Sire’s Weight Management : Your Journey to a Healthier You

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Many individuals seeking Contrave may have previously experimented with Panbesy or Duromine. Their frustration often stems from regaining weight once they discontinue Duromine, often attributed to behaviors like “revenge eating” or “binge/stress eating.” Contrave aims to tackle this addiction to food and reshape our connection with it, especially since food is frequently used in Singapore as a coping mechanism for comfort and stress management.

Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of people “stress-eating”. If you have been getting heavier since the pandemic, you are not alone. 30% of Singaporeans are overweight and 10% of us are obese.

And with the rise of WFH and the convenience of food, there’s no need to even leave our homes. We’re continuously surrounded by tempting foods. No wonder it’s hard to stay on a diet.

In our efforts to keep healthy, weight loss is often described as the “easy to say, but hard to do” first step. With safe and effective weight management solutions – Sire takes the first step together with you.

Understanding the Science of Appetite

The complex interplay of biological, psychological, and environmental factors shapes appetite. This is why losing weight is not solely a matter of willpower; it is deeply rooted in our biology.

The science behind our weight is more complicated than any train system in the world. Check this out! At Sire, we break it down simply for you.

obesity-map Sire Cloud Clinic

The Hormonal Network

Hormones play a crucial role in regulating appetite. Two key hormones have been identified: Ghrelin and Leptin.

Ghrelin, often referred to as the “hunger hormone”, stimulates appetite. Leptin, also known as the “satiety hormone”, signals fullness to the brain and decreases appetite.

These two hormones are part of a vast network of other hormones that regulate your body weight.

The Brain Signals

A specific part of the brain known as the hypothalamus, acts as the control centre in regulating appetite. It receives signals from hormones like Ghrelin and Leptin and responds accordingly, influencing our eating behaviours.

Psychological Factors

Emotional and psychological factors can strongly influence appetite. Stress, boredom, sadness or happiness can trigger cravings and affect our eating habits.

The Environment

The sight and smell of food, portion sizes and the availability of food all impact our desire to eat. Social situations, like sharing a meal with friends or family, influence our appetite.


Some people may have a genetic predisposition to experience either a faster or slower metabolism, influencing how quickly they perceive hunger or fullness.

Lifestyle Factors

Physical activity and sleep patterns can also influence appetite. Regular exercise helps regulate appetite and getting adequate sleep is important for maintaining a healthy appetite balance.

Is it Normal to Have Food Cravings?

Food cravings are intense desires for specific foods, often those high in sugar, fat or salt. They can be powerful and sometimes difficult to resist. We tell you the facts about food cravings.

Myth: Only women experience food cravings due to hormones.

Fact: Both men and women can experience food cravings. They are extremely common, with more than 90% of people experiencing them. Research also suggests that men are more likely to crave savoury foods, whereas women are more likely to crave high fat, sweet foods.

Myth: Food cravings are always a sign of hunger

Fact: Food cravings can be triggered by a variety of factors, including hormonal fluctuations, emotional states and even environmental factors. Being aware of your triggers can help you find healthier alternatives and gain control effectively.

Myth: I have a food craving because my body lacks particular nutrients

Fact: There is currently little evidence to support the idea that food cravings are caused by an insufficient intake of nutrients in your diet. Interestingly, studies suggest a link between cravings for non-food items like paper and dirt to low levels of iron and zinc.

Why are Singaporeans So Susceptible to Food Cravings?

Food Accessibility

In Singapore, food is readily available. Food courts, hawker centres and restaurants open throughout the day and night. Bakeries, desserts and our favourite BBT stalls line around every possible MRT platform. The sights and smells of food are part of our everyday lives.

Food Advertising

Television shows, food blogs and social media platforms amplify the appreciation of food in Singapore. Food photos and reviews are widely shared. We enjoy discovering the new food porn trends or latest mukbang videos.

A local study also revealed that more than half of the food advertisements in Singapore were for unhealthy food. Increased exposure to food advertising is associated with a higher calorie intake and increased preference for foods from those ads.


With the rising costs of living and worldwide economic volatility, Singaporean men’s stress levels are at an all-time high. When stress persists, our bodies produce a hormone known as cortisol. This hormone is known to be responsible for overeating behaviours.

Studies have found that stress increases the intake of food that is high in fat and sugar. These comfort foods such as cookies and potato chips reduce stress-related responses and emotions. However, this could lead to habitual cravings for these types of foods whenever we are stressed.


Singaporeans are some of the most sleep-deprived people in the world. Nearly 60% of Singaporeans experience poor sleep. A lack of sleep or poor quality sleep affects the hunger hormones in our body.

