Contrave Cost


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Contrave, a prescription-based drug designed to help promote and maintain weight loss, is a popular opioid antagonist/atypical antidepressant combination.

If you’re looking at a prescription-based weight loss medication, Contrave is yet another brand name among the others such as Saxena, Qsymia and Belviq.

Contrave Cost
Weight Rack” (CC BY 2.0) by davco9200

How much does Contrave cost?

The cost of Contrave will depend on a few factors, including the pharmacy you use, the quantity of your prescription and your health insurance policy.  From our research via multiple pharmacy chains, the average cost, without insurance, is close to $2.50 per tablet or close to $250+ a month.

QuantityEstimated Price (without insurance coverage)
(30) 8mg/90mg$70-$85
(60) 8mg/90mg$135-$175
(120) 8mg/90mg$265-$335
(360) 8mg/90mg$800-$1,000

From our research, it appears most have a hard time using their health insurance as many private companies, including Medicare, will not cover the prescription drug.  However, this doesn’t mean you will not be able to save money as there are some methods, which will explain in our subheading below, on various ways to save money, even without a health insurance plan.  If you do have a health insurance plan, talk with them and your local pharmacy to see if you’re covered or not as your results will vary.

VeryWellFit.com, for instance, notes the drug can cost anywhere from $99 to $250 a month and will depend on the dosage, location and insurance coverage.

How to save on Contrave

Take advantage of free prescription coupons:  Consider using free online prescription coupon websites such as the popular GoodRx.com.  Working like a private health insurance plan, all you need to do is find your local pharmacy and print the free coupon online.  With this coupon, you will then visit your local pharmacy, display your card and you will receive the discount you were quoted on the website.  At the time of this publishing, for example, the costs, when printing the coupon, allowed you to save more than 15% off the list price.

Download the savings card via the manufacturer:  The official manufacturer of the drug, Orexigen, offers a free savings card that’s located directly on the official website.  If you qualify, your out-of-pocket costs could be as little as $1 per day, with no restrictions throughout the year.  For example, at the time of this publishing, the free home delivery option would cost $99 or even less if your employer covers part of it, while the pick up at the pharmacy option could cost about $114.99.  To see if you qualify, follow this link to register online and download the form.  From the recommendations online, this seems to be the best option for those looking to save money.

What is Contrave?

Contrave will use a combination of two medications:  naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride, and each extended-release capsule will contain eight milligrams of naltrexone, an opioid often prescribed to help fight alcohol dependence, smoking cessation and opioid dependence, to name a few.  It will also contain 90 milligrams of bupropion, which is an aminoketone antidepressant used to treat seasonal affective disorder and depression.  When these two combinations are prescribed, it will affect the central nervous system to help increase the number of calories you’re burning, ultimately decreasing your appetite, according to Verywellfit.com.

Alongside the medication, your doctor will also recommend/prescribe a specialized reduced-calorie diet and exercise program to help you achieve your desired results.

Contrave overview

The medication needs to be taken as prescribed by your doctor, but for most, it will start out slow, often once per day, while gradually increasing to as many as four capsules per day, twice in the morning and twice at night.

The prescription notes do state that you should avoid consuming a high-fat meal before the medication as this can increase your risk of a seizure.  As with any prescription medication, always take your dosages on time and do not stop without your doctor’s permission.

This medication will be recommended for those who have a BMI greater than 30 or those who have a BMI greater than 27 and at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.

Clinical trials

In clinical trials, people who took Contrave for up to 56 weeks lost five to nine pounds on average than those who took the placebo, according to Consumer Reports.  Side effects commonly found during the study included liver damage, possible heart risks and seizures, a reason why Consumer Reports said patients considering the drug should skip it.

In another study, patients who took Contrave for up to a year shed 18 pounds or about eight percent of their body weight in comparison to the placebo that lost 11 pounds.  Both groups were put on a reduced calorie diet, exercised regularly and received behavior counseling.

Lastly, in a trial with those with diabetes, the numbers were similar, with 36 percent of patients lost at least five percent of their body weight after a year.

All clinical trials can be found via ClinicalTrials.gov for more information.

Contrave side effects

The most common side effects reported by patients taking Contrave included vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, constipation, nausea, and diarrhea.  In clinical trials, more than 24 percent of people stopped taking the medication due to related side effects, while 12 percent of placebo patients discontinued use.  For a full list of side effects, refer here.

In addition to this, do keep in mind that Contrave has a black box warning label, a requirement set by the FDA due to the increase of suicidal thoughts and behavior found in young adults.

As of 2018, there is no generic of Contrave at this time.


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