If you’re obese, you don’t only worry about what others think, but you also worry about medical problems and diseases associated with being extremely overweight. There’s no doubt that the condition can affect your everyday life. Fortunately, there are ways to solve this problem, including following a healthy diet, doing some regular exercise, and taking Orlistat.
How Does Orlistat Help With Weight Loss
Orlistat, also known as Alli or Xenical, is a weight-loss medication formulated to treat obesity and weight loss. It works by hindering the absorption of some fat in your diet. Usually, the fat from your diet is broken down by lipases and absorbed through your digestive tract. What Orlistat does is it stops lipases that break down fat from doing their job correctly.
Orlistat specifically inhibits pancreatic lipase, meaning your fat consumption doesn’t get digested, reducing the number of calories you absorb. It is estimated that 30% of the fat you consume can pass undigested through your body and is eliminated through bowel movements. That means that there’s no point in eating a high-fat diet since you will just poop out any extra fat you consume.
When taken on its own, the weight-loss pill may not help with weight loss, as it doesn’t burn existing fat. For Orlistat to work, you should use it in conjunction with a healthy, low-calorie diet and regular exercise.
How Should You Take Orlistat
The weight-loss pill is available in two types: Alli and Xenical. Alli is the over-the-counter dose (60mg) of Orlistat, while Xenical is the prescription dose (120 mg). Both Alli and Xenical work in the same way- preventing fat in your diet from being absorbed into your body.
Orlistat’s maximum dose is 1 tablet (120 mg) three times per day. Take 1 tablet an hour before eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You should continue taking the weight-loss pill for 3 months to see if it’s useful in losing weight. If you don’t notice any significant changes in your weight, your doctor may advise you to stop taking it.
How Long Does Orlistat Take to Work
Orlistat starts working right after your first use. However, you won’t be able to see dramatic changes in your body until 6 weeks. Orlistat can help you drop the extra pounds as long as you take it as directed and as a part of a comprehensive weight-loss program. Orlistat alone cannot help you lose weight, but when taken alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise, Orlistat can help jumpstart your journey to losing weight.
During your first weeks of taking Orlistat for weight loss, you may experience diarrhea. This is the most common side effect of taking Orlistat. Diarrhea stems from how the weight-loss pill works on your body- expelling dietary fats through the bowels. However, this side effect isn’t dangerous and should go away in time.
Although Orlistat is an effective weight loss aid, some factors may prevent it from working effectively. For example, not taking Orlistat strictly as recommended can influence its effectiveness.
What are the Side Effects of Taking Orlistat
While the Orlistat success rate in aiding weight loss is high, you may experience several side effects. Although side effects are common in most weight loss pills, it is still preferable to know which side effects to watch out for and your chances of experiencing them.
Common side effects of Orlistat are diarrhea, headaches, stomach pains or discomfort, colds, increased flatulence, increased bowel movements, oily discharge from the anus. These side effects are temporary and should pass with time. However, if you have them for prolonged periods, consult with your doctor right away.
Orlistat has less common side effects, such as rectal pain or discomfort, lower respiratory tract infections, fatigue, irregular periods, bloating, gum or teeth disorders, and softer feces. Again, if you experience any of these less common side effects and symptoms start to get worse, talk to your doctor.
Some users experience allergic reactions as a side effect of taking Orlistat. The reaction can be in the form of hives or rash, difficulty breathing, and swelling in the throat, lips, tongue, and face. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical help as soon as possible.
Where Can You Get Orlistat
Orlistat, in the form of Alli, is an available over-the-counter medication. This means that you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to purchase it. However, pharmacists are advised to evaluate your suitability for Orlistat based on the following factors: age, weight, height, BMI, health status, and other factors that contribute to excess weight.
Once Orlistat is dispensed, the pharmacist should explain the pill’s dosage and the possible side effects.
Even when you can buy Orlistat without a prescription, it is still best to consult your doctor and have him assess whether the weight loss medication is right for you. Your doctor is the best person to tell you exactly how to get the best results from Orlistat. Besides, Orlistat may interact with other drugs you’re taking.
Which Drugs Interact with Orlistat
The weight-loss medicine may reduce the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E. To avoid the interaction, you should not take Orlistat and your vitamin supplement at the same time. Take Orlistat at least two hours before or after you take your vitamin supplement.
Although certain medicines should not be co-administered, in other cases, two different drugs may be co-administered as long as the user follows certain precautions. Using Orlistat with Levothyroxine, Sandimmune, and Warfarin is usually not recommended but may be required in some cases. You can take Orlistat alongside any of these medicines, provided that your doctor changes the dose or specifies when to take the medication.
When Orlistat and Levothyroxine interact with each other, you may suffer from hypothyroidism. This is why most doctors make sure that you avoid the interaction by taking Levothyroxine two hours before or after Orlistat.
The same applies to Warfarin and Sandimmune. When you’re taking any of these medications alongside Orlistat, make sure to take the medicines a few hours apart to avoid interactions.