The combination of naltrexone and bupropion is used along with a reduced calorie diet and exercise plan to help adults who are obese, or who are overweight and have weight-related medical problems, to lose weight and then to keep from gaining back that weight.
Naltrexone is in a class of medications called opiate antagonists. Bupropion is in a class of medications called antidepressants. These medications work together on two areas of the brain, the hunger center and the reward system, to reduce appetite and help control cravings.
Side Effects Of Naltrexone And Bupropion
The combination of naltrexone and bupropion may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- changes in your sense of taste
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- excessive sweating
- ringing in the ears
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS sections, stop taking the combination of naltrexone and bupropion and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- rash or blisters
- swollen glands
- painful sores in your mouth or around your eyes
- shortness of breath
- swelling of the lips or tongue
- chest pain
- stomach pain
- dark urine
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- muscle or joint pain
The combination of naltrexone and bupropion may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking the combination of naltrexone and bupropion:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to naltrexone, bupropion, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in naltrexone and bupropion tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid (Zyvox), methylene blue, phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate) or if you have stopped taking an MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take the combination of naltrexone and bupropion. If you stop taking the combination of naltrexone and bupropion, your doctor will tell you that you should wait at least 14 days before you start to take an MAO inhibitor.
- tell your doctor if you are taking any opioid medications or street drugs including heroin, prescription pain medications, tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet), opioid dependence treatments such as buprenorphine (Buprenex, Butrans, Sublocade) or methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), and certain medications for diarrhea, cough, or cold. Also, tell your doctor if you have taken any of these medications in at least the past 7 to 10 days. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if a medication you have taken is an opioid. Your doctor will tell you not to take the combination of naltrexone and bupropion if you have taken or used opioids in at least the past 7 to 10 days.
- do not take any opioid medications or use opioid street drugs during your treatment with the combination of naltrexone and bupropion. Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioid medications and opioid street drugs. You may not feel the effects of these substances if you take or use them at low or normal doses. If you take or use higher doses of opioid medications or drugs during your treatment with the combination of naltrexone and bupropion, it may cause serious injury, coma, or death.
- you should know that if you took opioid medications before your treatment with the combination of naltrexone and bupropion, you may be more sensitive to the effects of opioid medications when your next dose of the combination of naltrexone and bupropion is due, if you miss a dose of the combination of naltrexone and bupropion, after you finish your treatment, or if you undergo detoxification. If you use opioids in amounts that you used before your treatment with the combination of naltrexone and bupropion, it can lead to overdose and death. After you finish your treatment, tell any doctor who may prescribe medications for you that you were previously treated with the combination of naltrexone and bupropion. It is important that you tell your family or caregiver about this increased sensitivity to opioids and the risk of overdose. You or your caregiver should get emergency medical help right away if you develop any of the following symptoms: trouble breathing, slow shallow breathing, drowsiness, feeling faint, dizziness, or confusion.
- do not take more than one product containing bupropion at a time, including antidepressants or smoking cessation products. You could receive too much bupropion and experience severe side effects.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amantadine (Osmolex ER), amitriptyline, amoxapine, carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), citalopram (Celexa), clopidogrel (Plavix), desipramine (Norpramin), dexamethasone, digoxin (Lanoxin), doxepin (Silenor), efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla), escitalopram (Lexapro), flecainide (Tambocor), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), insulin or oral medications for diabetes, levodopa (in Sinemet, in Stalevo), lopinavir (in Kaletra), methylprednisolone (Medrol), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nortriptyline (Pamelor), paroxetine (Paxil), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), prednisone, propafenone (Rythmol SR), protriptyline (Vivactil), risperidone (Risperdal), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), sertraline (Zoloft), theophylline (Theo-24, Theochron), thioridazine, ticlopidine, trimipramine (Surmontil), venlafaxine (Effexor), and other weight loss medications. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with naltrexone and bupropion, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures, anorexia nervosa (an eating disorder), or bulimia (an eating disorder), and if you have high blood pressure that cannot be controlled. Also, tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol but expect to suddenly stop drinking, you take sedatives, hypnotics, benzodiazepines, or anti-seizure medicines but expect to suddenly stop taking them, or if you are in opioid withdrawal. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take the combination of naltrexone and bupropion.
- tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has thought about or attempted suicide or has or have ever had bipolar disorder (mood that changes from depressed to abnormally excited), mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood), depression, schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions), or other mental illnesses; if you are older than 65 years of age; if you smoke or if you expect to stop smoking; and if you have or have ever had a head injury, heart attack, stroke, tumor or infection of the brain or spine, diabetes, low blood sugar, low levels of sodium in the blood, or heart, kidney, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking the combination of naltrexone and bupropion, call your doctor immediately.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking the combination of naltrexone and bupropion.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking the combination of naltrexone and bupropion. Alcohol can make the side effects of naltrexone and bupropion worse.
- you should know that the combination of naltrexone and bupropion may cause high blood pressure and a faster heart rate. Your doctor may check your blood pressure and heart rate before starting treatment and regularly while you are taking this medication.
- you should know that the combination of naltrexone and bupropion may cause angle-closure glaucoma (a condition where the fluid is suddenly blocked and unable to flow out of the eye causing a quick, severe increase in eye pressure which may lead to a loss of vision). Talk to your doctor about having an eye examination before you start taking this medication to see if you are at risk for this condition. If you have eye pain, changes in vision, or swelling or redness in or around the eye, call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment right away.
Dosage Of Naltrexone And Bupropion
The combination of naltrexone and bupropion comes as an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day. Do not take this medication with a high-fat meal. Take naltrexone and bupropion at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take naltrexone and bupropion exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of the combination of naltrexone and bupropion and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every week, for 4 weeks. After 16 weeks of treatment, your doctor will check to see how much weight you have lost. If you have not lost a certain amount of weight, your doctor may tell you to stop taking the combination of naltrexone and bupropion as it is unlikely that you will benefit from continuing your treatment.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking the combination of naltrexone and bupropion.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.