PhenQ Vs. Contrave – Best for Weight Loss?

October 21, 2023 |

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Prescription appetite suppressants like Contrave can help you reframe your eating habits, but it might not be safe to take such diet pills for a long time (which is logically necessary to build habits).

Conversely, OTC pills like PhenQ are safer for long-term use, but are they as effective for weight loss as prescription-only formulations?

To find answers to many such queries, I looked into scientific chronicles and searched which one of these weight loss pills is more effective and safe. Here is what I found out:

Best Choice


Overall rating: 4.9/5
  • An over-the-counter weight loss pill
  • Promotes fat loss and curbs appetite
  • Made with herbal extracts
  • Easily tolerable, self-limiting side effects
  • Free shipping and a 100% money-back guarantee
  • Can only be purchased from the official website
Best Value


Overall rating: 3.9/5
  • Prescription-only appetite suppressant
  • Reduces hunger sensation and prevents cravings
  • Lab-synthesized and modified ingredients
  • Risk of both mild and severe side effects
  • Free shipping only with the Contrave CurAccess program
  • Not available for purchase on the official website.

What Is PhenQ & How Does It Work?

PhenQ is an over-the-counter medicine that helps in losing weight faster. Its components upregulate fat oxidation at various levels and make your metabolism work optimally. 

3 PhenQ Bottles

Besides promoting oxidation and consumption of already stored fats, PhenQ also keeps your body from accumulating new fat molecules in 3 ways: 

  • Firstly, it prevents fat intake by suppressing appetite. 
  • Then, it restricts fat absorption through the gut lining, making the fats you have taken go out with stools.
  • On top of it, PhenQ ingredients like capsaicin from black pepper and Capsimax prevent the formation of large, storable lipid droplets and force your body to burn small fatty acids instead.

Also, PhenQ ingredients increase focus, reduce stress and uplift energy levels. So, it is an all-inclusive drug offering various health benefits.

PhenQ Pros

  • Allergen-free, natural, and safer
  • Increases thermogenesis to speed up fat consumption
  • Induces satiety to keep you from overeating
  • Budget-friendly with lower price, free shipping and a 100% refund option

PhenQ Cons

  • You won’t find it at your local pharmacy 

What Is Contrave & How Does It Work?

Contrave, a prescription-only weight loss pill, is given to overweight individuals having a BMI equal to or higher than 30 kg/m2.


It is basically an anorectic (aka. appetite suppressant) pill that works by nervous stimulation. Its active ingredients trigger brain cells, inducing a fake sensation of fullness and inactivating the hunger and cravings-producing pathways.

Contrave Pros

  • Decrease hunger and cravings to limit food intake 
  • Available at local pharmacies
  • Discounts and free shipping with the company’s savings card program

Contrave Cons

  • You need a prescription from a registered practitioner
  • More expensive diet pill
  • Risk of serious health adversities

The price for Contrave varies according to your insurance plan. Plus, to buy it online, you would need to submit your doctor’s prescription first. So, no link for price and direct purchase here, sorry. 🙁

Contrave Vs. PhenQ – Product Comparison

Brand Reputation

The popular sports supplement producer Wolfson Brands is the company that makes PhenQ.

Standing in the market for about 2 decades, this company has made its name among both fitness enthusiasts and business circles. That’s why it was one of the finalists for Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 by the Great British Entrepreneur Awards & Community.

On the other side, Contrave was formulated by Orexigen Therapeutics and first approved by the FDA in 2014. Later on, the brand was acquired by Nalpropion Pharmaceuticals in 2018, which eventually sold it to Currax Pharmaceuticals in 2019.

Currax is a US-based pharmaceutical organization producing many generic and branded prescription drugs, including Contrave, Treximet, Silnon, and Onzetra.

Owing to its effective drugs and proactive acquisition and marketing strategy, this company has gained popularity within a short period.

Key Ingredients

PhenQ contains plant extracts like coffee, pepper, nopalies, Astragalus and Panax. Overall, it has 13 potent ingredients that promote fat burn, reduce appetite and keep your body from storing new fatty acids.

