Generic Name: orlistat (OR li stat)Brand Names: alli, Xenical
Orlistat blocks some of the fat that you eat, keeping it from being absorbed by your body.
Orlistat is used together with a reduced-calorie diet and weight maintenance to treat obesity in people with certain risk factors (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol or triglycerides).
Orlistat may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
It is dangerous to purchase orlistat on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. Medications distributed from Internet sales may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy. Samples of "Alli" purchased on the Internet have been found to contain sibutramine (Meridia), a prescription weight loss medication that can have dangerous side effects in certain people. For more information, contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or visit www.fda.gov/buyonlineguide.
Before taking orlistat, tell your doctor if you have an underactive thyroid, a history of gallstones or pancreatitis, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, an eating disorder, liver disease, or if you take other weight-loss medications (prescription or over-the-counter).Do not give over-the-counter orlistat (Alli) to a child younger than 18 years old. Prescription orlistat (Xenical) should not be used by anyone age 12 to 18 without the advice of a doctor. Orlistat should be used only by the person it was prescribed or recommended for. Never share orlistat with another person, especially someone who has a history of eating disorder. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
Orlistat is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Your daily intake of fat, protein, and carbohydrates should be evenly divided over all of your daily meals. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.Avoid a diet that is high in fat. High-fat meals taken in combination with orlistat can increase your risk of unpleasant side effects on your stomach or intestines.
chronic malabsorption syndrome (an inability to absorb food and nutrients properly); or
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need an orlistat dose adjustment or special tests:
an underactive thyroid;
a history of gallstones;
a history of pancreatitis;
type 1 or type 2 diabetes;
an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia); or
if you take any other weight-loss medications (prescription or over-the-counter).
Take exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Orlistat is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Your daily intake of fat, protein, and carbohydrates should be evenly divided over all of your daily meals. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.Take orlistat during or within 1 hour after a meal that contains some fat (no more than 30% of the calories for that meal). Orlistat is usually taken 3 times daily.
If you skip a meal or you eat a meal that does not contain any fat, skip your orlistat dose for that meal.
The fat content of your daily diet should not be greater than 30% of your total daily caloric intake. For example, if you eat 1200 calories per day, no more than 360 of those calories should be in the form of fat.
Read the label of all food items you consume, paying special attention to the number of servings per container. Your doctor, nutrition counselor, or dietitian can help you develop a healthy eating plan.Your doctor may recommend you take vitamin and mineral supplements while you are taking orlistat. This medication can make it harder for your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type of multi-vitamin or mineral supplement to use.
Take the supplement at least 2 hours before or after you take orlistat.Store orlistat at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Orlistat is a drug that may be misused as a weight-loss aid, and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
See also: Alli dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but no more than 1 hour after eating a meal. If it has been more than an hour since your last meal, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
If you miss a meal, or if you have a meal without fat, you can skip your dose of orlistat for that meal also.
The following side effects occur commonly with the use of orlistat. They are the natural effects of orlistat's fat-blocking action and are actually signs that the medication is working properly. These side effects are usually temporary and may lessen as you continue treatment with orlistat:
oily spotting in your undergarments;
oily or fatty stools;
orange or brown colored oil in your stool;
gas with discharge, an oily discharge;
loose stools, or an urgent need to go to the bathroom, inability to control bowel movements;
an increased number of bowel movements;
stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rectal pain; or
weakness, dark urine, clay-colored stools, itching, loss of appetite, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Other side effects that may occur while taking orlistat include:
problems with your teeth or gums;
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, cough;
fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms;
headache, back pain; or
mild skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
insulin or diabetes medications you take by mouth;
cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);
digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);
levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid); or
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with orlistat. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over the counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.