Orlistat 120mg capsules are available from The Independent Pharmacy Online Doctor service, following a free consultation, to help aid healthy weight loss. To find out more about weight loss and see all the available treatments, see our Online Doctor Weight Loss page.
Orlistat is a generic version of the commonly prescribed item Xenical and a stronger version of the popular over-the-counter weight loss medication Alli. Orlistat 120mg capsules contain the drug orlistat, which binds to dietary fat and stops up to one third of it from being absorbed. Orlistat 120mg capsules are the generic version of Xenical and are available now that the patent on Xenical has expired. When combined with a low calorie diet and exercise, Orlistat can help you to lose an extra 1lb for every 2lb you would lose by diet and exercise alone. In clinical trials, almost twice as many patients who received Xenical, achieved an average weight loss of 10 percent or more of their body weight in one year, compared to those on diet alone.
Orlistat is used to treat obesity; this is where you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over. Orlistat can also be prescribed when your BMI is 28 or over and there are other risk factors present that make weight loss favourable.
Orlistat is taken up to three times daily, with or up to one hour after each main meal. If you eat a fat-free meal, you skip a meal or have a small snack instead, you do not need to take Orlistat as there will be no fat to absorb.
As Orlistat blocks the absorption of some dietary fats, it can also block the absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. If you are concerned about missing some nutrients or you already suffer with a deficiency in one of these vitamins, we advise taking a multivitamin at bedtime to replace any vitamins lost from your diet as part of your Orlistat weight loss treatment.
When combined with diet and exercise, Orlistat is usually effective in aiding weight loss. Weight loss should not be rushed and crash diets should not be used. Weight loss should be viewed as a steady process in order to do it in a healthy way and increase the chances of the weight staying off. A realistic target is around 1lb per week though this can vary from person to person depending on the situation.
You should only continue to take Orlistat if you are losing weight and your BMI is above 28. If you take Orlistat for 3 months and you do not lose around 5% of your body weight you should stop taking it. It can be retried again after 6 months. If your BMI drops below 28, Orlistat may no longer be appropriate and you should stop treatment. If you are losing weight and your BMI is above 28, you can take Orlistat for up to 2 years.
When you start exercising, take it slow. If you start with a little and aim to increase as you become more fit you will enjoy it more and are much more likely to continue.
How to take Orlistat
- Orlistat capsules are taken one capsule up to three times daily if required.
- They should be taken immediately before or up to one hour after meals.
- If you have a low fat meal or skip a main meal there is no need to take Orlistat; it only works when you have eaten a meal containing dietary fat.
- Orlistat should be used alongside a low-fat, calorie-controlled diet to produce the greatest effects and reduce adverse effects.
- Do not exceed the dose of three Orlistat 120mg capsules daily. It will not increase weight loss but may increase undesirable side effects.
If you do experience side effects from Orlistat they may include abdominal pains, bloating or wind, the urgent need to open the bowels and oily, fatty, or liquid stools. These side effects are most common at the start of treatment and are most likely to occur after eating a high-fat meal. By restricting your intake of dietary fat to less than 15g per main meal you will decrease the chances of these side effects.
Other less common side effects when taking Orlistat may include:
Rectal pain/discomfort, soft stools, incontinence (stools), bloating (experienced by some people with type 2 diabetes), tooth/gum disorder, irregularity of menstrual cycle, tiredness.
To gain the maximum benefit from Orlistat 120mg capsules 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.
Orlistat 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 Xenical 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.
Orlistat may modify the activity of certain drugs. If you are taking any of the following you should see your doctor before tkaing Orlistat:
- Anticoagulant drugs (e.g. warfarin). Your doctor may need to monitor your blood coagulation.
- Ciclosporin. Your doctor may need to monitor your ciclosporin blood levels more frequently than usual.
- Iodine salts and/or levothyroxine. Cases of hypothyroidism and/or reduced control of hypothyroidism may occur.
- Amiodarone. You may ask your doctor for advice.
- Medicines to treat HIV.
Orlistat may unbalance an anticonvulsivant treatment, by decreasing the absorption of antiepileptic drugs, thus leading to convulsions. Please contact your doctor if you think that the frequency and/or severity of the convulsions have changed when taking Xenical together with antiepileptic drugs.
Orlistat is not recommended for people taking acarbose (an anti-diabetic drug used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus).
Each capsule contains Orlistat 120mg.
Orlistat capsules contain gelatin from bovine sources in the capsule coating.