On the other side, Contrave is a patented combination of 2 active ingredients: Bupropion HCl and naltrexone HCl. Separately, Bupropion is used as an antidepressant, while naltrexone is used in alcohol/drug abuse therapies to reduce cravings for alcohol or opioids.

However, as both these components induce a sense of fulfilment and subside cravings, hence, their combination is an effective hunger suppressant.

Common Ingredients 

  • None

PhenQ Unique ingredients 

  • L-carnitine L-tartrate
  • Innoslim
  • Caffeine Anhydrous
  • Capsimax Powder
  • ɑ-Lacy’s Reset  
  • Nopal Cactus
  • Piperine
  • Chromium picolinate
  • Vitamin (B3, B6, and B12)
  • Copper
  • Iodine

Contrave Unique Ingredients

  • Bupropion HCl
  • Naltrexone HCl

Dosage Regimen

PhenQ works best when you take two pills every day, but it is recommended to use it only during the daytime as the caffeine anhydrous in the pills can disturb your sleep if you take it near bedtime. 

As its ingredients are natural and have good tolerance scores, most people can start using the full dose (2 servings daily) from day one. But if your gut is highly sensitive to drug components, you can also take 1 pill daily for the first week to familiarize yourself with the drug first and then move to the full dose.

In contrast, Contrave ingredients are more potent. So, doctors mostly recommended taking 1 tablet daily for up to week 4 to ensure that the body can tolerate its ingredients. Afterwards, users can increase the dose to 2 tablets in 2 servings.


PhenQ is made by a supplement company that produces fitness-enhancing products using herbal extracts.

On the other side, contrave comes from a prescription drug producer. That’s why you would need a prescription for Contrave but not for PhenQ.

PhenQ CT

Contrave Or PhenQ  – Which Is Best For Weight Loss?

PhenQ Promotes Fat Oxidation, Cotrave Doesn’t

PhenQ is formulated to speed up fat metabolism. That’s why it includes potent thermogenic compounds (like caffeine, Capsimax powder, and Nopal cactus) that jumpstart the metabolic machinery and make your body burn fats faster.

It also supports fat loss in other ways as well. For example,

  • L-carnitine helps in transporting fats to oxidative sites.
  • Capsimax Powder and Black pepper extracts trigger the conversion of white stored fats (hard to break down) to brown adipose tissues (readily oxidizable).

Its fat-burning efficacy is evident from a real PhenQ review by Douglas, who shared losing 8.6% weight with PhenQ in 3 months only.

In contrast, Contrave ingredients help with fat loss only indirectly (by restricting calorie intake and forcing the body to consume stored fats).

Contrave Affects 2 Brain Areas To Reduce Hunger And Cravings

Both Contrave ingredients work synergistically to prevent binge eating and keep random temptations off the mind.

Bupropion targets the hypothalamus (the part of the brain controlling the hunger cycle) and makes it release satiety-inducing neurotransmitters. Under the influence of these neurotransmitters, you will feel fuller and have less desire to eat.

Naltrexone also supports this mechanism. It blocks receptors that sense stomach emptying and decreases the secretion of satiety neurotransmitters.

As a result, you won’t feel hunger pangs even if you have not eaten for many hours.

Besides hunger reduction, these compounds also trigger the limbic system (another brain area) to prevent sugar cravings. This effect is proven by research. However, the exact mechanism is not yet known properly.

The combined efficacy of these mechanisms makes Contrave a strong anorectic that provides a significant weight drop by lowering caloric intake.

For example, in a clinical trial, people using Contrave lost, on average, 5% more weight than those relying solely on diet and exercise.

PhenQ Uses A Multi-tier Mechanism To Minimize Cravings And Appettite

PhenQ also decreases appetite and cravings, but psycho-stimulation has little contribution to its anorectic properties. 

Its stimulatory effect is due to a small amount of caffeine (75 mg/serving). However, its primary hunger-reducing effect is that of cysteine (a component of alpha-Lacy’s reset).

