixed dose of this drug, which is given to adults, is one tablet of 37.5 mg. It can be taken by mouth orally and swallowed completely with plain water at once.

This medication is typically prescribed by a doctor for adults to take only 37.5 mg (one tablet) in a day either before breakfast or after breakfast but within 1-2 hours.

The dosage may be adjusted by a certified doctor depending on the patient’s health condition. In a few cases, healthcare professionals may prescribe 18.75 mg half tablets, which should be given to the adults.

The Contrave drug is in a round shape and is available in blue color in the form of Extended-Release (ER) tablets.

The dosage strengths of Contrave drug form a combination of both bupropion hydrochloride, which is 90 mg tablet, and naltrexone hydrochloride, which is 8 mg tablet is given to adults, who are above 17 years.

In the first week, the total daily doses of this drug include two tablets, one tablet of bupropion, which is 8 mg, and another tablet of naltrexone, which is 90 mg to be given twice a day. In the fourth week, the dosages should increase up to 32 mg of bupropion and 360 mg of Naltrexone.

4) Effectiveness


This generic drug is prescribed for short-term use in treating obesity and it is more effective when compared to the Contrave drug. However, the efficacy may vary among individuals.

According to a study, it was found that 80% of people who took phentermine drugs (a combination of Adipex-P and Lomaria drugs), lost 5% of their body weight.

In addition, many people who took this generic drug also lost around two pounds of their weight. Thus, the drug helps in decreasing appetite among them.

The phentermine drug is the most essential and effective oral weight loss drug. Another study found that when tested on approximately 300 patients, its effectiveness displays positive results.


This branded drug is not very effective among people. Its effectiveness may also differ when taking the combination of bupropion and naltrexone.

In a study, it was found that 57% of people taking Contrave drugs, lost 5% of their weight while comparing with placebo patients.

In another study, when comparing with other groups of patients, especially placebo, it was found that only 10% of people lost their weight from 35% of patients who took this drug.

According to both studies, it was shown the Contrave drug is less effective and efficacy may vary among individuals when compared with Adipex-P drug.

5) Side Effects


Adipex-P drug is an essential and most effective oral weight loss medication to treat obesity. However, it can cause common as well as severe side effects in people. These are as follows:

Common and Serious Side Effects
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Bad taste
  • Fainting
  • Itching
  • Low sexual desire
  • Swelling in ankle or feet
  • Irritability
  • Pain in legs or arms
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Restlessness
  • Dry mouth
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Erythema
  • Dyspnea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Mood swings
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low blood sugar
  • Tremor
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble in sleeping (Insomnia)


Contrave drugs help in controlling appetite and reducing cravings in individuals. However, it can also cause common and serious side effects and is considered the safest drug for adults.

Common Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Changes in taste
  • Constipation
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dry mouth

Serious Side Effects

  • Jaundice (Yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Joints or muscle pain
  • High Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dark Urine
  • Skin Allergy reactions
  • Skin rashes
  • Swelling
  • Hives(urticaria)
  • Fast heart rate (Tachycardia)
  • Elevated blood pressure

Safety Measures and Precautions When Taking either Adipex or Contrave Drugs

The patients when consuming either Adipex or Contrave drugs, one should take some safety measures and precautions into consideration, which are mentioned below to reduce the adverse effects of side effects. These are as follows:

  • A person should not consume the Contrave drug if he or she is experiencing high blood pressure or seizure side effects.
  • The Contrave drug interacts with other antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, and other medications so individuals should avoid MAOIs (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors), opioids, and alcohol.
  • Patients having a history of health complications such as hypertension, arrhythmias, heart disease or stroke should use Adipex-P drug cautiously under the supervision of a medical doctor.
  • Adipex can worsen the conditions of patients having psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, etc.. so the patient should avoid it.
  • The patients should closely monitor with a healthcare provider while taking the drugs.
  • The patients should regularly follow up the visits with a healthcare provider to easily monitor the progress of weight loss, side effects, and overall health.
  • Both drugs should be used under the supervision of a medical doctor to minimize the effects of health risks.
  • As the medications work effectively when combined with a healthy diet and regular physical activity so individuals should practice and follow doctor’s recommendations.


Both Adipex and Contrave drugs aid in weight loss, so it is essential that individuals should consult with a healthcare provider once before taking. When a Contrave drug combines with phentermine, it is advised to use cautiously under the supervision of a certified doctor or healthcare expert.

Also, these medications offer complete guidance on when to use or when not to use depending on the patient’s medical history and health condition. Therefore, Adipex and Contrave drugs are prescribed for losing excess weight or used for treating obesity or overweight in people.

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