What is Mysimba?

Mysimba is a new diet pill that has been developed by Orexigen Therapeutics in the US. Mysimba is not yet available to prescribe but it has been licensed by the European Union. We understand that Mysimba will be available in the UK in the second half of 2016.

Mysimba combines two drugs that are already commonly prescribed: the antidepressant and smoking cessation drug, Bupropion and the anti-addiction medication, Naltrexone. Mysimba is the European brand name for Contrave, which has already been approved in the US by the FDA.

The Mysimba diet pill affects how the brain and central nervous system regulate appetite, food cravings, energy expenditure and, in turn, body weight.

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How does Mysimba work?

Orexigen says that their research indicates that the combination of Bupropion and Naltrexone, which treats addictive disorders such as alcohol abuse, works to improve the body's ability to initiate weight loss and continues this process by blocking the body's usual attempts to compensate for the weight loss during treatment.

Bupropion is believed to increase levels of activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which reduces appetite and encourages the body to use more energy. Naltrexone, as well as ensuring the weight loss continues, also makes certain foods (especially sweet things) taste less palatable.

Previously, scientists had noted that patients taking Bupropion for depression also lost weight, but this effect tended to stop after a period taking the drug. Orexigen hypothesized that by combining Bupropion with Naltrexone, the weight loss would continue throughout the duration of the treatment. This appears to have been borne out in clinical trials.

How effective is Mysimba?

Four different Phase 3 clinical trials have been run for Mysimba. Here are the notable results in terms of efficacy:

  • 50.8% of Mysimba users lost more than 5% of their bodyweight at Week 16.
  • At one year, the average weight loss amongst these Week 16 responders was 11.3%
  • 55% of Week 16 responders lost more than 10% bodyweight after one year.

Are there other benefits associated with Mysimba?

In addition to the loss of weight, there were a number of additional benefits attributed to taking Mysimba, such as a reduction in waist circumference and therefore a reduction in the dangerous visceral fat that collects around the middle and is a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular problems. There was also a reduction in LDL cholesterol (the bad form of cholesterol) and triglycerides. Improvements in glycaemic control were also observed in diabetic patients.

Mysimba Side Effects

As with all medications, some side effects were noted. Here are the most common side effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Concentration disturbance
  • Palpitations
  • Hot flush
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Muscular pain

It should be noted that most patients did not get any side effects but all side effects should be reported to the prescribing doctor in case it is appropriate to recommend cessation of treatment.

Blood pressure should be monitored regularly while undergoing treatment with Mysimba.

Can I Buy Mysimba?

Mysimba is licensed but it is not yet available to prescribe. Until Mysimba is launched, we can prescribe Xenical (orlistat) and Victoza (liraglutide) to patients who meet the criteria for being put on weight loss medication.

We offer free weight loss consultations on a no obligation basis. Simply click on the free consultation icon to the right and you will be taken to a consultation form that will be reviewed by one of our doctors.

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