Here’s How to Save on Weight Loss Medication Contrave

Tori Marsh
Tori Marsh, MPH, is on the Research Team at GoodRx, and is the resident expert on drug pricing and savings.
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If healthy lifestyle changes like diet and exercise haven’t been enough to help you shed those pounds, your doctor may suggest that you turn to a weight loss medication, like Contrave. While patients may only take it for a short period of time, out of pocket costs for Contrave can reach well beyond $600 per month, and it may not be covered by some insurance companies. But GoodRx is here to help.

Losing weight is hard, but affording your diet medication shouldn’t be. Here’s some information on Contrave, and how you can save.   

What is it?

Contrave is indicated for weight loss in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. In some cases, adults with a BMI of 27 or higher will be prescribed Contrave if they have one or more weight-related conditions like hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Contrave is a mixture of two well-known medications – bupropion, used to treat depression, and naltrexone used to combat opioid addiction. Contrave works to curb cravings, helping you say “no” to that extra scoop of ice cream. But, does it work?

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But, is it worth it?

A drug that claims to safely help you lose weight sounds too good to be true, so there must be a catch.

Let’s go over the benefits first. Contrave can help people lose a significant amount of weight if taken properly and combined with a healthy diet and exercise. In a recent study, patients lost 5-10% of their body weight on Contrave – that’s a pretty significant amount.

But, there are risks. Studies have shown that 1 in 4 people taking Contrave stopped taking it because of the side effects – like nausea, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, constipation, and dizziness. Also, because Contrave contains bupropion, it carries the same black box warning as the anti-anxiety medication – which is the strongest warning from the FDA. According to the black box warning, in rare cases, Contrave can lead to increased suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young adults.

One last thing. Remember, Contrave is not intended to be used on its own – it should be combined with a healthy diet and exercise.

Are there any alternatives?

While there isn’t a perfect pill to help you lose weight, there are other options. These may or may not be significantly less expensive; depending on your insurance coverage, some alternatives might be more affordable.

Contrave works best for me, how can I save?

Bottom line: without insurance, Contract is expensive. Cash paying patients will have to shell out as much as $600 for a 30 day supply. Here’s how you can save.

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