can you buy contrave online

Can You Buy Contrave Online?

Here’s what you need to get a prescription for the appetite-suppressing medication.

If you’ve spoken with your doctor recently about weight loss medications, they’ve likely mentioned “shortage.” With shortages of drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy and wonky insurance rules on coverage, your doctor may suggest another path: Contrave. Contrave is a weight loss drug that’s been around for a decade, but it may be more accessible and affordable compared to other options. One reason? Because you can buy Contrave online.

Learn about Contrave, how it works, and how to purchase it without leaving your home.

About the Experts

 Sue Decottis, M.D., is triple board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, American Academy of Antiaging Medicine, and the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She is also an attending physician at NYU Medical Center in New York City. 

Sarah Fishman, M.D., Ph.D., an endocrinologist and medical weight loss specialist in private practice in New York City.

What Is Contrave? 

Approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 2014, Contrave is an oral, twice-daily medication that’s a combination of two drugs: naltrexone and bupropion (1). 

“Both medications [naltrexone and bupropion] have been around for a long time,” says endocrinologist Sarah Fishman, M.D., Ph.D., adding that neither were designed specifically for weight loss, but when combined they have been found to help you lose weight.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what naltrexone and bupropion are so that you understand how, when combined together, they help you shed pounds. 


This drug is known as an opioid receptor antagonist, and it’s used to treat alcohol or opioid use disorder, Fishman explains. “This drug blocks the reward pathway you get from comfort eating, making it effective for people who struggle with emotional or mindless eating,” she says. 


Classified as a dopamine and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor, bupropion was developed as an antidepressant—you may recognize its brand name, Wellbutrin. “Bupropion is helpful in the weight loss space because it works on impulse control,” says Fishman, noting the drug is also helpful for people who are trying to quit smoking.

How Does Contrave Help You Lose Weight?

The weight loss drug aids weight loss by reducing emotionally driven food cravings and suppressing appetite. “Contrave helps patients focus on what their issues are around food. It also makes it easier to stick to your diet goals and improve your eating habits,” says Fishman. That’s because both naltrexone and bupropion can help control feelings of pleasure you get when eating. In part, this can also help manage unhealthy food cravings. 

If you commonly eat in response to stress or emotions, you may no longer feel that way when taking Contrave. So, if you’re at a restaurant, you can make a more clear-headed choice in the fish over the mac ‘n cheese. Or, if someone brings cookies to work, you can grab water from the break room and leave cookie-free. Fishman often prescribes Contrave to folks hoping to achieve modest weight loss, or about five to 10 percent of their body weight. Early research on the drug demonstrated its efficacy to help people hit this weight loss goal. 

In one study of around 1,500 obese adults, people who took the drug lost, on average, 6.5 percent of their body weight after 28 weeks—compared to the placebo group who lost an average of 1.9 percent (both groups were eating a calorie-restricted diet and were instructed to exercise more) (2). More specifically, 56 percent of those who took Contrave lost at least 5 percent of their body weight, compared to just 17 percent in the placebo group. 

And while losing 5 percent of body weight may not sound like that much, it can have a substantial impact on your health. For instance, you may notice you have more energy, better sleep, and improved blood glucose (sugar) regulation, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (3).

Perhaps the most important takeaway from the study? Those who took Contrave were able to keep the weight they lost off for the entire 56-week duration of the study.  

Do You Need a Prescription for Contrave?

Yes, your physician will need to prescribe Contrave to you. Contrave is only available if you have a BMI of 30, which qualifies as obese. Alternatively, you also can be eligible for Contrave if you have a BMI of 27 or greater in addition to a weight-related medical problem, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes (4). 

This is a weight loss medication that can cause side effects. Most commonly those are mild, like nausea, headache, and constipation, but they can still be disruptive to your life. You’ll also want to discuss with your doctor on whether or not Contrave is the best fit for you based on your weight loss goals and health history.

Your doctor can assess the why behind your excess weight. For example, are the extra pounds a result of your genetics, an underlying condition (think: thyroid disease or diabetes), or emotional eating? This information can help inform your doctor whether Contrave is a good fit.

