Orlistat Side Effects

In clinical studies on orlistat, commonly reported problems included stomach pain, oily spotting, fecal urgency, and nausea. Side effects of orlistat are typically minor and can be largely avoided if you pay attention to the amount of fat in your diet. Some side effects, however, are serious and may require medical attention, such as severe stomach pain or worsening of gallbladder disease.

An Introduction to Orlistat Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with orlistat (Alli™, Xenical®); however, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with orlistat. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of orlistat side effects with you.)

Serious Side Effects Seen With Orlistat

Some side effects of orlistat, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Signs of liver damage, such as:
    • Loss of appetite
    • Unusual itching
    • Yellow skin (jaundice) or eyes
    • Dark urine or light-colored stool
    • Upper-right abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Kidney stones
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Gallbladder disease (or worsening of preexisting gallbladder disease)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including:
    • Unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
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