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Orlistat is a drug intended to treat obesity. In most countries Orlistat is marketed by a Swiss health-care company F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., but orlistat is also available under Alli trade name, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline British company.

Orlistat is also known as tetrahydrolipstatin.

How does it work?

Orlistat active component is the saturated derivative of lipstatin. It prevents fats absorption from the human diet and reduces caloric intake. Orlistat proved to be effective if taken during a special reduced-calorie diet. The amount of weight loss may vary from 5 to 35% decrease in body mass in the course of one-year treatment. Besides, Orlistat also reduces blood pressure and decreases type 2 diabetes incidence.

How to take Orlistat?

The standard treatment involves taking Orlistat 120 mg three times a day before meals.

Is Orlistat for me?

Your doctor can give you the answer to this question by checking your BMI (body mass index). If you are not going to visit your doctor, than you should know that Orlistat is a treatment for considerably over-weighted people who are at risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

What are the side-effects of Orlistat?

Orlistat pills may cause gastrointestinal side effects, among which are:

  • steatorrhea, or oily rectal discharge;
  • abdominal pain;
  • passing gas with oily discharge;
  • fecal incontinence;
  • urgent bowel movements;
  • inability to control bowel movements;
  • diarrhoea.

Besides, Orlistat may cause headache, severe liver, gallbladder and kidney problems. Seek medical care if you suspect any of the above-mentioned side-effects. Side effects are more likely to appear at the beginning of the therapy and tent to decrease and disappear in the course of treatment. To eliminate the risk of side effects you should avoid high-fat foods.


You should consult the doctor before taking Orlistat if you suffer from one of the following:

  • malabsorption syndrome;
  • hypersensitivity or allergy to orlistat or other Orlistat ingredients;
  • liver or kidney problems;
  • pancreatic disease;
  • reduced gallbladder, or cholestasis.

Pregnant, breastfeeding women and children under 12 should not take Orlistat.

It is also recommended to consult the doctor if you are taking some other medicines.

Orlistat has proved to be an effective treatment for obesity and become number-one choice of people wishing to lose weight.