Xenical (Orlistat)

Xenical (Orlistat) is a prescription only medicine in capsule form for people with a BMI > 30. It works by reducing absorption of fat and is very effective in weight loss when used in conjunction  with exercise and a low-calorie diet.

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Xenical works directly in the stomach by preventing as much as 30% of fat consumed per meal from being absorbed by the body. Xenical does not affect the hormonal balances of the brain.

Xenical has been proven in clinical trials to be an effective weight loss medication with patients losing up to 19 pounds within a year. In the clinical trials two separate groups of patients were put on calorie controlled diets with regular exercise and those that were taking Xenical lost twice as much weight than those that were dieting and exercising alone.

If you have a BMI of 30 or more then Xenical could be a suitable option to aid with weight loss, particularly when exercising and dieting alone have failed.

Xenical is taken 3 times per day, once with each meal, either shortly before or after. Diet and exercise are also an important factor when taking Xenical. All meals should have no more that 30% fat content, and a multi vitamin supplement should be taken to address any important nutrients lost through fat that is not being digested.

It is important that patients acknowledge that changes to diet and lifestyle are required during and after taking Xenical to realise the permanent benefits of taking a prescription weight loss medication.

Patient’s taking Xenical may notice changes to bowel movements through increased levels of fat passing through the digestive tract. These changes are quite normal and will usually occur in the first few weeks of commencing a course of Xenical. Typical symptoms will be increased gas, an increase in the number of bowl movements with the potentially for an oily discharge. If patients consume meals that contain a higher level of fat that the recommended 30%, they may experience problems in controlling bowel movements.

PrivateDoc can provide prescription Xenical to patients with a BMI over 30 or in some instances over 27 where a patient has underlying medical conditions that are contributing to excess weight.

The first thing to do is to understand the obesity condition by reading the information on this website and the second step is to complete a confidential consultation with one of our team of doctors.

PrivateDoc will only prescribe Xenical when it is safe to do so and you must provide us with all aspects of your medical history to ensure that our team has all the information to hand to make an assessment of your condition.

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How does Xenical help with weight loss?

Xenical’s active ingredient orlistat prevents the body from absorbing up to 30% of the fat in foods ingested. Orlistat does this by binding to the enzymes that are produced by the stomach to break up fat preventing them from doing their work, allowing the fat to pass straight through the digestive system.

Read the Patient Information Leaflet

Possible Side Effects

Like all medicines, Xenical can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Tell a doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Xenical.

The majority of unwanted effects related to the use of Xenical result from its local action in your digestive system. These symptoms are generally mild, occur at the beginning of treatment and are particularly experienced after meals containing high levels of fat. Normally, these symptoms disappear if you continue treatment and keep to your recommended diet.

Very common side effects (affects more than 1 user in 10)

  • Headache
  • abdominal pain/discomfort
  • urgent or increased need to open the bowels
  • flatulence (wind) with discharge
  • oily discharge
  • oily or fatty stools
  • liquid stools
  • low blood sugar levels (experienced by some people with type 2 diabetes)

Common side effects (affects 1 to 10 users in 100)

  • Rectal pain/discomfort
  • soft stools
  • incontinence (stools)
  • bloating (experienced by some people with type 2 diabetes)
  • tooth/gum disorder
  • irregularity of menstrual cycle
  • tiredness

The following side effects have also been reported but their 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. Skin blistering (including blisters that burst). Diverticulitis. 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. Gallstones. Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Oxalate nephropathy (build up of calcium oxalate which may lead to kidney stones). See Chapter 2 of the Patient Information Leaflet, take special care with Xenical. Effects on clotting with anti-coagulants.

Read the Patient Information Leaflet

Considerations when taking Xenical

Xenical is not suitable for women that are pregnant, or breastfeeding. Xenical is also not suitable for patients with food absorption difficulties or reduced bile flow.

It is very important that patients disclose all medications currently prescribed and in use, including over the counter supplements.