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Psychiatric News Alert

The Voice of the American Psychiatric Association and the Psychiatric Community
  • FDA Approves Psychiatric Drug Combo for Weight Loss

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Contrave—a combination drug consisting of naltrexone (an opioid receptor antagonist) and bupropion extended-release (an antidepressant and pharmacological smoking-cessation aid) —as a new treatment option for weight loss in people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater (obesity) or a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) with one weight-related condition such as hypertension or type II diabetes.

    The effectiveness of Contrave was measured in multiple clinical trials with approximately 4,500 obese and overweight individuals, with and without significant weight-related conditions, who were on a reduced-calorie diet and a physical activity regimen. Results in a trial with nondiabetic patients, showed that 42% of participants taking Contrave were able to shed at least 5% of their body weight in a year, while only 17% of patients treated with placebo were able to do so. In a clinical trial with diabetes patients, those taking the combination drug where twice as likely to lose 5% of their body weight within a year than were control subjects. Most common adverse reactions reported included nausea, constipation, headache, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, and diarrhea.

    Because the medication contains bupropion, it has a boxed warning for increased risk of suicidal behaviors and serious neuropsychiatric events. The exact neurochemical effects of the drug leading to weight loss are not yet fully understood, according to the...

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Louisiana Psychiatric Medical Association &
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Psychiatry in a Changing Healthcare Landscape
September 10-14, 2014
Royal Sonesta Hotel
New Orleans, LA
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