Alli -- Weight Loss Pill
Many people may have heard of the weight loss pill called Alli™ (orlistat). This product is an over-the-counter (non-prescription) medication used to aid in weight loss. It is currently the only non-prescription weight loss drug that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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 medicine does not have any effect on carbohydrates or protein.
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. Alli should be combined with a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet (eating too much fat increases the risk of side effects).
(Click Alli for more information about the specific effects of this pill, to find out what strengths this medicine comes in, and to learn about possible side effects.)