Orlistat (Xenical, Alli): info about this drug to lose weight and reviews

There are a thousand and one ways to lose weight, and the slimming industry is full of myths and miracle recipes that don't always work. In some cases, we manage to lose those extra pounds… to resume them a few weeks later. This is why many people who want to lose weight set their sights on medications or dietary supplements. Among these pharmaceuticals is Orlistat, a well-known molecule that has a proven track record in the field of weight loss.

Generic orlistat in the American Actavis, Xenical in the Swiss Roche, Alli in the British GlaxoSmithKline, Calobalin in the French Sandoz… Orlistat is a highly prized molecule in the field of weight loss, which has earned it to be sold under different trade names. Indeed, for those who have tried it, orlistat is one of the revolutionary fat burners in the industry because of the great performance attributed to it. But how can this slimming remedy claim such popularity? Here is some information and opinions to know about the Orlistat.

What is Orlistat?

Orlistat is a slimming drug that is aimed at people who are overweight or obese. Its action is to block enzymes and other chemicals in the intestine that digest fats. Nearly a third of the fat that an individual absorbs will thus be blocked by Orlistat, while undigested fat will not be absorbed by the body but rather evacuated via stool.

Orlistat: why lose weight with this slimming drug?

It is all known that the human body absorbs a lot of fat through the digestive tract, which leads to the accumulation of fatty acids. However, fat absorption cannot occur without lipase, an enzyme that can catalyze chemical processes for efficient fat assimilation. Orlistat is known as a lipase inhibitor, allowing it to reduce the absorption of fats in the body by preventing the production of gastrointestinal lipases. As a reminder, lipase is an enzyme secreted by the pancreas to stimulate the process of digestion of triglycerides.

The efficacy of Orlistat as an anti-obesity drug is 100% confirmed by the scientific community, through clinical trials and animal experiments. During these trials, participants took Orlistat with diet and physical activity, leading to a drop of 2 to 3 pounds within a year of treatment. Indeed, Orlistat is able to block up to 30% of fat in most diets, thus reducing the number of calories consumed in a given diet.

Orlistat: a slimming drug that is not suitable for everyone

That's it, you have decided to get rid of these extra pounds, and you have chosen Orlistat as your slimming drug. But before starting any slimming treatment, it is still necessary to make the right choice between the different formulas containing Orlistat. In fact, if Orlistat is so much talked about, it is above all for its role as an active ingredient in two reputable drugs in France. The first is Xenical, a formula heavily dosed at 120 mg, while the second is Alli, a drug dosed at 60 mg.

Regarding the active ingredient itself, you should know that if it does lose weight, Orlistat is not for everyone. In some people, this active substance allows to lose up to 10 kilos per month, while other people do not get any results after months of treatment. So, already, if you do not have to lose more than 5 kilos, you might as well turn to another drug. In reality, Orlistat is only for people who suffer from severe obesity, with a BMI above 30. You might as well warn you that, unless your BMI is greater than 30, this drug is inappropriate or even dangerous for your case. In any case, it is always strongly recommended to seek the advice of a doctor before undertaking any slimming treatment.

Orlistat dosage: What doses to lose weight?

In France, Orlistat exists in two versions: one is sold under medical prescription, while the other is over-the-counter without obligation of prescription and at a lower dose. When the drug is taken under prescription, the treatment must absolutely follow the instructions of the health professional, knowing that the slightest overdose can be risky.

For over-the-counter diet pills like Alli (from GlaxoSmithKline), it is generally advisable to take the dosage of 3 pills a day with meals containing fat, or 1 hour after each meal at the latest. If you skip a meal, or your meal does not contain fat, you are free not to take the diet pill.

Anyway, always referring to the advice of your doctor, follow the indications on the bottle of the drug. And do not hesitate to ask the pharmacist if you have any doubts about the content of the label.

What diet to adopt during treatment?

As we mentioned above, treatment with Orlistat should be accompanied by a low-calorie meal but quite high in fat. However, it is essential to absorb fewer calories than you spend. Thus, you need to practice physical activity adapted to the daily diet. The objective here is to create "undernutrition" without reaching the stage of malnutrition.

There are many low-calorie diets, but perhaps the most famous and prized is Dr. Cohen's low-calorie diet. The idea is to distribute evenly over the three main meals of the day the amount of fat, carbohydrates and protein.

Note, however, that if you take Orlistat with too much fat (percentage of fat greater than 30% of the overall caloric intake), you may suffer from the side effects associated with the slimming drug. Thus, when taking Orlistat, you should avoid foods containing more than 30% fat.

For example, you can consume up to 85 grams of meat, chicken or fish for each meal. For this, it is better to give preference to lean meats and remove the skin of the chicken. In addition to these protein foods, it is advisable to eat grains, fruits and especially vegetables. When preparing your meals, always use vegetable oil, such as soybean or sunflower oil. Whenever possible, avoid prepared or prepackaged meals, as well as processed foods in fast food chains.

In addition, it should be noted that Orlistat prevents the absorption of certain fat-soluble vitamins as well as beta-carotene. To compensate for this shortcoming, you should therefore take multivitamin supplements containing vitamins A, D, E and K as well as beta-carotene.By eating this type of food, you could avoid any deficiency of these vital nutrients and essential for the proper functioning of your body.

Some precautions to take

Like any other slimming medication, Orlistat can cause side effects that may vary in severity from person to person. For many users, they experience unpleasant gastrointestinal disorders, frequent sensations of intestinal movements and yellowish discharge on their underwear. It should be noted, however, that these side effects will decrease as treatment continues. For other side effects, refer to the information leaflet in the vial of the medicine. And to reduce these side effects, make sure you have a diet with at least 20% to 30% of calories from fatty foods.

