Phentermine is a well-known weight loss treatment, but it is not NHS approved and therefore not prescribed by GPs in the UK. However, there is an equivalent, alternative weight loss treatment called Orlistat that is widely used throughout the country.
Orlistat is the generic and unbranded version of the medication, it is also sold as a brand called Xenical.
In this article, we explore the differences between the medications and explain how Orlistat and Xenical can help you lose weight.
ORLISTAT VS PHENTERMINE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Orlistat and Xenical can stop up to 30% of the fat you’re eating from being absorbed into your body. It works by blocking enzymes that break down fat in the body (called lipases), therefore preventing you from gaining any more weight.
Please note this does not burn the fat that is currently in your body, which is why it should be used as a part of a weight management programme to help you lose weight.
It is offered to people who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30. However, it may also be offered to people who have a BMI of over 28 who have a medical condition such as Type 2 Diabetes or high blood pressure.
Following strict testing by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Orlistat and Xenical are the only NHS approved weight loss drugs in the UK.
Phentermine blocks neurotransmitters in your brain to suppress your appetite and make you feel less hungry, therefore limiting the number of calories you eat.
Phentermine is not NHS approved, so you cannot be prescribed these weight loss pills in the UK by a GP. However, you may get this treatment from private slimming clinics. Read our blog to find out more about why you can’t be prescribed Phentermine in the UK.
DOES PHENTERMINE OR ORLISTAT CAUSE ADDICTION?
As with some prescription drugs, there is a potential for it to become addictive, but you are less likely to become addicted to Orlistat.
The reason Phentermine has such tight restrictions is because it’s a controlled substance. It is a stimulant that can increase levels of hormones, like dopamine and serotonin, providing a similar effect to amphetamines which means they can be addictive.
HOW DOES ORLISTAT TARGET FAT LOSS?
Orlistat is only prescribed to people who already have tried to lose weight naturally but found they need extra help.
Orlistat targets the fat that you eat to prevent you from gaining weight, it does not burn the fat that you currently have in your body. So, Orlistat should be taken as a part of a weight management programme, this includes between 4-5 days of exercise a week (for a minimum of 30 minutes per session) and eating a well-balanced diet.
If after 12 weeks you have not lost at least 5% of your body weight, you may need to explore other treatment methods.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORLISTAT AND XENICAL?
Both Orlistat and Xenical contain the same active ingredient (Orlistat) and have the same effect on the body, the main difference between the two weight loss treatments is the price.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF WEIGHT LOSS PILLS?
Orlistat (and Xenical) are the only NHS-approved weight loss pills in the UK, which means they have been tested by the MRHA. But you still need to look out for certain things when exploring weight loss treatments.
There are thousands of fake weight loss pills available and because they are not approved or regulated, they can be very dangerous. Some fake weight loss pills have been known to cause weight gain rather than loss. In some instances, they may even lead cause more serious health problems.
There are also some misleading diet supplements on the market. They are not technically classed as medicine, so they don’t get tested by the MHRA, this means that any claims of weight loss are dubious.
The safest way to buy weight loss treatments is to purchase them through registered pharmacies like PostMyMeds.
BUY ORLISTAT AND XENICAL FROM POSTMYMEDS
PostMyMeds is a pharmacy registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), so you can trust that all the products we stock are regulated and entirely safe for use.