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    As the generic version of Xenical, Orlistat provides an effective solution to medicated weight loss that works in the same way. 

    If you have a BMI of 30 and over (or 28 and over with other risk factors), Orlistat tablets could be an effective treatment to support your weight loss journey. 

    How Orlistat works

    Orlistat is a weight loss medication that changes how your body absorbs fat from the foods you eat. Orlistat prevents your body breaking down nearly a 1/3 of the fat that you eat.

    Orlistat attaches to the enzymes in your digestive system (lipases) and stops them from breaking down some of the fat you’ve eaten in your meals. The undigested fat is not absorbed into your body and is passed out with your stools (faeces).  

    How to take Orlistat

    Take one capsule with water three times a day immediately before, during, or up to an hour after each main meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

    Orlistat only works in the presence of dietary fat - the fat in foods and drinks. Dietary fat fall into three categories; saturated fats, unsaturated fats and trans fats. Fatty foods include cooking oils, cream, nuts and fatty cuts of meat.

    If you miss a main meal or if you have a meal containing no fat, Orlistat does not need to be taken. As there is nothing for the treatment to work with. If you do take Orlistat on an empty stomach, you may experience side effects such as wind and oily stools.  

    Is Orlistat an effective weight loss treatment?

    Orlistat should be taken three times a day, usually over 12 weeks, during which time you should aim to lose about 5% of your weight. However, the speed and quality of its effects depend on aspects of your lifestyle. 

    While Orlistat does help reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs, it is only effective if you make complementary lifestyle changes. These include increased exercise, moderating calorie intake, eating a balanced diet, and reducing alcohol consumption. The results are also dependent on your personal commitment and motivation to losing weight. As well as lifestyle factors such as stress or your age.  

    Who can take Orlistat tablets?

    Orlistat is suitable for people who are medically overweight. We can only prescribe it if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and over (28 and over if you have any other associated risk factors). 

    You will not be suitable for this treatment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

    Orlistat side effects

    Side effects could include:

    • Pain or discomfort in your stomach
    • Flatulence (wind) with an oily discharge
    • A sudden need to open your bowels
    • Stools may be oily, liquid or fatty in texture 

    These side effects are more prevalent if you take Orlistat following a fatty meal.

    For full information on side effects and correct use, see the patient information leaflet. If any side effects concern you, contact us via your Patient Record. 

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      Orlistat FAQs

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      Safety: taking other medicines

      As is true of all medication, Orlistat can interact with other medicines, making them less effective. This is why it's important that you let us know which prescription, over-the-counter medicines and recreational drugs you are taking so that we can prescribe Orlistat safely.

      If you are taking the contraceptive pill alongside Orlistat, you should use additional contraception if you experience severe diarrhoea.  

      Important information about Orlistat

      Your first order of Orlistat must be collected from a pharmacy so your height and weight can be checked. This is for your safety. For repeat orders, you will be able to choose delivery as an option.

      You should only take Orlistat as prescribed and never exceed the stated dose. Taking more will not make it work faster. Your prescription is for you – you should never share prescribed medicines with anyone. 

      Alternative treatments to Orlistat

      alli is an alternative weight loss treatment that is half the strength of Orlistat. alli is available without a prescription from online and high street pharmacies.

      We also offer weight loss injections, Wegovy® and Saxenda®. Simply complete a questionnaire online, upload a video showing your ID and BMI. If suitable these treatments are available with next-day delivery.

      There are a variety of weight loss treatments available on the market, including supplementary dietary pills and surgical options. However, a healthy diet and regular exercise is an effective way to lose weight and improve your health in the long-term. 

      How our online weight loss service works

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        5 mins

      3. One of our clinicians confirms your suitability and notifies you by email

        About 30 mins

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