An imbalance in the hunger hormones can contribute to overeating and weight gain due to cravings for foods high in fat, salt and sugar content.

Read how Sire can help you sleep better today.

Why are Singaporeans So Susceptible to Food Cravings

Contrave Singapore: Get Control Over Cravings

What is Contrave?

Contrave is an FDA and HSA-approved weight loss medication for people who are overweight or struggling with obesity. It is uniquely designed to reduce hunger and control cravings, playing an important role in weight management.

Contrave is prescribed to be used together with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for adults with:

  • BMI of ≥30 kg/m2 (definition of obesity by the WHO) or
  • BMI of ≥27 kg/m2 (definition of being overweight by the WHO) and at least one weight-related condition (e.g. high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes mellitus or high cholesterol)

What does Contrave do to your body?

Contrave is a combination of two medications: Bupropion and Naltrexone.

Bupropion: Your Ally in Suppressing Appetite

Bupropion is a medicine used for the treatment of depression. It plays a pivotal role in reducing appetite. By modulating specific brain chemicals, it increases feelings of fullness. This makes it easier to maintain a healthy diet and stay on track with your weight loss goals.

Bupropion is also used uniquely to prevent weight gain in people who are trying to quit smoking.

Naltrexone: Breaking the Cycle of Overindulgence

Naltrexone is a medication used to treat alcohol and drug dependence.

In Contrave, Naltrexone uniquely curbs the brain’s reward system which often leads to overeating. By reducing the desire for excessive eating, Naltrexone becomes a potent tool in the battle against obesity.

Together, Bupropion and Naltrexone target areas of the brain that cause hunger and cravings. Contrave effectively reduces appetite and cravings, aiding in making healthier food choices and ultimately leading to weight loss.

CONTRAVE targets 2 areas of the brain that cause hunger and cravings

How do you use Contrave?

One tablet of Contrave contains the active ingredient Naltrexone Hydrochloride (HCl) 8 mg and Bupropion HCl 90 mg.

Contrave is an oral medication. Typically, doctors prescribe an initial dose of one tablet daily. After one week, they increase the dose to one tablet twice daily, and by week four, they recommend taking two tablets twice daily. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s prescription precisely when using Contrave.

How effective is Contrave for weight loss in Singapore?

Clinical studies have shown that the combination of Bupropion and Naltrexone can reduce weight by approximately 9 to 13% over 56 weeks.

Patients in these clinical studies are also advised to follow a reduced-calorie diet, increase physical activity. Patients are also encouraged to participate in behavioural counselling as part of their weight loss programme.

How long do you take Contrave for weight loss?

The recommended treatment duration of Contrave is 16 weeks to fully assess its benefits.

Contrave should be discontinued if you do not lose at least 5% of your initial body weight after 16 weeks. This is because the medication is unlikely to be beneficial to you. Always discuss your personalised weight loss goals with your healthcare provider.

How effective is Contrave for weight loss in Singapore

Can Contrave help me stop smoking?

Contrave could be an appropriate choice for you if you are overweight and smoke and desire medication to help you stop smoking and reduce weight. At Sire, we believe in personalised treatments. Always speak to your doctor who can support your health goals.

Read how losing weight and smoking cessation can improve men’s health.

What is the downside of Contrave?

In clinical trials, common side effects of Contrave include: nausea, headaches and constipation. Other side effects include insomnia, vomiting, dizziness and dry mouth.

Take Contrave as instructed by your doctor. Do not exceed the recommended dose as it may cause other side effects. Always discuss potential side effects with your doctor before starting Contrave.

Contrave may cause insomnia

Avoid taking Contrave late in the evening. Always inform your doctor if you are taking sleeping pills or have problems sleeping or any other sleep disorders.

Contrave may increase blood pressure and heart rate

Before taking Contrave, you should inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications, such as medications for heart conditions, blood pressure and/or diabetes.

Contrave may increase blood pressure and heart rate. The cardiovascular safety of a combination of Bupropion/Naltrexone has not been fully established.

Wegovy and Saxenda are a better choice in comparison to Contrave due to uncertainty about the cardiovascular side effects Contrave might have. Always speak to your doctor to assess the risks and benefits of weight loss treatment.

Read our comprehensive comparison of other weight loss medications available in Singapore.

Is Contrave available in Singapore?

Yes! Contrave is approved by HSA in January 2022. It is currently the only brand available in Singapore that has a combination of Bupropion and Naltrexone.

You will need a valid prescription in order to obtain Contrave in Singapore.

Contrave is available on Sire, you can begin your weight management journey with us HERE.

