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FDA Approves Contrave, New Diet Drug

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced approval for the third new diet drug since 2012. Contrave combines two drugs that were already approved. One, naltrexone, is used to treat alcohol and drug addiction. The other, buproprion, is used to treat depression and help smokers quit. Contrave is approved for use by obese adults. It also is approved for overweight adults who have at least one other condition related to excess weight, such as type 2 diabetes. In studies, 36% to 42% of those who took Contrave and 17% to 18% of those who took a placebo lost at least 5% of their body weight. The studies included a total of 4,500 people. Everyone also followed a reduced-calorie diet and a program of regular exercise. Contrave can increase blood pressure or cause seizures in some people. The drug is made by Orexigen Therapeutics of La Jolla, California.

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