Orlistat is an effective weight loss medication for people with a BMI over 30. If your BMI is 28 or more, and you have other conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes, then you may also benefit from orlistat.
This unbranded version of Xenical is used by doctors or pharmacists for treating obesity in patients with a weight management plan, that also includes diet and exercise.
It works by attaching itself to enzymes found in your gut – known as lipases – that break down fats, so they can be absorbed into the body’s cells. By blocking these enzymes, orlistat can prevent up to 30% of the dietary fat you eat from being absorbed.
The undigested fat then simply passes through the gastrointestinal system and leaves the body as waste. For this to work, you must carefully control your calorie intake and manage how much fat you eat throughout the day.
- Aim to have a well-balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables
- Reduce the amount of fat in your diet by cutting out dairy and sugary treats
- Exercise three to five times a week for 30 minutes or more
Your calorie intake should be spread evenly throughout the day, and each meal should contain around 30% fat. If your meal is 1000 calories then 300 of these should be fat.
This will help ensure the right balance of fat absorption.
How to take orlistat tablets
The recommended dose of orlistat is one tablet (120mg) three times a day. It should be taken with water immediately before, during or up to one hour after your meal.
Orlistat should only be taken as part of a weight loss programme, and your weight should be carefully monitored. We recommend taking it for an initial period of 12 weeks, but it may be taken for longer, if you lose 5% of your body weight.
If you haven’t lost this amount of weight within 12 weeks of regularly taking orlistat, then it may not be the right treatment for you.
Clinical trials have proven that using orlistat is a more effective way to lose weight than dieting and exercise alone. However, it’s important to remember that weight loss is a gradual process, and you will not see results straight away.
We recommend reading the patient information leaflet before you start treatment.
As with all prescription drugs, orlistat can cause side effects in some people. These include:
- abdominal pain, bloating or discomfort
- fatty or oily stools
- loose stools
Patients who stick to low fat diets are much less likely to experience common side effects, such as these.
If you normally take the contraceptive pill and you experience a bad bout of diarrhoea whilst taking orlistat, then the pill may not be absorbed and you should use a condom until you feel well again and as directed by the patient information leaflet or your GP for your specific pill.
Orlistat can interfere with the way the body absorbs vitamins A, D, E, and K (fat-soluble vitamins). To counter this, we recommend taking a multi-vitamin before going to bed or two hours after taking your last dose of orlistat.
For more information on side effects in orlistat, talk to your pharmacist or doctor, or download the patient information leaflet.
What’s the difference between orlistat and Xenical?
Xenical is the branded version of orlistat. They both contain the same active ingredient (orlistat) and work in the same way, but because orlistat is unbranded, it is cheaper.
Can I drink alcohol while taking orlistat?
Drinking alcohol does not interfere with orlistat, but it does contain calories and this is counterproductive to a weight loss programme. Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink will help you reach your weight loss goal quicker.
What should I do if I forget to take it?
If you forget to take your orlistat tablet and it is still within an hour of your last meal, then you should take the missing dose. If the time allowed has passed, you should wait until your next meal and take 120mg of orlistat as normal.
Never take extra tablets to make up for missed doses.
Should I still take it if I haven’t eaten anything?
If you miss a meal, or you eat a meal without any fat in it, then do not take orlistat. Wait until your next main meal and continue taking it as normal.
Can you take orlistat if you have a health condition?
If you have a serious health condition, such as type 2 diabetes, kidney disease or high blood pressure then you should talk to your doctor before you start treatment. They may need to alter your medication.
Type 2 diabetes can slow down the rate of weight loss, and it may take longer to reach your target weight.
How do I buy orlistat online?
It’s easy to buy orlistat UK online from Post My Meds in just a few simple steps:
- Complete an online consultation
- Select your treatment
- Pay for your order
We ask all our customers to complete a short online consultation before they pay for their order. Once your order has been received, one of our pharmacists will review your answers to check that you are eligible to take orlistat – we only sell medication where it is safe to do so.
You should answer honestly and never buy medicine on behalf of someone else.
Orders placed before 4pm on a weekday or 11am on a Saturday are dispatched the same day. Orders placed after this are dispatched the next working day.
Delivery is free with Post My Meds.
Will my order be packaged discreetly?
All orders are sent out in discreet, unbranded packaging to protect your privacy. The only thing on there will be your name and address.
Is it safe to buy medicines online?
Post My Meds is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council, and abides by the same laws and ethical practices as other high street pharmacies.
Everything we sell is approved by the UK’s regulatory body for medicines and healthcare products (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).
For further information about orlistat, read our frequently asked questions.
If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, download the patient information leaflet, or contact our friendly team at Post My Meds.