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What is Xenical?

Xenical is a prescribed medicine that contains 120mg of the active ingredient, orlistat, and can be used to treat obesity. Typical dosage instructions are 1 tablet to be swallowed with water either just before, during, or up to 1 hour after each of your three main daily meals. This course of treatment is usually prescribed for 12 weeks.

Who can use it?

Xenical is typically considered for adults classed as obese (having a BMI of 30+) who are struggling to lose weight. Your doctor may also prescribe Xenical if your BMI is 28 or higher and you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

Make your doctor aware of any existing health conditions so they can ensure Xenical is suitable for you to take. They’ll also need to know what other medicines you’re currently taking.

Who can't use it?

Xenical isn’t suitable if you:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Have an allergy to orlistat or any of the other ingredients found in Xenical

  • Live with the liver condition known as choleostasis

  • Have chronic malabsorption syndrome (limited ability to absorb nutrients)

Make your doctor aware of any existing health conditions so they can ensure Xenical is suitable for you to take. They’ll also need to know what other medicines you’re currently taking.

How it works

Xenical works by attaching itself to enzymes in your digestive system and stopping them from breaking down approximately one-third of the fat you eat during meals. Rather than being digested and absorbed, this fat is removed from the body as waste when you poo. Essentially this helps to limit weight gain and is most effective when combined with regular exercise and a low-calorie diet.

Will it help me to lose weight?

Studies have shown that Xenical can be effective in helping people to lose weight. As with all medicated weight loss treatments, results will vary from person to person. Weight loss is influenced by many different factors, but there are steps you can take to maximise the effectiveness of your treatment. Take the medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor and follow any additional guidance they give you.

Weight loss treatments have been found to be most effective when used in conjunction with a low-calorie diet and regular physical activity. Aim for a calorie deficit each day (where you’re burning more calories through activity than you’re consuming through food and drink).

Frequently asked questions

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