By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel


What is Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone) used for?

Contrave® contains a combination of bupropion and naltrexone. Bupropion is an antidepressant medicine that can also decrease appetite. Naltrexone is usually given to block the effects of narcotics or alcohol in people with addiction problems. Naltrexone may also curb hunger and food cravings.

Contrave® is an anorexiant amd is used to help manage weight in obese or overweight adults with weight-related medical problems. This medicine is used together with diet and exercise.

Contrave® will not treat any weight-related medical condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Contrave® is not approved to treat depression or other psychiatric conditions, or to help you quit smoking.

How should I take Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone)?

Take Contrave® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet. Swallow it whole. Do not take more than 2 tablets at once.

Do not take Contrave® with a high-fat meal, or you may be more likely to have a seizure.

If you need to use narcotic medicine for any reason (such as pain, surgery, or treatment for drug addiction) you may need to stop taking Contrave® for a short time. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully.

How do I store Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone)?

Contrave® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Contrave® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Contrave® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Contrave® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Contrave® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Do not use Contrave® if you are pregnant. Weight loss during pregnancy can harm an unborn baby, even if you are overweight. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

You should not use Contrave® if:

  • You have untreated or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • You have an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia).
  • You have a history of seizures.
  • You have opioid addiction or withdrawal (or if you take methadone or buprenorphine).
  • You take other forms of bupropion (Wellbutrin, Aplenzin, Budeprion, Forfivo, Zyban, and others).
  • You have suddenly stopped using alcohol, seizure medication, or a sedative such as Xanax, Valium, Fiorinal, Klonopin, and others).

Do not use an MAO inhibitor within 14 days before or 14 days after you take Contrave®. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking bupropion. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Bupropion and naltrexone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Contrave®is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Follow your doctor’s instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity. Do not take other weight-loss products or diet pills unless your doctor has told you to.

Do not use narcotic medication, methadone, heroin, or other street drugs while you are taking Contrave®. Doing so could result in dangerous effects, including coma and death.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Contrave® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Contrave®. Contrave® is pregnancy risk category X, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone)?

Common side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)

Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have:

  • A seizure (convulsions)
  • Blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights
  • Changes in mood or behavior – anxiety, depression, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, agitation, thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself
  • A manic episode – racing thoughts, increased energy, unusual risk-taking behavior, extreme happiness, being irritable or talkative
  • Liver problems – upper stomach pain, tiredness, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Increased blood pressure – severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed
  • Severe skin reaction – fever, mouth or throat pain, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple rash that spreads and causes blisters and peeling

Older adults may be more likely to have certain side effects.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Contrave®: fever, swollen glands, mouth sores, muscle or joint pain; hives, rash or itching; chest pain, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, severe drowsiness, or if you are hard to wake up.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone)?

Contrave® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone)?

Contrave® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone)?

Contrave® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Depression, bipolar disorder, or mental illness
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • A head injury
  • A tumor or infection in your brain or spinal cord
  • Diabetes or low blood sugar
  • Low sodium levels
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke
  • Drug addiction, or if you normally drink a lot of alcohol


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone).

What is the dose of Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Weight Loss:

Initial dose:

Week 1: One tablet (8 mg naltrexone/90 mg bupropion) orally once in the morning; then.

Week 2: One tablet orally twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening); then.

Week 3: Two tablets orally in the morning and one tablet orally in the evening.

Maintenance dose: Week 4 and onward: Two tablets orally twice a day (morning and evening).

Maximum dose: Two tablets orally twice a day.

What is the dose of Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Contrave® (bupropion and naltrexone) available?

Contrave® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet, film coated, extended release: naltrexone hydrochloride 8mg, bupropion hydrochloride 90mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Contrave®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: July 19, 2017 | Last Modified: December 19, 2019

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