How much does Contrave cost in Singapore?

Online sources do not well establish the cost of Contrave. However, estimates suggest that it is more economical compared to Wegovy and Saxenda.

At Sire, our prices are transparent and made accessible to you. Find out the cost of our different weight loss medications HERE.

Gaining Control Over Stress Eating and Food Cravings

There is no miracle weight loss pill or diet pill for weight loss. Other than medications, here we share some simple tips that can help you gain control over stress eating and food cravings in Singapore.

Start a Food and Mood Journal

Sometimes we just need to be aware of the link between our food and mood. Whenever you find yourself overindulging or feeling the urge to snack, take a moment to reflect on what prompted that impulse.

Record it in your food and mood journal: jot down what you ate or craved, identify the triggering event, describe your emotions before eating, note how you felt while consuming and document your post-eating feelings.

Discover the meal log tool on the Healthy 365 app by the Health Promotion Board Singapore!

With time, you may notice patterns emerging, making it easier to address the underlying causes.

Establish a Consistent Meal Routine

If your WFH routine has altered your eating habits, strive to maintain a regular eating schedule tailored to your personal needs and preferred meal times.

If constant snacking is a concern, create a schedule that includes at least two well-balanced meals daily and stick to it until you feel comfortable with your eating routine.

Steer Clear of Temptation

Keeping tempting foods within arm’s reach can lead to frequent snacking and overindulgence, even when you are not hungry. If you stock your home with junk food, desserts, and unhealthy snacks, you are more likely to overeat.

Eliminate the temptation by purging your fridge and cupboards of such items.

Engage in Distractions

Discover alternative methods for stress relief, such as taking a leisurely walk or enjoying a comedy show. Engaging in other activities can help reduce the urge to binge or overeat.

Research has shown that physical activity can boost your mood and reduce stress, potentially reducing the likelihood of binge eating or overindulgence.

Seek Support

You are more likely to give in to emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Involve your family and friends and support each other in their health goals.

If you have tried various self-help options but are still not able to control emotional eating, consider professional help.

Psychological therapy can help you in identifying triggers, such as stress, for binge eating and provide guidance on managing them. At Sire, our in-house therapist works closely with our doctors to provide a holistic approach to weight management.


Losing weight effectively requires a holistic approach. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in weight management. Contrave addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of overeating and weight gain. It effectively reduces appetite and curbs cravings, boosting your efforts in making healthier food choices. Sustainable weight loss solutions begin with healthy lifestyle changes. Start your weight management journey with Sire today!

Updated 29th January, 2023 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

At Sire, we answer all your burning questions about weight loss pills. You can also find your answers on our search function HERE. You can also ask us anonymously HERE. Gain control over stress eating and food cravings with Sire today!

Q: Is Contrave safe for use in Singapore?

Yes, healthcare professionals approve Contrave for use in Singapore and consider it safe when they prescribe and monitor it. Always consult with a doctor before starting Contrave to determine if it is the right option for you.

Q: Does Contrave speed up metabolism?

Contrave does not directly speed up your metabolic rate like stimulant weight loss pills (example: Panbesy and Duromine).

Instead, Contrave works to reduce appetite and cravings. This promotes weight loss due to a reduction in food intake. Speak to our doctors at Sire for personalised guidance on Contrave’s suitability for your weight management goals.

Q: Is Contrave bad for your kidneys?

Healthcare professionals generally consider Contrave safe for the kidneys when used as prescribed and monitored. Contrave does not exert significant stress on the kidneys.

If you have pre-existing kidney conditions or concerns about how Contrave may affect your kidneys, always discuss them with your doctor.

Q: Why am I not losing weight on Contrave?

It takes about 16 weeks to fully assess Contrave’s effect on your body. Safe and effective weight loss does not take place immediately.

Contrave is not a quick fix, sustainable weight loss takes time. Results may vary from person to person, always speak to your doctor to address your concerns.

Q: Can I take Contrave along with other weight loss methods, such as diet and exercise?

Yes, individuals often use Contrave as part of a comprehensive weight loss plan that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise. Combining Contrave with lifestyle changes can enhance its effectiveness in achieving and maintaining weight loss.

Q: Can I stop taking Contrave once I’ve reached my weight loss goals?

Always follow your healthcare provider’s guidance when discontinuing Contrave. Suddenly stopping the medication may lead to a return of cravings and weight gain. Your doctor will provide instructions on how to safely taper off Contrave when the time is right.

Q: How to buy Contrave in Singapore?

Those interested in obtaining Contrave should consult medical centres or healthcare professionals in Singapore to get a prescription and purchase guidance.

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