How Bupropion + Naltrexone can support weight loss

Melanie Basel, RDN

What is Bupropion-Naltrexone?

Bupropion-Naltrexone is a combination oral medication that is FDA-approved for weight management.

Individually, bupropion and naltrexone are FDA-approved for depression and substance abuse, respectively. At Sequence, we prescribe each medication separately in their generic form, to make them less expensive. Right now, combination bupropion-naltrexone is included in the cost of Sequence membership, making it a great option for people with insurance that does not cover the cost of other weight management medications. 

What is Bupropion?

Bupropion is an antidepressant that helps with weight loss by influencing the brain’s appetite regulation centers and reducing food cravings. 

What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist primarily used to treat opioid and alcohol dependence by blocking opiate receptors, but it can also be used to regulate food intake by acting on the reward centers of the brain. This is effective for those that battle with reward-based eating behavior or emotional eating. 

How much weight can I expect to lose with Bupropion and Naltrexone?

The combination of these medications aims to address these different aspects of weight management. Studies show about a 5% reduction in weight with Bupropion-Naltrexone, however, when coupled with intensive diet and lifestyle changes, individuals were able to achieve 10 and even 15% weight loss, which is similar to weight loss seen with some GLP-1 medications. The key takeaway is that the medication is not a magic drug, and diet and lifestyle changes are essential in order to see significant results. 

How much does it cost?

Bupropion and Naltrexone are both generic medications. As a result, the out-of-pocket costs should typically be quite low — under $30 per month. If prices at your pharmacy are much higher, send a message to your Care Team to let them know. 

How can I use Bupropion- Naltrexone?

Bupropion and naltrexone are available as convenient oral medications. You will begin with 1 tablet a day of bupropion xl and ½ tablet of naltrexone, and titrate each up to the maximum dosage.

We recommend that you take both tablets in the morning. The tablets should not be chewed or crushed. If you miss a dose, wait until your next regular time to take it. Do not take more than 1 dose at a time.

What are the most common side effects?

The most common side effects are nausea, constipation, dizziness, headache, trouble sleeping, and vomiting. These typically fade as your body adjusts to the medication. To minimize side effects, your specialist will typically start you off with a small dose and slowly increase it over the following weeks.

In addition to that, here are few more tips:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • If you experience nausea, eat a piece of toast with your tablets

If your nausea or other side effects are bothering you, let your clinician know.

Is there a special diet I need to follow while on Bupropion-Naltrexone? 

It is important to make realistic and sustainable nutrition and lifestyle changes while on this medication to support your weight loss goals. These changes may include limiting high-sugar and fried foods, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and adding lean proteins with every meal and snack. You should include foods from all food groups in moderation and stop eating when full. High fat foods can make the side effects of nausea more difficult to manage. It is also recommended to avoid alcohol while on this medication. 

How do I get a prescription for Bupropion-Naltrexone with Sequence?

Your Sequence weight management treatment plan will vary depending on your medical history, goals, and insurance coverage. 

If you’re looking to get evaluated for an obesity treatment prescription, we’ll need a bit more information. Every member must match recommended medical criteria, meet with a Clinician, and discuss their medical needs to make sure pharmacological treatment is appropriate.

Here’s how to begin:

  1. Submit our short, 5-minute assessment to see if you qualify for our program 
  2. Fill out your medical history questionnaire and book your Clinician consultation
  3. Get a custom weight management plan from one of our board-certified medical providers

With Sequence, you’ll have access to a variety of resources that support lasting, comprehensive weight management, including our team of fitness coaches and Registered Dietitians. If you qualify for a membership, you also get access to an expert Care Team, who will provide ongoing support for your weight loss journey. 

Melanie Basel, RDN

About the Author

Melanie is a Registered Dietitian with 8 years of experience in nutrition and is a Certified Lactation Counselor. She started her career as an RD in an inpatient hospital setting caring for patients in the ICU, but later found her love of nutrition coaching. She is so passionate about helping people live healthier, more fulfilled lives through personalized nutrition plans that are sustainable. In her spare time, Melanie loves cooking, hiking, weight lifting, and chasing after her toddler. She would love to help you reach your goals!

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