Xenical (Orlistat) is a drug that helps people lose weight and reduce the risk of regaining said weight. This medication works by decreasing the amount of fat that is absorbed from one’s diet. Obesity can be caused by weight-related medical problems. It is important to maintain a healthy level of body fat to reduce the number of health risks that accompany obesity such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Orlistat is used alongside a doctor-approved exercise plan and reduced-calorie diet. Orlistat belongs to a class of drugs called lipase inhibitors.
If you are taking Orlistatover the counter, make sure to read and understand all directions on the product package before using. Contact your pharmacist or doctor if you have any questions. If you are prescribed Xenical by your doctor, take as directed. This medication is usually taken orally, with liquid sometime during each meal that contains fat or within 1 hour after the meal. Do not take a dose if you miss a meal or your meal contains no fat. It is vital that no more than 30% of the calories in your diet come from fat. Also, your daily intake of fat, protein, and carbohydrates should be evenly distributed over the course of your meals. If you have any questions about how to ensure this, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This drug may interfere with the absorption of some vitamins such as A, D, E and K. A daily multivitamin supplement containing these vitamins is recommended to take at least 2 hours before or after taking Orlistat. If your condition doesn’t improve or worsens, let your physician know immediately.
Prior to using Orlistat, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to it or any other allergies you do have -
Your medical history especially pertaining to a certain digestive problem (chronic malabsorption syndrome), a certain gall bladder problem (cholestasis), kidney stones, certain eating disorders (anorexia/bulimia), HIV, seizures, etc.
- If you are or plan to become pregnant. Weight loss is not beneficial to a pregnant woman and is potentially harmful to an unborn baby.
- If you are planning to breast-feed
- If you have diabetes as weight loss could improve your blood sugar level. Regularly check and tell your doctor the results of your blood sugar.
If your condition doesn’t improve or worsens, let your physician know immediately.
Common side effects include but are not limited to:
- Changes in your bowel function as a result of the unabsorbed fat
- Oily spotting, increased number of bowel movements, fatty/oily stool, or poor bowel control may occur
If any of these effects persist or worsen immediately tell your doctor or pharmacist. Stop taking Orlistat and tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of these rarer side effects:
- Signs of liver disease such as severe abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, persistent vomiting or diarrhea, etc.
- Signs of kidney stones such as back pain, painful urination, pink/bloody urine
- Signs of a severe allergic reaction such as hives; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat; difficulty breathing
Q: When should I start seeing weight loss after starting Orlistat?
A: You should see some weight loss within 2 weeks of starting this medication. Let your doctor know if your condition doesn’t change or worsens.
Q: Is it safe to use Orlistat if I am pregnant?
A: No, weight loss is highly unrecommended during pregnancy, even if you are overweight. If you think you are or become pregnant, stop taking Orlistat and consult with your doctor right away.
Q: Is it safe to self-treat with Orlistat?
A: Yes, it is completely safe Orlistat without a doctor’s advisement so long as it is used exactly as directed on the packaging label. If you are self-medicating and have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask your pharmacist or doctor for help.