Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Contrave for obesity

Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. has indicated that it's drug Contrave met its main goals in three late-stage obesity clinical trials. Contrave is a combination of two relatively common prescription drugs: bupropion (Wellbutrin or Zyban) plus naltrexone. Will Contrave be a blockbuster drug, or will it face some of the similar challenges that other anti-obesity drugs encountered? Since it's a combination of two existing drugs, maybe it will actually get approved by the FDA. Contrave may actually address the cravings associated with eating. Can you imagine a life where you no longer crave eating? Recently, I wrote about: Concept of "overweight" may be relative.

Endocrinologist Dennis D. Kim, MD, MBA, is Orexigen's senior vice president for medical affairs. You'll see his name on various press releases and other stories related to Contrave. WebMD quotes Dr. Kim saying: "Naltrexone comes in and lifts the brake on the Wellbutrin effect... So you have a synergistic effect to signal the hypothalamus to reduce food intake. Weight decrease is maintained over time." Sustained weight loss requires a healthy combination of diet and exercise so don't expect that a magic pill will automatically make your weight go away. If Contrave actually reduces cravings, then patients may actually have an easier time with their diet. Now if we could just find a pill that stimulates the desire/craving to exercise...

1 comment:

  1. The multitude of uses for bupropion is quite impressive with depression, smoking cessation and erectile dysfunction products all making use of the drug. The addition of appetite suppression to this list would make this quite a wonder drug if it weren't for the mental health issues. With the FDA announcing that these drugs must carry a suicide warning on the box, its a bit disturbing to see the proliferation of products using the drug.