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  • check-iconReduces the amount of fat absorbed by the body
  • check-iconMHRA approved
  • check-iconprescribed by UK clinicians



Orlistat is an effective drug for weight loss. By restricting the number of calories your body absorbs, you force your body to take in less calories despite consuming the same amount as usual.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Orlistat

What is Orlistat?

Orlistat is a medication used for weight loss. It works by blocking the enzyme lipase, which is responsible for breaking down dietary fats in the intestine. By inhibiting lipase, Orlistat prevents the absorption of about one-third of the fat consumed in a meal. The undigested fat passes through the body in the stool, which can cause some unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects such as oily stools, gas, and fecal urgency. Orlistat is available as a prescription medication under the brand name Xenical and as an over-the-counter medication under the brand name Alli. It is typically used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise to help individuals achieve weight loss.


How does Orlistat work?

Orlistat works by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called lipase, which is responsible for breaking down dietary fats in the intestine. Normally, lipase breaks down fats into smaller molecules that can be absorbed into the body and used for energy. However, when Orlistat is taken, it binds to the lipase enzyme and prevents it from breaking down fats. As a result, the undigested fat passes through the body and is excreted in the stool.

By blocking the absorption of dietary fat, Orlistat reduces the number of calories that the body can take in from food. This can help people who are trying to lose weight by creating a calorie deficit. However, it's important to note that Orlistat only blocks the absorption of about one-third of the fat consumed in a meal, so it's not a magic weight loss solution. To achieve significant weight loss with Orlistat, it's important to also follow a reduced-calorie diet and engage in regular physical activity.

Can I take Orlistat with my other medication(s)?

Before taking Orlistat, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider about any other medications you're taking, as well as any medical conditions you have. Orlistat can interact with certain medications, which can affect their effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects.

In particular, Orlistat can reduce the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. This can lead to deficiencies in these vitamins if Orlistat is taken for an extended period of time. Therefore, your healthcare provider may recommend that you take a multivitamin supplement while taking Orlistat to ensure that you're getting enough of these important nutrients.

Orlistat can also interact with other medications, such as cyclosporine, which is used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients, and some anticoagulant medications such as warfarin. If you're taking any medications, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider before starting Orlistat to ensure that there are no potential interactions.