Orlistat Frequently Asked Questions
What is Orlistat?
Orlistat is a medication used to aid weight loss in overweight or obese individuals. It works by inhibiting the absorption of dietary fat in the digestive system, thereby reducing the number of calories absorbed from fat.
How does Orlistat work?
Orlistat works by blocking the action of lipase, an enzyme produced by the pancreas, which breaks down dietary fat into smaller molecules for absorption. By inhibiting this enzyme, Orlistat reduces the absorption of fat in the intestines, and the undigested fat is eliminated from the body through bowel movements.
How should I take Orlistat?
Orlistat is typically taken orally with each main meal that contains fat, up to three times a day. The recommended dosage and frequency may vary depending on the specific brand and your individual circumstances. Always follow your doctor's instructions or the product's labelling.
Does Orlistat require a prescription?
In many countries, Orlistat is available both as a prescription-only medication and in lower doses as an over-the-counter (OTC) product. However, the availability and regulations may differ depending on your location and local health regulations.
What are the common side effects of Orlistat?
The most common side effects of Orlistat are related to its mechanism of action and include oily or fatty stools, increased frequency of bowel movements, gas with discharge, and stomach discomfort. These side effects are usually mild and improve over time as your body adjusts to the medication.
Who should not take Orlistat?
Orlistat may not be suitable for everyone. It is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, individuals with chronic malabsorption syndrome, or those with gallbladder problems. If you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications, it's essential to consult your doctor before starting Orlistat.
How effective is Orlistat for weight loss?
Orlistat can be an effective aid for weight loss when combined with a reduced-calorie diet and regular physical activity. Clinical studies have shown that it can help people lose more weight compared to diet and exercise alone.
Can Orlistat interact with other medications?
Orlistat may interact with certain medications, including some fat-soluble vitamins and some drugs used to manage diabetes. To avoid potential interactions, inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and vitamins you are taking before starting Orlistat.
How long should I take Orlistat?
The duration of Orlistat use can vary based on individual weight loss goals and health considerations. Your doctor will guide you on the appropriate duration based on your progress and overall health.
Is Orlistat suitable for long-term use?
Orlistat is generally considered safe for long-term use when used as directed and under the supervision of a healthcare professional. However, it is essential to monitor its effects on your body and make any necessary adjustments with the guidance of your doctor.
Remember, this information is for general reference only. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new medication, including Orlistat, to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your specific needs and health conditions.