Three facts you should know about Orlistat

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Does orlistat work for everyone?

Orlistat isn't effective for everyone and is by no means a miracle weight loss pill. Orlistat is recommended if you are overweight and if previous weight-reducing efforts have not worked. As long as you follow a sensible, balanced diet, as well as exercise regularly, you'll have a good chance of losing weight.

Orlistat will usually only be recommended if you have made a significant effort to lose weight through diet, exercise or changing your lifestyle. Even then, orlistat is only prescribed if you have a: body mass index (BMI) of 28 or more, and other weight-related conditions, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.

Your BMI: Must be 30 or above; or. Must be 28 or above, and you have a medical condition that would benefit from losing weight (such as diabetes or high blood pressure).

You must lose at least 5% of your weight by three months from starting orlistat; if not, treatment should be stopped.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a safety review of orlistat in 2010 because of rare reports of serious liver injury in people using it. The FDA found no evidence to confirm that orlistat was the cause of the reported liver injuries.

Eat some starchy carbohydrate such as bread, potato, rice and pasta at each meal. These are low in fat and will help to make you feel full. For most people the range is between 12-72 hrs. In clinical studies, once orlistat was stopped, baseline levels returned by about 72 hours.

Does orlistat work?

Orlistat is a medicine which can help you to lose weight if you are overweight or obese.One way to help with weight loss is to reduce the amount of fat in your diet. Orlistat works by interfering with the way that fat is digested and absorbed into the body.

Studies have shown that, on average, orlistat, plus a weight-reducing diet and exercise, causes more weight loss than a weight-reducing diet and exercise alone. Some people lose 10% or more of their body weight within six months with the help of orlistat. In others, it is less effective,

Doctors usually calculate whether you are underweight, in the 'ideal' weight range, overweight or obese based on your BMI or Body Mass Index. You can work out your BMI from our BMI calculator.If you are overweight or obese. Orlistat works by blocking chemicals (enzymes) in your gut which digest fat. Nearly a third of the fat that you eat is blocked by orlistat. The undigested fat is not absorbed into your body and is passed out with your stools (faeces). The normal dose is one capsule - 120 mg, three times a day with each meal. However, you do not need to take one if there is no fat in the meal or if you miss a meal.

Studies have shown that, on average, orlistat, plus a weight-reducing diet and exercise, causes more weight loss than a weight-reducing diet and exercise alone. Some people lose 10% or more of their body weight within six months with the help of orlistat. In others, it is less effective.One reason why orlistat may not work is that you may think that you can relax your weight-reducing diet, and the orlistat will do it all. This is not true. In order to lose weight you still have to eat less and exercise regularly. Remember, orlistat prevents only some of the fat that you eat from being absorbed (just under a third). But, if you do not keep to a healthy weight-reducing diet, and you eat more fat (chocolates, cakes, etc), the extra fat that you eat will easily cancel out the effect of the orlistat.

What are the side effects of orlistat?

Obesity has reached epidemic levels nationwide. It is associated with increased risk of many other diseases, including diabetes, coronary heart disease, and certain cancers.including a reduced-calorie diet, increased physical activity, and behavior therapy, should be the cornerstone of any weight-loss program. Drug therapy should always be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes. Orlistat provides an FDA-approved OTC option for weight loss. Patients should be educated about the importance of continued behavior modification if orlistat is added.

Because the absorption of orlistat is minimal, there are very few systemic effects. Common adverse effects are gastrointestinal (GI) and are caused by the increased amount of fat in the GI tract. These effects may include flatulence with discharge, fecal urgency, oily spotting, fatty or oily stool, abdominal pain or discomfort, and increased defecation. These symptoms seem to improve over time, usually lasting no longer than 4 weeks. Rarely, severe liver injury has been reported with orlistat use, but a causal relationship has not been established. Patients should be instructed to stop taking orlistat and to speak with their healthcare provider if they develop signs and symptoms of liver injury, including itching, yellowed eyes or skin, dark urine, fever, right-upper-quadrant abdominal pain, or loss of appetite.

Some common side effects include flatulence, frequent bowel movements, soft stool, oily rectal leakage, and abdominal pain. Speak with a healthcare provider if any of these side effects become severe or troublesome. If you experience any serious side effects, such as hives, rash, skin blistering, right-sided upper stomach or abdominal pain, pain radiating toward the back, or fever, stop taking the medication and immediately contact a healthcare provider.


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