Brand Name: Xenical
Drug Class: Lipase inhibitor
Available in: Capsules
Available Without a Prescription? No
Available As a Generic? No
Serious: No serious side effects
have yet been reported.
Common: Oily spotting, gas with discharge,
fecal urgency, oily stool, anal leakage, increased defecation,
Less common: Abdominal pain or discomfort.
To achieve weight loss and weight maintenance
in the maintenance of obesity when used in conjunction with
a reduced-calorie diet
and appropriate physical activity. Orlistat is indicated for
patients with an initial body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater
and in those with a BMI greater than 27 (see Special Concerns
for information on BMI calculation) who also have other risk
factors such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol,
How the Drug Works
Orlistat inhibits the activity of lipases,
intestinal enzymes required for the digestion of dietary fats.
the breakdown of a portion of ingested fat. The undigested fat
cannot be absorb-ed and is excreted in the feces. Full doses
of orlistat reduce the absorption of fat by about 30%.
120 mg (one capsule) 3 times a day at mealtime.
Onset of Effect
Within 24 to 48 hours.
Duration of Action
48 to 72 hours.
Take with liquid during or up to one hour after
each main meal containing fat. Follow a balanced, reduced-calorie
daily intake of fat (approximately N of the calories), carbohydrate,
and protein should be spread out over the three meals. If a meal
is missed or contains no fat, the dose of orlistat can be skipped.
Because orlistat can also reduce the absorption of fat-soluble
vitamins, a multivitamin supplement (containing vitamins A, D,
and E and beta-carotene) should also be taken once a day at least
two hours before or after ingesting orlistat.
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture,
and direct light.
If You Miss a Dose
If you miss a dose, take it if you remember
within 1 hour of eating. However, if more than 1 hour has passed,
skip the missed
dose and return to your regular schedule. Do not double the next
Stopping the Drug
The decision to stop taking the drug should
be made in consultation with your physician.
The safety and effectiveness of orlistat have not
been determined beyond 2 years of use.
Over 60: No specific studies
have been done on older patients.
Driving and Hazardous Work: No special warnings.
Alcohol: No special precautions are necessary.
human studies have not been done. Before taking orlistat,
tell your doctor if you are pregnant or
plan to become pregnant.
Breast Feeding: It is unknown
whether orlistat passes into breast milk. However, do not
take the drug while
doctor for advice.
Infants and Children: Safety
and effectiveness have not been established for children under
Special Concerns: A medical cause
for obesity (such as hypothyroidism) should be ruled out before
doctor or a nutritionist for information on a nutritionally-balanced,
reduced-calorie diet and an exercise program. The
BMI can be
calculated by dividing your weight in pounds by
your height in inches squared, and then multiplying by
Symptoms: No cases of overdose
have been reported.
What to Do: An overdose with
orlistat is unlikely. If someone takes a much larger dose than
call your doctor.
The following drugs may interact with orlistat.
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking: cyclosporine,
(cholesterol-lowering) drugs, warfarin, another weight-loss medication
(such as sibutramine or phentermine), or any other prescription
or over-the-counter drugs.
Orlistat reduces the absorption of fat-soluble
vitamins A, D, E, and K and beta-carotene. Gastrointestinal side
increase following the consumption of high-fat foods or with
a diet high in fat (more than 30% of the day’s total calories
This drug should not be used if you have
chronic malabsorption or gallbladder problems. Consult your
doctor if you have an
eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia).
Johns Hopkins Consumer Guide to Drugs. You can order
this book now on our secure server.