In the past 2 years the FDA has approved several new weight loss medications for the chronic treatment of obesity. We have had several years of experiencing utilizing Belviq, and Qsymia. The problem with these medications is that they are controlled substances, and they are very expensive. The newly-approved drug Contrave may be poised to change the playing field, however.
This drug is designed to target the hypothalamus to help the patient have a sense of fullness and decreased cravings. Initial studies showed weight loss over placebo that was statistically significant. The side effect profile of this drug is very low, meaning most patients will tolerate it well. It is not a controlled substance, so there is not a pre-defined limit on how long a patient can take the drug, as there is with Adipex (phentermine).
The most exciting aspect of this drug is the “Scale Down” program that is sponsored by the company that manufactures the medication, Takeda. Patients who start on the medication and enroll in the program pay a maximum of $70 a month for the first 2 months, then a maximum of $60 a month thereafter. All patients who enroll in Scale Down receive a free wireless scale just for enrolling!
The scale communicates with your phone and will send you messages to let you know how you are doing. This program was developed at Harvard and is available for patients who do not take Contrave via a monthly subscription fee at www.scaledownapp.com, however there is no charge for the program for patients as long as they are on Contrave.
Although this medication is not a stimulant, it cannot be used in patients with uncontrolled hypertension, a history of seizures, or those on monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants. It is also not indicated in pregnancy.
Those who will be successful in their weight loss with the use of Contrave must achieve regular exercise, follow a healthy diet, and come into our office for monthly evaluations with a provider and dietitian.
If you are interested in trying this exciting new medication, call 513-559-1222 or fill out an appointment request form below!
Dr. Trace Curry
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