Contrave and Adipex are two medications approved for weight loss treatment by Health Canada and the US FDA. Both the medications are available by prescription only.

Both the medications are prescribed for weight loss treatment; however, there are a lot of differences. To know more about it, keep reading this article.

Contrave vs. Adipex effectiveness compared.

There are direct studies that have compared the effectiveness of Contrave and Adipex. Both of the medications are intended for weight loss treatment. However, both treatments differ because Contrave is intended for the long term and is not a controlled substance. On the other hand, Adipex is intended for short-term treatment and is a controlled substance.

Your healthcare professional may choose between the two medications, which is better for you. Various factors will determine the choice of medication, such as insurance, drug or substance abuse history, duration of the treatment, age, and medical history.

How do Contrave vs. Adipex work?

What is Contrave

Contrave is a prescription medication used in obese people or in people who are overweight or have weight-related issues due to medical problems for weight loss. The medication is used along with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise plan for weight reduction. 

The medication is a combination of two active ingredients: naltrexone and bupropion. Naltrexone belongs to opioids antagonist, and bupropion belongs to the antidepressants class of medications. They work together in different areas of the brain (hunger center and reward system) and help reduce the appetite and control the cravings.

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What is Adipex

Adipex is also a prescription medication that belongs to the anorectic (a medication that causes appetite suppression)  class of medications. The active ingredient of Adipex is Phentermine. Adipex suppresses the appetite by changing the levels of natural chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Both the medications should be used in people who are overweight (BMI more or equal to 27) or obese (BMI more or equal to 30).

Benefits of Contrave vs. Adipex

Contrave and Adipex both help to reduce weight. Calorie-deficient diet and regular exercise are essential while you are on treatment with either of the medication.

The benefit of using either medication is that it helps to lose weight. Contrave can be used for extended treatment duration. On the other hand, Adipex is not intended for more extended treatment duration, and it can be used for short-term treatment.

Contrave and Adipex are brand names of prescription medication.

Patients treated with Contrave for over 56 weeks lost 17 pounds of weight (5-10% of their body weight). On the other hand, patients taking Adipex lost 3% of their body weight in the initial three months and 5-7% of their body weight after six months.

Side effects of Contrave vs. Adipex

Contrave and Adipex are likely to cause side effects like all the mediations. However, not all people taking the treatment will experience these side effects.

The most common possible side effects of Contrave include:

  • Insomnia
  • Stomach problems (nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea)
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness

The most common possible side effect of Adipex include:

  • Hives
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Tremor
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach problems (diarrhea or constipation)
  • Restlessness
  • Sexual changes
  • Loss of interest in sex

If any persistent side effects bother you, inform your healthcare professional. The above list of side effects is not comprehensive, and other side effects may affect you. Consult your doctor if you experience any other side effects.

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Ease of use of Contrave vs. Adipex

Contrave and Adipex are to be taken orally. Contrave is available as an extended-release tablet. On the other hand, Adipex is available as capsules.

Contrave is initially started with a low dose, and the dose is gradually increased over four weeks. The tablets are to be taken twice a day, morning and evening. It would be best if you did not have a high-fat meal while on treatment. Moreover, take the tablet as a whole; do not crush or chew it. Contrave is prescribed for long-term treatment.

Adipex is available in capsule form that contains 37.5 mg of Phentermine. The medication should be taken once daily 1 to 2 hours before breakfast. Adipex is usually given for short-term treatment and is discontinued immediately as tolerance may occur.

Your physician may decide the ideal choice of medication for you depending on several factors. 

Price comparison of Contrave vs. Adipex

Contrave is the drug’s brand name, and it is not currently available in the generic form. A monthly prescription of Contrave will cost you about $100. All commercial insurance may not cover the medication.

Adipex is also a brand name. A generic form of the medication is also available. A monthly cost of Adipex may cost you $30.


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