Orlistat Over the Counter

Some people may use orlistat (Alli™, Xenical®) to lose weight. Two versions of this drug are available. Over-the-counter orlistat, sold under the name Alli, is only approved for use in adults. There is also a prescription version, sold under the name Xenical, which is approved for use in adults and children as young as 12 years old.
Both over-the-counter orlistat and prescription orlistat work by decreasing the absorption of fat from your diet. The stomach and intestine have enzymes, called lipases, that break down fat into smaller molecules, which are then absorbed from your digestive tract. This medicine binds to lipases and inhibits their activity, helping to decrease fat absorption.
Although most people do not experience problems with this medication, orlistat can cause side effects. Some of the more common problems include uncontrolled anal seepage of oil, abdominal pain, and an urgent need to have a bowel movement. This drug comes in the form of capsules and is taken by mouth with each fat-containing meal, up to three times per day.
(Click Orlistat for more information on how prescription and over-the-counter orlistat can be beneficial in weight loss treatment. This article also discusses general dosing guidelines, safety precautions, and tips on effectively using this medication.)
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