Please note that Mysimba is a new medicine now available in the UK. It has been granted a medicine license, and it is now available as of August 2017. The medicine is available in the USA under the brand name Contrave.
Mysimba is a combination of two medicines which has been developed to help people who want to lose weight.
There are many reasons why people may experience weight gain other than hunger such as difficulty in managing portion size and stress or anxiety related eating. All of which may help trigger unwanted weight gain.
The medicines in Mysimba work to help the brain regulate your appetite and change the feelings you may have when eating food.
What are the key benefits of Mysimba?
The primary benefit of taking Mysimba is to help you lose weight. In a study documented by the US manufacturer of “Contrave” (the US brand name for the product), this combination of two medicines has been shown to help people lose an average of 5% of their total body weight after 56 weeks, compared to 1% without using Contrave, when taken with a reduced calorie diet and increased exercise. 42% of people in the study lost at least 5% of their total body weight, compared to 17% of people not using Contrave.
This reduction in weight helps to reduce the dangerous buildup of fat around your waistline which can be a contributing factor to serious conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues.
Mysimba can also help you to reduce triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Diabetics taking Mysimba also observed improvements in their blood sugar control.
How does Mysimba work?
Mysimba contains two medicines: naltrexone and bupropion.
Both medicines work in the reward pathways of the brain to take away hunger and cravings for food. Buproprion helps to reduce appetite, and naltrexone is thought to curb cravings. These are not new medicines, but this is the first time they have been available in this combination as a single tablet before for the management of obesity. Buproprion has also been used as an antidepressant and an aid to stopping smoking, and naltrexone has been prescribed for its ability to reverse the effect of opioid painkillers and to reduce cravings in people with alcohol dependence.
How should Mysimba be taken?
Mysimba is prescribed to help obese adults over the age of 18 years manage their weight. It should be taken exactly as the doctor has advised. Please check with your pharmacist or doctor if you are in any way unsure how to take it after reading the enclosed leaflet.
The normal dosage is to start by taking one tablet daily, in the morning, for the first week. Then take one tablet in the morning and one tablet in the evening for the second week. From the third week, patients then take two tablets in the morning but still only one tablet in the evening. From week 4 onwards, the dose increases to two tablets in the morning and the evening.
Mysimba should only be taken if you are also committed to following a reduced calorie diet and increase your levels of physical activity. As weight gain may be influenced by other factors, it may also be helpful to seek out additional psychological support.
If you do not lose 5% of your initial body weight within 16 weeks, Mysimba should be stopped.
Is Mysimba suitable for me?
Mysimba should only be taken if prescribed by a doctor. It should not be taken by patients who experience hypersensitivity to any of the listed ingredients.It is not suitable for women who are pregnant or who are trying to conceive, patients with an eating disorder, or with liver or kidney disease.
Patients should also avoid Mysimba if they experience uncontrolled hypertension, seizure disorder, have a known central nervous system tumour or are experiencing benzodiazepine or alcohol withdrawal. Mysimba should not be taken if the patient is already taking other products which include bupropion or naltrexone, or has a history of bipolar disorder or a previous diagnosis of bulimia or anorexia nervosa. Mysimba is also unsuitable for patients who are currently dependent on opiate agonists or chronic opioids or are using antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), or have taken them within the last 14 days.
Mysimba should be used with caution in patients with a history of depression. Mysimba contains bupropion which is similar to active ingredients found in some antidepressants. Potentially this can increase the risk of suicidal behaviour. Bupropion may also increase the risk of experiencing seizures. The enclosed leaflet gives more details.
What are the side effects of Mysimba?
Like all medicines, Mysimba can cause side effects in some patients. The most common side effects are:
- Disturbance in concentration
- Hot flushes
- Muscular pain
Many patients will not experience any side effects. If you do experience side effects, please report them to your doctor who may advise that you stop taking Mysimba. Whilst taking Mysimba, you should have your blood pressure regularly checked.