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Orlistat 60mg is a prescription medicine that’s used to support weight loss in obese patients. The medicine reduces the risk of further weight gain, and can help to prevent weight regain following a loss. However, as Orlistat does not directly contribute towards weight loss, it is best used alongside a suitable diet and exercise programme. Orlistat may sometimes be available without prescription if under the supervision of a pharmacist.
How Orlistat Works
Orlistat is a Lipase Inhibitor. This means that the medicine binds to enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract called Lipases, preventing the Lipases from absorbing fatty acids, cholesterol, and some fat-soluble vitamins from foods. Overall, Orlistat can prevent around 30% of fat from being absorbed by the body. This fat is excreted as waste.
Orlistat is often prescribed to treat:
- Rapid weight gain
- Obesity-related conditions such as hypertension
Orlistat tablets can be taken with water up to three times a day, either during a meal, or within one hour after eating. However, the medicine is only required when consuming a meal that contains fat, so should only be taken as needed.
Your doctor may suggest a limited course of up to three months, after which a review is usually recommended. Typically, longer courses of Orlistat are only advised for those who have successfully lost 5% or more of their body weight within a three month period. Alternative treatments may be advised for those not seeing desired results on Orlistat.
Orlistat Side Effects
Orlistate is generally considered to be safe when taken as prescribed. However, as with many medications, some patients may experience mild side effects, including:
- Fatty or oily stool
- Needing to use the toilet urgently or more frequently
- Oily discharge from the bottom
- Increased flatulence
- Stomach discomfort or pain
- Common cold symptoms
Side effects are more likely when consuming a diet high in fat. To minimise side effects, it is best to follow a healthy, low fat diet. A low fat diet can also support weight loss.
It is important for patients to read the patient information leaflet in the packaging for a full list of possible side effects from taking Orlistat. Always consult with the prescribing doctor if side effects persist. If experiencing difficulty breathing, call 999 immediately.
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