What is Orlistat?
Orlistat is a gastrointestinal lipase inhibitor, which means the substance inhibits the breaking down of fat in the body. When fat is not broken down, the body cannot absorb it and will discharge it through the bowels. In other words, as a result of taking Orlistat the body absorbs less of the fat that you eat.
The substance was first used in Xenical. Both medications are very similar and can be effective in reducing and managing weight when taken as part of an overall diet plan.
When is Orlistat used?
People with severe overweight, who find it hard to reduce their weight with a diet alone can support their weight loss efforts with Orlistat. Also, in cases where there is a significant health risk involved with the overweight. Such risks include hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia. It is important to plan and monitor a controlled daily intake of fat, protein and carbohydrates. A meal should consist of a third of each. In addition, you should follow a regular exercise routine.
After you succeed in bringing your weight down to your desired level, you can continue taking Orlistat to help you maintain the level. Keep in mind that it is vital to monitor the amount of fat you eat and stick to your routine.
How does Orlistat work?
Lipase is the name of an enzyme which is responsible for breaking down the fats in your food. This is part of the digestion process. By splitting the fat into its components (glycerin and fatty acids) they can be absorbed through the intestinal walls and enter the bloodstream. Orlistat inhibits the enzyme and prevents fatty acids from entering the blood. The body gets rid of the dietary fat through regular bowel movements.
You will understand now, why Orlistat can only be effective if you use it with a low-fat diet. Sugar and carbohydrates are not affected by Orlistat. That’s why you should not take Orlistat when you are not eating any fats. In general, intake of fat should make up 30% of your meal for Orlistat to be useful.
Why not to take Orlistat during pregnancy
Losing weight is not recommended during pregnancy, because it can seriously harm the baby. A minimum weight gain is essential for the babies healthy development. It is not known if Orlistat has any influence on breastfeeding. In any case, it is recommended not to start taking the medication as long as you are breastfeeding.
How to take Orlistat
Take one tablet Orlistat with every fat-containing meal or up to an hour after. Typically you will eat three meals a day and take three pills. Should you skip a meal or consume a meal which does not include fat, do not take Orlistat. Each meal should contain a third fat, a third protein and a third carbohydrates.
Follow the instructions of the doctors prescription. Do not change the dosage without consulting the doctor. A higher dosage will not speed up weight loss; however, it may cause side effects. Orlistat is not suited for children under the age of 12.
What is the active ingredient in Orlistat?
Orlistat is named after its active ingredient Orlistat. This gastrointestinal lipase inhibitor is used to manage weight and obesity by blocking the absorption of dietary fats in the body.
What side effects can Orlistat cause?
Many people taking Orlistat experience oily or fatty stools or oily spottings in their underwear. It is not uncommon to feel the need to go to the bathroom more often or to have intestinal gas with discharge. These are results of the fat being discharged rather than being absorbed. Eating less fatty foods may be helpful. If these symptoms worsen, however, you should consult a doctor.
For more side effects and risk factors please make sure to read the package insert before you take the medication.
When not to take the medication
- Do not take Orlistat if you are not overweight
- If you have gallbladder problems or chronic malabsorption syndrome avoid Orlistat
- Do not take the medication, if you are allergic to Orlistat or any of the ingredients in the medication
- Pregnant women should not take the medication.
- Children under the age of 12 cannot take Orlistat.
It is recommended to enhance your diet with Vitamin supplements while taking Orlistat. The medication may hinder some of the Vitamin absorption.
How is DoktorABC helpful?
To receive a prescription and the medication you can use the online consultation service at DoktorABC. Our doctor will review your answers to our questionnaire, check for interactions and sensitivities. It is essential that you mention any and all medicines you take regularly. Also consult a doctor about any kidney, liver, pancreas, thyroid or gallbladder issues and if you have an eating disorder.
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.