Xenical, otherwise known as orlistat in its generic form, works by reducing the amount of fat absorbed during digestion. Orlistat is an effective method of weight loss for many obese and overweight people in the UK.
This is a generic product, therefore depending on availability, the brand you receive may not be the same as the one pictured.
What Is Xenical?
Xenical (Orlistat 120mg) is a prescription medication that can help in the treatment of
weight-loss. Xenical prevents your body from absorbing the fat from the food you eat. By
reducing the amount of fat which is absorbed, Xenical can help you to lose weight more easily.
Xenical works within the digestive system, inhibiting the absorption of fat into the body. Xenical attaches itself to the enzymes in your digestive system (lipases) and blocks them from breaking down up to a third of the fat you have eaten during your meal.
This undigested fat cannot be absorbed and is eventually excreted from your body. This allows Xenical to act as an effective weight loss treatment when used in conjunction with a healthy, low calorie diet.
In clinical studies, almost two-thirds of people treated with Xenical weight loss pills successfully lost at least 5% of their body weight after 2 years, when used alongside a healthy diet. In comparison, only half of the people treated with diet alone managed to lose 5% of their weight.
Using Xenical to support weight loss in conjunction with a healthy diet can lower a number of weight-related health risks. Studies show that weight loss with Xenical can:
- Decrease total and LDL cholesterol (level of low-density lipoprotein – also known as bad cholesterol)
- Improve your ratio of bad to good cholesterol (LDL/HDL cholesterol)
- Reduce blood pressure
- Reduce levels of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that allows glucose or sugar to enter the body's cells — high levels are associated with coronary heart disease
- Reduce the risk or delay the progression to type 2 diabetes in patients
Xenical vs. other weight loss methods
There are typically two different kinds of weight-loss prescription medications. Some medications are appetite suppressants and others work within the digestive system to prevent fat absorption.
While there are hundreds of weight loss products on the market, it is crucial that individuals looking for medication only ever order prescriptions from reputable, regulated pharmacies. Purchasing from other online sources can be extremely dangerous.
How to Take Xenical
The recommended dose of Xenical is one 120-mg capsule by mouth with liquid alongside each main meal containing fat.
You should take Xenical up to three times a day in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet. Each time you take Xenical, your nutritionally balanced meal should contain no more than about 30% of calories from fat. You should evenly divide your daily intake of fat, carbohydrates and protein over three main meals.
Take Xenical during meals or up to 1 hour after a meal. If you occasionally miss a meal or have a meal without fat, you can omit your dose of Xenical. Doses above 120 mg three times daily have not been shown to provide an additional weight-loss benefit.
When you start taking Xenical you will be given a weight loss target for the first 3 months. This target is 5% of your total body weight. If you succeed in losing 5% of your weight, you will be eligible to continue taking Xenical. Pharmacists can supply Xenical for up to two years.
Each time Xenical is supplied you will need to supply your pharmacist with your current weight. If your weight goes up at all within a three month period, Xenical will need to be stopped. If you lose enough weight for your BMI to fall below 28, Xenical can no longer be supplied. This is because a BMI of 30 is the minimum value which indicates obesity.
Like all prescription medications, Xenical carries a small risk of side effects. However, side effects of Xenical are usually mild and are not experienced by all people.
Common side-effects of this weight loss medication include:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Urgent or frequent need to open bowels
- Flatulence with discharge
- Oily discharge
- Oily, liquid or fatty stools
Individuals with type 2 diabetes may experience low blood sugar levels. Reducing the amount of fat in your diet can help reduce any digestive side effects of Xenical.
Because Xenical works by altering your body's fat absorption, some fat-soluble vitamins can be affected. You should take a daily multivitamin supplement that contains vitamins A, D, E and K and beta carotene once a day at least 2 hours before or after taking Xenical, such as at bedtime.
Individuals who may be unsuitable for the use of Xenical include:
- Pregnant women and breastfeeding women
- Those with an allergy to orlistat
- People with thyroid disorders
- Sufferers of cholestasis (gallbladder problems)
- People with kidney stones or other kidney problems
- People with eating disorders
For more information, refer to the patient leaflet included with the medication.
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment. The patient information can be found here .
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