“For people who are handling their stress through food or eating mindlessly, Contrave can be a valuable agent,” says Fishman. Because Contrave can also decrease your desire for alcohol, it may treat the overeating that often accompanies drinking, she points out.   

Can You Buy Contrave Online?

Yes, you can purchase Contrave online (so long as you have a valid prescription), via two routes: 

Option 1: Purchase through Contrave’s partner pharmacy, Ridgeway Mail Order Pharmacy. If you don’t currently have a doctor who you see for weight management, there’s also an option to have an online doctor consultation through Contrave.

Option 2: Connect with a telehealth service, such as Hone Health, that provides doctor consults and offers a generic version of Contrave. Hone health works with licensed medical providers who can prescribe a drug that consists of bupropion, naltrexone, and B6 if it’s the right choice for you.

 4 Tips For Buying Contrave Online

 Buying Contrave online doesn’t remove a physician from the equation. You’ll still want to maintain a relationship with the clinician who prescribed it to you to ensure you use the drug safely throughout your treatment.

Connect with a doctor you trust 

It’s critical to have a doctor consultation before receiving a prescription—ignore any company that skips this step or makes obtaining a script too easy by not assessing your BMI or health risks. Connecting with a doctor is so important because they can check for any possible drug interactions with other medications you’re on. 

In certain instances, they may steer you away from Contrave (such as if you have a history of a seizure disorder) and recommend alternative options. Your physician can also help identify special dosing if you have any medical concerns.    

Verify the online pharmacy you’re using

If you are going through a telehealth company, you want to know that the pharmacy they use is legitimate.

Make sure your doctor requires follow-up visits

No matter how you consult with your healthcare provider—at home or online—it’s important to check in with them often to talk through questions and concerns. Fishman suggests following-up with your doctor after three months of starting Contrave. 

“I usually recommend that patients try Contrave for at least three months because it’s a slower-acting medication that creates more subtle changes compared to other weight loss drugs,” she says. 

After your initial check-in, ask about when you need to see them for the next follow-up, which may be in three or six months. Your doctor may also recommend getting blood work throughout your treatment to monitor your health. (At Hone Health, physicians monitor patients every three months for the first year, and every six months thereafter).

If you experience side effects or are not satisfied with your progress, consider advocating for an earlier follow-up appointment. 

Seek outside assistance

Keep in mind that using Contrave can be a long-term thing. 

“Commit to seeing this as a long-term solution—not a short-term crash diet,” Fishman says. She adds that you’ll see the best results when you learn how to adjust your relationship with food, Fishman says. For guidance on how to change your relationship with food and put together healthier meals, consider talking to a registered dietitian.

Contrave May Not be the Drug For You

Not all doctors remain optimistic about Contrave, especially in light of other options, such as GLP-1 medications like Wegovy

“For the patients I see, the root of the problem is their metabolism,” says Sue Decottis, M.D., a board-certified weight loss specialist. She prefers GLP-1s because of the benefits to insulin resistance, which she finds is a bigger barrier to weight loss.

After you eat, your blood sugar naturally rises in order to signal the pancreas to pump out insulin, which is a hormone that pushes blood sugar into cells to be used for energy (5). A GLP-1 drug—which mimics the natural GLP-1 hormone in your body—causes the body to produce more insulin, which then lowers blood sugar levels (6).

Whether or not Contrave is right for you depends on your underlying health problems, the reason for excess weight, and how much weight you are looking to lose. This underscores the importance of talking through your options with your provider to determine which one is best for your health needs. 

The Bottom Line

Contrave is one of the many options for weight loss medications. It is an oral drug that’s made up of a combination of naltrexone and bupropion and has been shown to reduce cravings and appetite to promote a modest weight loss of around five percent of your body weight. 

It’s a prescription medication, so to learn if it’s right for you, you’ll need to consult with a physician first. You can absolutely buy Contrave—or generic Contrave—online, but be sure to connect with a company like Hone that uses certified accredited pharmacy partners to make certain you are receiving legitimate medication. 

Like any of the weight loss medications out there, you’ll get the best results when paired with exercise, eating a well-balanced diet, optimizing sleep, reducing stress, balancing your hormones, and reshaping your relationship with food.