This amino acid decreases the secretion of ghrelin (hunger hormone). In turn, you feel hungry even if your stomach is empty.

Besides that, PhenQ keeps you from binge eating by inducing fullness as the fibre extracts from Nopal cactus physically take up a lot of space in your stomach. Also, Innoslim stabilizes blood glucose, which minimizes carbs temptations.


PhenQ is more effective for healthy weight loss. It decreases hunger sensation and food cravings to reduce calorie intake as well as improves your metabolic capacity and makes your body burn more fats.

Contrave also restricts calorie intake but does not increase fat consumption directly.

PhenQ CT

PhenQ and Contrave Side Effects – Which Is Safer?

PhenQ Side Effects

Only mild side effects are reported from PhenQ, thanks to its natural, well-balanced composition. These include nausea, diarrhea, bloating, headaches, and in some cases, constipation.

Most of these are short-lived, and symptoms are relieved within a week or two when the gut lining gets used to its potent thermogenic and anorectic ingredients.

Although it is not tested for pregnant and breastfeeding women, they are advised to avoid using it to ensure the safety of mothers and their young ones.

Contrave Side Effects

Contrave pills can commonly cause side effects like dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, headaches, dizziness, and sleep issues.

However, clinical research on this anorectic drug also indicates its potential to cause serious effects like anxiety, mania, suicidal thoughts, hepatitis, vision problems like angle-closure glaucoma, and allergic reactions.

Among these, behavioral side effects like mania and suicidal thoughts are associated with Bupropion and are mostly reported in the initial phase of therapy.

It is included in category X for pregnant women. In other words, its usage is contradicted for mothers-to-be because its effects on the mother and unborn baby are not completely known and can be potentially harmful.

Similarly, breastfeeding women should not use this pill as its ingredients, Bupropion and Naltrexone, penetrate into mammary glands and are secreted with milk. In turn, these potent ingredients can negatively affect the newborn’s health.


PhenQ causes a few side effects that are soon gone as your body familiarizes itself with its ingredients. That’s why it can be safely used for the long term.

But Contrave’s long-term usage can lead to many adversities. Especially its effects on mental health must be monitored.

PhenQ CT

PhenQ or Contrave – Which One Is More Affordable?

PhenQ – Where To Buy & Price

PhenQ is exclusively available from the official website in 60-pill packing. So, 1 bottle costing $69.99 is enough for the whole month.

PhenQ ships it for free and provides you with eGuides for setting up a complementary diet plan and gym routine.

Besides that, if you opt for bundle deals, you can also get huge price discounts on retail prices.

  • 3 bottles for $139.99
  • 5 bottles for $209.99

And the best thing is your money won’t be wasted if you don’t see the results, as you can return the package within 60 days and get a full refund!

Contrave – Where To Buy & Price

Contrave is available from local and online pharmacies on prescription. CVS, Walgreens, Capsule, Walmart, Rite Aid and WebMd Rx are some of the popular options. 

It usually comes as extended-release pills in packings of 120 tablets within a price range of $515.56 to $667.84.

You can also enrol on the Contrave Coupon Savings Card Program and pay as little as $199 without insurance and $20 with insurance coverage. This program, called the CurAccess program, also includes the financial perk of free shipping.


PhenQ costs way less than Contrave and includes free shipping and 100% refund benefits for all orders.

PhenQ CT


Is Contrave like Phentermine?

Both phentermine and Contrave are prescription-only, appetite suppressants but their active ingredients are different. Phentermine itself is the anorectic alkaloid, while contrave is a combination of Bupropion and Naltrexone.

What weight loss pill is better than Contrave?

PhenQ is a better weight loss medicine than Contrave because it is safer, made with natural ingredients and also promotes fat burn in addition to suppressing hunger sensation. 

What is comparable to Contrave?

Phentermine is a prescription pill having similar appetite-reducing efficacy to Contrave. But if you are looking for a safer, over-the-counter alternative, I would recommend PhenQ, an all-natural pill that helps you lose weight in 5 ways.

Which Weight Loss Supplement Is Best?

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