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Xenical (orlistat)

What is Xenical?

Xenical is a prescription weight-loss drug manufactured by Roche.

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Xenical (Orlistat) 120mg Xenical (Orlistat) 120mg £0.47 per capsule Prescription only Start questionnaire

What are the key benefits of Xenical?

In a 4 year official trial, 60% of patients taking Xenical in conjunction with a moderate diet achieved weight loss of 5% of their body weight after 12 weeks. 62% of these went on to lose 10% of their body weight after one year. In addition, the weight loss delayed the development of type 2 diabetes during the study.

How does Xenical work?

Xenical works by preventing enzymes in the intestine from breaking down dietary fats into a form that can be absorbed into the body. As a result, around 30% of the fat in the diet is passed through the digestive system without being absorbed and calorie intake reduces, thus achieving weight loss.

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How to take Xenical?

The usual dose of Xenical is one 120 mg capsule taken with each of the three main meals per day. It can be taken immediately before or during a meal, or up to one hour after eating.

It should be taken with a well-balanced, calorie controlled diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables and contains an average of 30% of the calories from fat. Your daily intake of fat, carbohydrate and protein should be distributed over three meals. This means you will usually take one capsule at breakfast, one capsule at lunch and one capsule at dinner. To gain optimal benefit, avoid the intake of food containing fat between meals, such as biscuits, chocolate and savoury snacks. Xenical only works in the presence of dietary fat, if you miss a main meal or if you have a meal containing no fat, Xenical need not be taken.

If you take any vitamin supplements you should wait for 2 hours after taking Xenical before you take your vitamin.

Is Xenical suitable for me?

Xenical should only be taken if prescribed by a registered doctor. Xenical should not be taken by people suffering with chronic malabsorption syndrome, cholestasis (a problem with the secretion of bile into the digestive system), or by pregnant or breast-feeding women. For women who are taking an oral contraceptive pill, the use of an additional protection method is recommended to prevent a possible failure of oral contraception, which could occur in the case of severe diarrhoea. Xenical can also interact with other medication, so it is important to tell your doctor about all medication you are taking before they prescribe Xenical.

If you do not lose at least 5% of your body weight after 12 weeks, then you should stop taking Xenical as it is unlikely to work for you.

What are the side effects of Xenical?

Like all medicines Xenical can cause side effects, but many people will not get them. The most common are headaches, chest infections, and side effects involving the digestive system such as an urgent or increased need to open the bowels, flatulence with discharge, an oily discharge, and oily or fatty stools. Rarely an allergic reaction can occur and if you feel unwell when taking Xenical or any side effects become serious you should consult your doctor immediately.

Please consult the full list of Xenical side effects on the patient information leaflet provided with your treatment before starting to take it. Details of this can also be found here.

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