Orlistat (brand names: Xenical / Alli) belongs to a group of medicines called lipase inhibitors. These medicines work by preventing the absorption of dietary fat in your body rather than by suppressing your appetite.
Orlistat is used to assist with losing weight, maintaining a certain weight and preventing weight regain.
Orlistat is used to treat adults with an initial Body Mass Index (BMI) which measures 30 or more.
Dietary fats are large molecules that need to be broken down before they can be absorbed into the body. They are broken down by enzymes called lipases. When taken with a meal, Orlistat interferes with the activity of these enzymes and allows about 30% of the fat eaten in the meal to pass through the gut undigested. Therefore, your body cannot store these excess calories as fatty tissue or use them as a source of energy. This helps you to reduce your weight by burning up fat that you are already carrying, maintain your weight loss and minimise any weight regain.
Losing even small amounts of weight and keeping it off can have additional health benefits for you, especially if you are at risk of other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Orlistat can also help to improve risk factors associated with being overweight, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. If these are not treated, they may lead to other diseases such as heart disease or diabetes.
The effects of Orlistat on weight loss, weight maintenance and weight regain have been assessed in clinical trials that included more than 4000 patients.
Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Take Orlistat exactly as directed.
The usual dose is one 120 mg Orlistat capsule three times a day. Each Orlistat capsule should be taken with a main meal. Usually this is one Orlistat capsule at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The capsule can be taken during the meal or up to one hour after the meal is eaten.
Swallow capsules whole with a glass of water. Do not open the capsules and do not take any capsules that are damaged.
Orlistat should be taken with a well-balanced diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables and contains an average of 30% calories from fat. Your daily intake of fat, carbohydrate and protein should be distributed over three main meals. To gain the most benefit, avoid eating food high in fat between meals, such as biscuits, chocolate or savoury snacks.
Orlistat should be taken every day to be effective.
Orlistat only works in the presence of dietary fat in your body. You do not need to take an Orlistat capsule if you miss a meal or if you know that your meal contains no fat (however, most meals contain some fat).
Orlistat will usually be taken for several months depending on your individual needs, to help you to reduce your weight, maintain your weight loss and help prevent the weight being regained. For more information talk to your pharmacist or doctor.
If you forget to take Orlistat and you remember within one hour of your last meal, take your Orlistat capsule and then go back to taking it as you would normally. If it is more than one hour after your last main meal, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when it is due. Do not double a dose to make up for one you have missed.
If you have missed several doses, just go back to taking Orlistat as you would normally.
Keep your capsules at room temperature, away from heat and moisture.
Before taking Orlistat, tell your doctor if:
you are allergic to any medicines;
you have problems digesting foods, or problems with your gallbladder;
you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Active ingredient: orlistat.