Orlistat 120mg

Safely Lose Up To 50% More Weight With Orlistat Weight Loss Capsules

Orlistat 120mg
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Orlistat is a licensed weight loss aid that reduces the amount of fat your body absorbs from food.

Orlistat Weight Loss Plan

Orlistat Product Information

Orlistat 120mg is a prescription-only weight loss aid for adult patients with a BMI over 30 or for those with associated risk factors (such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol) and a BMI above 28. It is currently the only approved weight loss medication in the UK and combined with a healthy lower-calorie, reduced-fat diet and exercise it can help you lose more weight than by dieting alone.

Orlistat is the generic name for the active ingredient orlistat at a dose of 120mg.

Unlike an appetite suppressant, the drug reduces the amount of fat absorbed by your body from your food. This active ingredient is what's known as a dietary fat binder. Contrary to popular belief, it does not bind to the fat in the food, rather it binds to the enzymes in your stomach that break down fats. Orlistat attaches to the stomach enzyme lipase, effectively blocking it from breaking down and digesting some fat molecules. This then causes approximately one-third of the fat in the meal not to be absorbed and pass through your system.

Orlistat works by blocking the enzyme that breaks down fat in the stomach. This means that fat in the diet cannot be fully absorbed, assisting in weight loss. When used correctly, clinical studies have found that it can achieve 50% more weight loss compared to dieting alone. Results are also seen quickly, with it increasing fat excretion from the body within 24-48 hours of starting the medication. Orlistat may be suitable for you if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m² or above; or a BMI of above 28 kg/m² with risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. To read more about the efficacy of Orlistat, view our comprehensive blog article, 'How effective is Orlistat?'

Clinical trial data found that approximately 67% of patients who took Orlistat alongside a low-calorie diet successfully lost a minimum of 5% of their body weight after only 12 weeks, of which 62% went on to continue to lose greater than 10% of their body weight after just one year.

The tablets of 120mg orlistat are for those who are medically obese, that is, with a BMI of 30 and above. It is especially useful for those who suffer from a chronic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. You should not take this medication if you are pregnant.

 You can quickly calculate your BMI by entering your height and weight into our BMI calculator.

Swallow a pill whole with water three times a day, either before, during or up to one hour after meals. It is not recommended you take the medicine for more than 6 months and if you don’t see any results after 3 months, discontinue the treatment. You should not take a slimming capsule if you skip a meal or if you eat a meal deficient in fat.

Taking Orlistat makes it more difficult for your body to absorb certain vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K, as a result, these should be supplemented daily. Not many multivitamins contain all the vitamins and minerals required to fully replenish your micronutrient levels. We recommend OneVit Complete, a daily multivitamin specifically formulated to account for the nutrient depletions commonly experienced with Orlistat. Take OneVit Complete once per day, at least 2 hours before or after taking Orlistat, such as at bedtime.

Orlistat starts working immediately. With a healthy diet and an exercise regime, Orlistat can help you lose 5% of your initial body weight after three months of treatment.

It begins to work as soon as you take it and you can see results depending on your lifestyle changes.

Orlistat prevents your body from absorbing a quarter of the fat molecules that you eat. Without this extra fat, your body starts to utilise stored fat to obtain energy for daily activity.

Watch our patient care expert explain everything you need to know about Orlistat.


Orlistat FAQs

Orlistat is approved for sale in the UK as a weight loss treatment. It was originally approved on prescription only as Xenical. The 60mg version was approved for sale without prescription by the European Medicines Agency on the 21st of January 2009.

Orlistat should be taken as a weight loss aid, not as the centre of a weight loss regime. It still takes a healthy diet, exercise and self-motivation to achieve the goals possible while taking this medication. Having a high-fat diet when taking Orlistat can also increase your risk of unwanted side effects. If taken as recommended by the manufacturer, you should be able to lose an extra 50% on top of your current weight loss.

Orlistat is the name of a weight loss medication which reduces the absorption of fat from the diet. Some people may know it by the brand name of Xenical. This is a brand of medication which contains 120mg of orlistat in each capsule, which is the same as our generic Orlistat 120mg capsules. They are medically equivalent and interchangeable, however as Xenical is the branded version, it is more expensive. Alli is another brand of medication which contains the active ingredient of orlistat, however, it only contains 60mg of orlistat in each capsule. This lower dose of orlistat may be preferred as it can reduce the likelihood of experiencing side effects. The lower 60mg dose present in Alli is recommended if you are overweight (BMI 28+), while the higher dose of 120mg in Xenical and orlistat is to help weight loss in obese (BMI 30+) patients. While Xenical and Generic Orlistat are prescription-only medications, Alli is available over the counter from UK pharmacies. More information can be found at What is the difference between Orlistat, Xenical and Alli?

If you are having a meal that contains very low or zero fat, such as green salad without dressing, you should skip your Orlistat capsule. It can be the case that if your diet is very low in fat already, you may only need to take one or two capsules per day.

Not to worry, weight loss is a slow gradual process. Missing one capsule will not harm your weight loss program as each capsule affects only the meal that it is taken before. This means that missing one will not have any knock-on effects for continuing the treatment.

It is not recommended to skip meals during the day. Maintaining a scheduled diet and avoiding unnecessary snacking is the best way to achieve a healthy weight loss plan. A study from The Journal of Nutrition looked into the optimal schedule for eating throughout the day. It found that having breakfast as the largest meal of the day and scaling down the portion sizes throughout the day followed by a long overnight fast is the most optimal schedule.

Orlistat does not directly interact with alcohol, so it is not dangerous to drink alcohol when taking Orlistat. It is, however, very important to note that alcohol contains a high volume of calories and will negatively impact your weight loss regime if not moderated. The effects of alcohol can also affect your decision making when eating and snacking.

We recommend checking the potential Orlistat interactions with other medications in the patient information leaflet.

Orlistat 120mg Overview

What are the side effects of Orlistat?

The main side effects of Orlistat include:

  • oily rectal discharge
  • passing gas with oily discharge
  • abdominal pain
  • low blood sugar
  • urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • liquid, oily, or fatty stools
  • increased number of bowel movements
  • being unable to control your bowel movements

All medications can cause side effects. You may not experience any of them. The majority of the common side effects experienced with Orlistat are related to the way it works in your digestive system. These side effects are usually mild and occur at the beginning of treatment or after eating high fat meals. Normally these symptoms will subside as you continue treatment and follow your recommended diet.

The most common side effects of Orlistat, which may affect more than 1 in 10 people include headache, abdominal pain or discomfort, urgent or increased need to open the bowels, wind, oily discharge or oily/fatty stools.

 Information Leaflet

Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.

Written and reviewed by our qualified team

GPhC Number: 2088658

Carolina Goncalves
Authored by: Carolina Goncalves Superintendent

GPhC Number: 2225869

Rehma Gill
Reviewed by: Rehma Gill Pharmacy

Find out more about our team of medical content authors and how we ensure the accuracy of our content with our content guidelines.

Content last updated: 24 Jun 2024

Orlistat Reviews

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Excellent delivery service. I was also impressed by the thorough consultation 2k down so far
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