What Is Orlistat Used For?

Orlistat is used for weight loss in both adults and children, although different forms are used accordingly. For example, only the prescription version (Xenical) is approved for use in children age 12 and over. Both forms of the drug work by inhibiting the action of enzymes that break down fat molecules, which decreases fat absorption. At this time, there are no off-label orlistat uses.

What Is Orlistat Used For? -- An Overview

Orlistat (Alli™, Xenical®) is a medication used to aid in weight loss. When combined with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet, it promotes gradual and modest weight loss.
 
The non-prescription version of orlistat (Alli) is approved for adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or greater. The prescription version (Xenical) is approved for adults and children 12 years and older with a BMI of 30 or greater or a BMI of 27 or greater if they have other risk factors, such as:
 
(Click BMI Calculator to find your BMI.)
 
Xenical is approved to both help people lose weight and maintain weight loss.
 
(Click Alli Uses or Xenical Uses for specific information on the individual medications.)
 

How Does Orlistat Work?

Orlistat works 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. Orlistat binds to lipases and inhibits their activity, helping to decrease fat absorption. The medication does not have any effect on carbohydrates or protein.
 
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Orlistat -- Medication for Weight Loss

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