How do bupropion and naltrexone help with the management of obesity?

Updated: Jun 09, 2021
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

This combination is thought to cause a reduction in appetite and increase in energy expenditure by increasing the activity of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. Bupropion increases dopamine activity in the brain, which appears to lead to a reduction in appetite and increase in energy expenditure by increasing activity of POMC neurons. Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors on the POMC neurons, preventing feedback inhibition of these neurons and further increasing POMC activity.

The combination is taken once daily initially, and the dose is gradually increased each week until two tablets are taken twice daily by week 4.


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