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What is Orlistat?
Orlistat manufactured under the trade names Obelit (Intas Pharma), Xenical (Roche, Italy), Alli (GSK, Greece) among several other trade names worldwide is a weight loss drug. It blocks some portions of fat that you consume, preventing it from being absorbed by your body.
Orlistat is used along with a low calorie or reduced calorie diet and weight maintenance program to control and reduce obesity in people who are vulnerable to diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol or triglycerides.
Orlistat may also be prescribed for conditions not mentioned above.
Important Information about Orlistat
Orlistat (Obelit, Xenical, or Alli) is not recommended strictly for pregnant women even if they are overweight or obese. You must also not take Orlistat if you are allergic to it, if you have gallbladder problems, or chronic malabsorption syndrome (a condition in which your body is unable to absorb nutrients in the food properly).
Before taking Orlistat, let your doctor know if you have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), a history of pancreatitis, type 1 or 2 diabetes, an eating disorder, liver or kidney disease, or if you take other prescription or OTC weight loss medications.
Orlistat should not be taken by teenagers between 12 to 18 years of age without consulting a doctor first. Taking just Orlistat medication will not reduce your obesity; it must be combined with proper diet, exercise and other weight control measures. Remember to take a balance diet of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and these food groups must be divided evenly over all your daily meals. Remember to avoid a high fat diet as meals as Orlistat taken while continuing with a high fat diet can lead to serious side effects in your stomach and intestines. Stick to a strict diet, exercise and medication regiment to get the maximum benefit.
Before taking Orlistat
Before taking Orlistat (Obelit, Xenical, or Alli), discuss about all the points mentioned above with your doctor.
Orlistat is categorized as Pregnancy category X meaning you must not take Orlistat medication if you are pregnant. Weight loss is strictly not recommended while you are pregnant, even if you are overweight or obese. Stop taking Orlistat medication if you become pregnant while you are on a weight loss program.
Orlistat leads to decreased absorption capacity of your body which may cause fewer vitamins absorption in your body which is crucial for your baby if you are breast feeding. Don’t take Orlistat without consulting a doctor if you are nursing a baby.
How should I take Orlistat?
You must take Orlistat (Obelit, Xenical, or Alli) exactly as mentioned on the label, or as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. Don’t alter amounts of Orlistat either by large or smaller amount or for longer than recommended period. This medication comes with complete patient instructions for its safe and effective use. Follow them carefully; don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Take Orlistat within 1 hour of having your meal that contains a balance amount of fat (not more than 30% calories from fat). Usually, it is taken 3 times daily or as prescribed by your doctor. If you are going to skip a meal or eat a non fat meal, then don’t take an Orlistat dose for that meal.
The proportion of the fat in your diet should not be more than 30% of your total daily calorific value. For example, if you take a 2000 calorie diet, than no more than 600 calories should come from fats. Read the labels of all foods that you buy or consume and pay close attention to the fine print. Consult your doctor or dietitian to get a healthy eating plan for you.
Your doctor may prescribe certain vitamin and mineral supplements while you are taking Orlistat, as this medication makes it harder to absorb some fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K. Remember to take the supplements properly. Take the vitamin supplement before going to bed, or at least 2 hours before or after taking a dose of Orlistat.
Store Orlistat medication in a cool and dry place, away from heat and moisture. Ensure that the medication bottle is closed properly. Keep it away from the reach of children and pets.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Orlistat, take it as soon as you remember it, but not more than 1 hour after eating your meal. If it has been more than 1 hour since you had your last meal, skip the missed dose and take the next dose as scheduled. Don’t take extra medication to compensate for the missed dose.
You can skip an Orlistat dose if miss a meal or if you eat a non fat meal.
What if I overdose?
Get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor immediately in case of an overdose of Orlistat.
What should I avoid while taking Orlistat?
Avoid a high fat diet as taking Orlistat while continuing with a high fat diet can lead to undesirable side effects in your stomach and intestines.
Orlistat Side Effects
Get emergency medical attention if you get these allergic reactions to Orlistat: hives, breathing difficulty, swelling on your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Orlistat and contact your doctor immediately if you experience these serious side effects: bloody urine, less or no urination; severe pain in your lower back; drowsiness; confusion; increased thirst; mood or behavior changes; weight gain; severe pain in upper stomach which advances to your back; nausea; vomiting; increased heart rate; itching; loss of appetite.
Some commonly experienced side effects of Orlistat which are natural and temporary signs of its fat blocking action and which signal proper working of medication are: oily spotting in your undergarments; oily or fatty stools; orange or brown colored oil in your stool; gas with discharge; an oil discharge; loose motions; reduced control on bowel movements as well as increased number of bowel movements; stomach pain; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; rectal pain; overall weakness; clay colored stools; loss of appetite; or jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes).
Some other side effects that you may witness due to Orlistat are dental problems; cold symptoms; fever; chills; headache; or mild skin rash.
These are not a complete set of side effects which you may experience due to Orlistat usage. There may be other side effects. Discuss about the side effects with your doctor.
Orlistat Dosing Information
The normal dosage of Orlistat is 120mg orally thrice a day with fat containing main meal. You can take the medication with the meal or within 1 hour of eating. Your doctor may prescribe you a different dosage. Stick to it strictly.
Interaction with other drugs
Other drugs may interact with the working of Orlistat. Let your doctor know if you are using any other medications, especially these ones: cyclosporine; a vitamin or mineral supplement that has vitamin E or beta carotene; digoxin; a blood thinner such as warfarin; insulin or oral diabetes medications; or evothyroxine.
The drugs mentioned above are not the only ones which may interact with Orlistat (Obelit, Xenical, or Alli). There may be others as well. Share the list of all medicines you use at present with your doctor and never start a new medication on your own.
|US Brand Name||Alli|
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