According to clinical trials, Orlistat is a medically reliable product for long-term use. However, as with any other medication, it should not be used without first consulting the doctor's opinion. Indeed, the active substance may be contraindicated in certain medical pathologies such as hypothyroidism, pancreatitis, liver or kidney problems, diabetes, gallbladder problems and disorders related to the absorption of nutrients in patients. In addition, the drug should never be given to children under 12 years of age and should be kept out of the reach of children.

Side effects of Orlistat

Orlistat is known to have some notable side effects. Hence the interest of consulting the advice of the health professional in most cases, because this drug is not optimal in some people. It can be a drug interaction (which we will detail below), a pathology such as diabetes or hemophilia, or thyroid problems. Hence the importance of specifying these pathologies before taking the drug.

In addition, since Orlistat can influence the functioning of the intestines by inhibiting certain enzymes, it is important that the user does not suffer from problems in the digestive and intestinal system. That is why it is essential to tell your doctor if you have undergone surgery or suffer from cholestasis or pancreatic disorders.

Orlistat side effects include:

  • flatulence,
  • increased number of bowel movements,
  • pain in the rectum,
  • itching and rashes,
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing.

There are also other symptoms that may be more severe: if you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking Orlistat pills and consult your doctor immediately.

  • Hives
  • rash
  • Itching
  • difficulty swallowing,
  • severe stomach pain,
  • continuous fatigue,
  • loss of appetite,
  • urine of dark color,
  • pale stools…

Orlistat: contraindications

The following people should not take Orlistat pills :

  • pregnant or lactating women,
  • persons under 18 years of age,
  • people who suffer from malabsorption syndrome,
  • people with cholestasis (a disorder in the flow of bile from the liver to the duodenum).

You should also know that Orlistat can interfere with the absorption of various drugs and vitamins and affect their mode of action. For example, interaction risks may appear on:

  • certain treatments for HIV and AIDS,
  • ciclosporin,
  • acarbose,
  • levothyroxine,
  • amiodarone,
  • warfarin,
  • some epilepsy medications…

It should also be noted that Orlistat can also influence the effectiveness of contraceptive pills. This is especially the case if you have so much diarrhea that it is not absorbed properly. Hence the interest in informing your doctor or pharmacist of the other medicines you are taking before starting treatment with Orlistat. And be sure to take a multivitamin supplement at bedtime to compensate for the drop in vitamin intake.

Xenical and Alli, two versions of the Orlistat

As a reminder, Orlistat is known by other brands and doses. The main trade name for Orlistat is Xenical, which is also sold in 120 mg tablets and only by prescription. But there is also a version at a dose of 60 mg called, sold without a prescription under the name of Alli.

Xenical : Xenical contains exactly the same active ingredients as Orlistat 120 mg. The bottle is sold in most pharmacies in France.

Alli : Alli also has the same active ingredients as Xenical and Orlistat, except that it is only a dose of 60 mg. As a result, the bottle is sold without a prescription in France, at pharmacy counters as well as on the Internet.

How to get better results with this slimming drug?

Remember that Orlistat is a weight loss medication that is intended for people with a BMI of 30 or more. The drug will work best when combined with a balanced diet, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

You should know that our body is able to absorb fats in their simplest form in order to stimulate digestion. But undigested fats are deposited in various parts of the body. Thus, weight gain occurs as fat accumulates in the body.

However, many slimming drugs on the market are touted for their ability to drain the body and eliminate fat. But unlike these products, Orlistat prevents 30% of fats from being digested in the body. To get all the benefits of weight loss, a balanced diet, a healthy and active lifestyle as well as sports practice are highly recommended.

To do this, take one tablet of Orlistat 120 mg three times a day with your healthy low-calorie meals. Do not eat foods containing more than 30% fat. If your body responds properly to Treatment with Orlistat, you will notice significant weight loss in 3 to 6 months.

Indeed, the slimming power of Orlistat depends largely on the diet adopted and the physical activities practiced. For best results, have patience, discipline and constantly use Orlistat to help you with your weight loss program.

The verdict on the effectiveness of Orlistat

As you can see, we have here an effective weight loss drug. But not so fast! Orlistat is far from being a harmless drug that everyone will be able to use safely.

Just by going through the list of side effects, precautions and warnings associated with this drug, we can only recommend vigilance and we insist on the essential role of the doctor in any slimming cure based on Orlistat.

Of course, you certainly want to lose weight, but certainly not by taking a dangerous drug that can lead to serious damage to your health. In addition, to lose weight with Orlistat, it is essential to follow a strict and frustrating low-calorie diet, a condition that must be accompanied by permanent monitoring by the doctor.

After assessing your state of health, as soon as your doctor confirms that you are obese (BMI greater than 30), the health professional may prescribe generic Orlistat or Xenical. For people who do not have pathologies, the daily dose is 120 mg to be taken 3 times during meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

The 120 mg capsule is to be swallowed with meals, with a sufficient amount of water. If you skip a meal or if your diet does not contain fat, you can reduce the dose of Orlistat.

In any case, the effectiveness of Orlistat against obesity will be greatly amplified if the drug accompanies a low-calorie and balanced diet (containing less than 30% fat). You can also ask your doctor for advice to find the recommended dose.

Finally, note that the dosage of Xenical is not the same for everyone. Indeed, the dose to be taken depends essentially on the weight of the patient, his state of health and the treatments followed. So, when your doctor recommends a different dose from the instructions for use, you should not change your habits without consulting his opinion. Indeed, it is important to be regular in the follow-up of the treatment in order to properly treat obesity and prevent overweight.

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