Xenical is a very popular and effective weight loss medication. Orlistat is the active ingredient in Xenical.

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What is Xenical?

Xenical is a very popular and effective weight loss medication. Orlistat is the active ingredient in Xenical.

Xenical is used in combination with a balanced diet (reduced calories) and an exercise program to help people lose weight. Exercise and a balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy weight even when you stop taking your medication.

How does it work?

Xenical (Orlistat) is in a class of medications called lipase inhibitors. It works by preventing some of the fat in foods (approximately one-third) from being absorbed in the intestines. This unabsorbed fat is then removed from the body in the stool.

Xenical does not affect the hormonal balance within your brain or have an impact on your hunger receptors.

Clinical studies have shown that Xenical combined with diet and exercise, results in greater weight loss than diet alone. Xenical, has been the subject in over 100 clinical studies. That makes Xenical one of the most thoroughly studied weight loss drugs in the world, used by more than 50 million people.

Is Xenical suitable for me?

Xenical should only be used by people who have a BMI of 25 or more (BMI stands for Body Mass Index, or an estimate of body fat)

Patients should be over the age of 18 years

Should be used along with a reduced-calorie/low-fat diet

Xenical is not suitable for women who are pregnant, or breastfeeding

Xenical is also not suitable for patients with food absorption difficulties or reduced bile flow.

It is particularly effective if you have previously found it difficult to lose weight with diet and exercise alone.

Xenical is used in overweight people who may also have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease

Xenical is also used after weight-loss to help people keep from gaining back that weight.

How to use Xenical

Xenical comes as a capsule to take by mouth. The standard dose is one 120 mg capsule, and it is usually taken three times a day with each main meal that contains fat. Take Xenical during a meal or up to 1 hour after a meal. If a meal is missed or does not have fat, you may skip your dose. Follow the directions on your prescription label or the package label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.

To ensure your results are good and the weight loss is long lasting, it is important to combine Xenical with exercise and a balanced diet containing no more than 30% fat.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose you can take it within an hour of your meal but do not take a double dose.

Missed meal

If you miss a meal or have a meal that has zero fat in it, you do not need to take your dose of Xenical as it only works in the presence of fat in your diet.

How long is the treatment for?

If you have not had a reduction of at least 5% of body after 12 weeks, we recommend you stop using Xenical.

Side effects & precautions

Do not take Xenical if:

  • You have an allergy to Orlistat or any other medications.
  • If you are on immunosuppressants (speak to your doctor first)
  • If you have had an organ transplant
  • If you have cholestasis (condition in which the flow of bile from the liver is blocked)
  • You have malabsorption syndrome (problems absorbing food)
  • You have an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia
  • If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding

Xenical may cause side effects. The most common side effect of Xenical is changes in bowel movement (BM) habits. This generally occurs during the first weeks of treatment; however, it may continue throughout your use of Xenical. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Oily spotting on underwear or on clothing
  • Gas with oily spotting
  • Urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • Loose stools
  • Oily or fatty stools
  • Increased number of bowel movements
  • Difficulty controlling bowel movements
  • Pain or discomfort in the rectum (bottom)
  • Stomach pain
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Headache
  • Anxiety

Serious side-effects

  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Severe or continuous stomach pain
  • Excessive tiredness or weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Light-coloured stools

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects listed on the attached leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the internet at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

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