Alli is the first (and currently only) non-prescription weight loss drug available that has been approved by the FDA. It decreases the absorption of fat in the diet by binding to enzymes that break down fat molecules. The drug comes in capsule form and is taken with each fat-containing meal. Possible side effects of Alli include stomach pain, an urgent need to have a bowel movement, and gas.
Alli is made by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.
How Does It Work?
Alli works by decreasing the absorption of fat from your diet. The stomach and intestines have enzymes called lipases that break down fat into smaller molecules, which are then absorbed from your digestive tract. Alli binds to lipases and inhibits their activity, helping to decrease fat absorption. The drug does not have any effect on carbohydrates or protein.
Effects of Alli
On average, Alli tends to prevent the absorption of approximately 25 percent of the fat in the diet. Studies have shown that when used in combination with dieting, this medication helps people lose 50 percent more weight than with just dieting alone. The exact amount of weight loss people experience while taking the drug depends on several factors, including their diet and exercise habits. It is reasonable to expect a modest and gradual weight loss with Alli combined with dieting -- about one to two pounds per week.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
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