- Take 1 capsule 3 times a day
- Prevents up to 1/3 of the fat you eat being digested
- Generic version of Xenical, that works in the same way
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.