Diet pills are most often stimulants, working to decrease your appetite, curb cravings and boost your metabolism. Sold over the counter, they often have no regulation from the FDA and are often subject to recalls and lawsuits. The two most notable diet pills to have been approved by the FDA, Xenical and Meridia, have been riddled with problems and Meridia has been withdrawn. Most diet pills are taken off the market within five years of FDA approval. Almost all of them are taken off the market for increased heart risks and have even been linked to deaths.
However, there is a new diet pill on the horizon, set to be approved by the FDA as early as next month, and it is a different type all together. A combination of an antidepressant and an anti-addiction medication, Contrave is the newest and most exciting weight loss drug to hit the market in recent years.
From Yahoo! news: Contrave is a combination of two well-known drugs, naltrexone (Revia , used to fight addictions) and the antidepressant bupropion (known by a number of names, including Wellbutrin). The drug appears to boost weight loss by changing the workings of the body’s central nervous system.
The pill was studied with a group of more than 17,000 participants, 85% of whom were women. All were overweight or obese and had high blood pressure or high levels of body fat. The participants were told to eat less and exercise. Half were given a placebo to take twice daily and half were given a combination of the two drugs at one of two levels. After 56 weeks, half of the participants had dropped out of the program. Of those that remained, 48% of those taking naltrexone at the highest dose had lost 5% of their weight. More than 30% of those taking the combined medications experienced nausea, vomiting, headaches and dry mouth.
From The New York Times: With Contrave, the big issue was that the drug had only modest effectiveness while also causing a slight increase in blood pressure and pulse rate. That could conceivably raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes, though the trials conducted by Orexigen were too small and too short to determine that. Both the FDA. and the company said that a larger trial to look specifically at risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems would be conducted.
We will be sure to keep our eyes on this new addition to the weight loss supplement market and keep you in the know.