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Orlistat (Generic Xenical or Alli)


Orlistat is a medicine used to treat obesity. It works in your digestive system to block about one-third of the fat in the food you eat from being digested.

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Orlistat 120mg is a prescription medication that can help in the treatment of weight-loss. Orlistat prevents your body from absorbing the fat from the food you eat. By reducing the amount of fat which is absorbed, Orlistat can help you to lose weight more easily.

Orlistat works within the digestive system, inhibiting the absorption of fat into the body. Orlistat attaches itself to the enzymes in your digestive system (lipases) and blocks them from breaking down up to a third of the fat you have eaten during your meal.

This undigested fat cannot be absorbed and is eventually excreted from your body. This allows Xenical to act as an effective weight loss treatment when used in conjunction with a healthy, low calorie diet.


In clinical studies, almost two-thirds of people treated with Orlistat weight loss pills successfully lost at least 5% of their body weight after 2 years, when used alongside a healthy diet. In comparison, only half of the people treated with diet alone managed to lose 5% of their weight.

Using Orlistat to support weight loss in conjunction with a healthy diet can lower a number of weight-related health risks. Studies show that weight loss with Orlistat can:

  • Decrease total and LDL cholesterol (level of low-density lipoprotein – also known as bad cholesterol)
  • Improve your ratio of bad to good cholesterol (LDL/HDL cholesterol)
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Reduce levels of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that allows glucose or sugar to enter the body’s cells — high levels are associated with coronary heart disease
  • Reduce the risk or delay the progression to type 2 diabetes in patients


There are typically two different kinds of weight-loss prescription medications. Some medications are appetite suppressants and others work within the digestive system to prevent fat absorption.

While there are hundreds of weight loss products on the market, it is crucial that individuals looking for medication only ever order prescriptions from reputable, regulated pharmacies. Purchasing from other online sources can be extremely dangerous.

Uses / Instructions

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

The usual dose of Orlistat is one 120 mg capsule taken with each of the three main meals per day. It can be taken immediately before, during a meal or up to one hour after a meal. The capsule should be swallowed with water.

Orlistat should be taken with a well-balanced, calorie controlled diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables and contains an average of 30 % of the calories from fat. Your daily intake of fat, carbohydrate and protein should be distributed over three meals. This means you will usually take one capsule at breakfast time, one capsule at lunch time and one capsule at dinner time. To gain optimal benefit, avoid the intake of food containing fat between meals, such as biscuits, chocolate and savoury snacks.

Orlistat only works in the presence of dietary fat. Therefore, if you miss a main meal or if you have a meal containing no fat, Orlistat does not need to be taken.

Your must discontinue the treatment with Orlistat after 12 weeks if you have not lost at least 5% of your body weight as measured at the start of treatment with Orlistat.

Orlistat has been studied in long-term clinical studies of up to 4 years duration.


Weight loss may also affect the dose of medicines taken for other conditions (e.g. high cholesterol or diabetes). Be sure to discuss these and other medicines you may be taking with your doctor. Losing weight may mean you need adjustments to the dose of these medicines.

To gain the maximum benefit from Orlistat you should follow the nutrition program recommended to you by your doctor. As with any weight-control program, over-consumption of fat and calories may reduce any weight loss effect.

This medicine can cause harmless changes in your bowel habits, such as fatty or oily stools, due to the elimination of undigested fat in your faeces. The possibility of this happening may increase if Orlistat is taken with a diet high in fat. In addition your daily intake of fat should be distributed evenly over three main meals because if Orlistat is taken with a meal very high in fat, the possibility of gastrointestinal effects may increase.

The use of an additional contraceptive method is recommended to prevent possible failure of oral contraception that could occur in case of severe diarrhoea.

The use of orlistat may be associated with renal stones in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. Inform your doctor whether you suffer from problems with your kidney.

Side Effects

  • Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):
  • headache
  • abdominal pain/discomfort
  • urgent or increased need to open the bowels
  • flatulence (wind) with or without discharge
  • oily discharge, oily or fatty stools
  • liquid stools
  • low blood sugar levels (experienced by some people with type 2 diabetes)
  • upper respiratory infections
  • flu (influenza)

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

  • rectal pain/discomfort
  • soft stools
  • incontinence (stools)
  • bloating (experienced by some people with type 2 diabetes)
  • tooth/gum disorder
  • irregularity of menstrual cycle
  • tiredness
  • anxiety
  • lower respiratory infections
  • urinary tract infections

Not known (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data):

  • allergic reactions: the main symptoms are itching, rash, wheals (slightly elevated, itchy skin patches that are paler or redder than surrounding skin), severe difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting and feeling unwell. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these.
  • skin blistering (including blisters that burst)
  • diverticulitis (inflammation of small outpouchings along the wall of the colon)
  • bleeding from the back passage (rectum)
  • increases in the levels of some liver enzymes may be found in blood tests
  • hepatitis (inflammation of the liver): symptoms can include yellowing skin and eyes, itching, dark coloured urine, stomach pain and liver tenderness (indicated by pain under the front of the rib cage on your right hand side), sometimes with loss of appetite. Stop Orlistat if such symptoms occur and tell your doctor.
  • gallstones
  • pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • oxalate nephropathy (build up of calcium oxalate which may lead to kidney stones), (see Section 2, “Warnings and precautions”).
  • effects on clotting with anti-coagulants.


The active substance is orlistat. Each hard capsule contains 120 mg of orlistat.

The other ingredients are cellulose, microcrystalline PH 112, sodium starch glycolate (type A), silica, colloidal anhydrous and sodium laurilsulfate. The capsule shell consists of gelatine, titanium dioxide (E171) and indigo carmine (E132).

See patient information leaflet of the pack you receive as different generic brands may have different other ingredients.

Shipping Countries: United Kingdom (UK)


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