Contrave I Phentermine I Qsymia I Saxenda

What solutions does Vive offer?


One of the latest medications to gain FDA approval for weight loss in overweight or obese patients is Contrave (naltrexone HCL/bupropion HCL) 8mg/90mg extended-release tablets. Contrave takes two older, well established medications, and combines them in a special extended release tablet at a lower dose than available as separate medications. Contrave has shown to increase weight loss when combined with diet and lifestyle changes. It works in about two thirds of patients that take the medication to produce clinically meaningful weight loss safely.


Phentermine is a medication classified as an “anoretic” medication, meaning it helps you lose weight, and has been an FDA approved medication since 1959. Simply stated, phentermine stimulates the brain to increase activity of the sympathetic nervous system. In doing so, our appetite is suppressed and our cravings are decreased, while our metabolism is increased. The medication lasts about 10-12 hours in most patients and is usually taken in the morning. It is classified by the DEA as a controlled substance and can only be obtained with a prescription from a doctor.


Qsymia® is an FDA-approved prescription medicine that may help some obese adults or some overweight adults who also have weight-related medical problems lose weight and keep the weight off.

Qsymia should be used with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.


Saxenda® is an FDA-approved prescription injectable medicine that may help some adults with excess weight (BMI >25) or obesity (BMI ≥30), lose weight and keep it off.

Learn more about contrave


While Contrave is not for everyone, we can determine at your visit if you are a candidate.  Insurance coverage is fairly good with many patients insurance plans covering the majority of the cost of the medication. If you don’t have insurance, or your plan doesn’t cover the cost of the medication, the manufacturer has a rebate program you may be entitled to.

The ideal patient for Contrave is someone with cravings for carbohydrates as one of the main issues in the battle with their weight.  It is also helpful in patients who cannot tolerate other weight loss medications that might make them feel jittery, like phentermine or Qsymia.

To support patients in their weight loss journey, Contrave offers a support program called Scale Down. This program allows you to receive extra support information as well as a wireless scale that will connect to your smart phone, for free! Click here for more information.

To find out if you can take Contrave and if we think it will help you, please call the office to setup your consultation with Dr. Pinto.

Learn more about Phentermine


No. Fen-Phen was a combination drug containing both fenfluramine (no longer on the market) and phentermine (still on the market). This combination worked well to help with weight loss but had potential cardiovascular side effects, including heart valve damage. Although Fen-Phen was removed by the FDA, the individual drug, phentermine, remained after many safety studies were completed.  Phentermine’s safety has not been questioned nor did it play a role in any of the adverse effects of Fen-Phen.

The most common side effect is dry mouth, however, this can be a good thing because it encourages you to drink more water. Some patient’s experience insomnia or trouble sleeping, especially if they take the medication later in the day. Some patients may feel jittery or anxious, however, many patients interpret this as feeling more energetic. This is a direct result of the activation of the sympathetic nervous system which is the same system that causes the “fight or flight” reflex.  If you have an arrhythmia (which will be detected by Dr. Pinto during your initial visit with an ECG), this medication can cause it to worsen, so not everyone can take phentermine. However, our office is very diligent in patient safety and no patient will be given a prescription if there is potential for complications because of pre-existing medical problems.

While the FDA originally approved phentermine for short term weight loss of 12 weeks or less, it has been safely used much longer by experienced physicians for much longer. Our goal is to help you lose weight and then maintain your weight loss. If taking phentermine longer than 12 weeks is necessary and you have no medical reasons why you can’t take it, then you can stay on the medication longer. In the newer medication, Qsymia which contains phentermine, length of treatment can be as long as two years. Dr. Pinto has had patients on long term phentermine and they are doing fantastic.

Most pharmacies charge about $25-30 for a month supply of phentermine if you are paying cash. Some insurances do cover phentermine and because it is generic, may have no or minimal copay. We do not dispense pills from the office, rather, you are given a prescription to take to the pharmacy of your choice.

The best way to see if you are a candidate for medication to lose weight is to see Dr. Pinto or one of the other medical providers at Vive Medical Weight Loss & Aesthetics for a consultation. This 45 minute visit will include a full medical history, physical exam, ECG, and body composition analysis. If you qualify and the medication seems to be a viable choice, then you will be given a short term trial prescription. If you are able to take the medication without any issues, then we will prescribe the medication on a month to month basis for as long as we deem necessary for your weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

Learn more about Qsymia


Dr. Pinto is one of the only local doctors to have specialized training with Qsymia, the newest medication used for weight loss. For the past six years he’s had many success stories using this groundbreaking medication, and with improved insurance coverage of the drug and more a more aggressive savings program from the manufacturer, Vivus Pharmaceuticals, more patients have access to the medication. The latest data from Qsymia shows for some patients it is four times as effective as diet and exercise alone. Dr. Pinto has been a national speaker for Qsymia, educating doctors across the country about its usefulness in helping patients safely lose weight. There are no other local physicians with more experience with using Qsymia, so why not see the expert.

With hundreds of his own patients on Qsymia, he has seen first hand the effectiveness of reducing appetite and cravings with minimum side effects. Combined with other weight loss modalities, it can produce amazing results. Getting that jump-start on weight loss can be the difference between reaching your goal or giving up.

While medication is a great step in the battle to lose weight, just taking a medication might not be enough. While your primary care doctor may be able to prescribe Qsymia, its is unlikely that they will be able to provide the other important pieces of the weight loss puzzle. At Vive Medical Weight Loss, that is what we do, every day.  Seeing a weight loss professional, like Dr. Pinto, gives you the best chance to succeed.

To see if you qualify for Qsymia and if it is an option for you, please call our office and setup a no obligation consultation.


Learn more about Saxenda


Saxenda® is different from weight management products that you may have taken in the past. It works like a hormone the body produces naturally that regulates appetite, known as glucagon-like-peptide (GLP-1). By activating areas of your brain that regulate appetite, Saxenda® may make you feel less hungry, which can lead to lower calorie intake and weight loss.b Saxenda® can help you to not only lose weight, but keep it off as well.

Your body naturally produces glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), which helps regulate your appetite. Saxenda® works like GLP-1. GLP-1 is thought to regulate one’s appetite. Calorie intake is a behavior that may be impacted by appetite.

While Saxenda can be expensive if not covered by your insurance plan, in our area of NJ, many insurance plans provide excellent coverage. NJ state employees have had great success obtaining this prescription for a small co-pay.

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