Orlistat Capsules

Orlistat (Alli, Xenical®) is a weight loss medication that is available with a prescription (sold under the name Xenical) or without a prescription (sold under the name Alli).
The drug comes in capsule form. Orlistat is taken by mouth with each fat-containing meal, up to three times per day. The capsules are available in the following strengths:
  • Orlistat 60 mg (Alli, the non-prescription version)
  • Orlistat 120 mg (Xenical, the prescription version).
Orlistat works by decreasing the absorption of fat from your diet. The stomach and intestine have enzymes, called lipases. These enzymes break down fat into smaller molecules, which are then absorbed from your digestive tract. Orlistat binds to lipases and inhibits their activity, helping to decrease fat absorption.
Although most people tolerate orlistat well, the medication is not suitable for everyone. Some of the common side effects include oily spotting (uncontrolled anal seepage of oil), abdominal pain (stomach pain), and an urgent need to have a bowel movement.
(Click Orlistat for a more in-depth look at how orlistat works, potential side effects, general dosing guidelines, and information on what to tell your healthcare provider before using this medication.)
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