Does Orlistat Actually Work for Weight-Loss?
If you are overweight or obese, orlistat is a medication that can help you lose weight.
Your BMI, or Body Mass Index, is used by doctors to determine whether you are underweight, in the 'ideal' weight range, overweight, or obese. Our BMI calculator can help you calculate your BMI.
Reducing the quantity of fat in your diet is one strategy to aid weight loss. Weight Loss is covered in a separate pamphlet (Weight Reduction).
Orlistat weight-loss tablets work by interfering with the digestion and absorption of fat in the body. When it comes to prescribing orlistat, doctors have guidelines. You can also buy orlistat in pharmacies, however there are some restrictions that apply, which are outlined below. Because orlistat may interfere with the absorption of some vitamins, you should take a multivitamin supplement before bedtime if you use it.
What exactly is orlistat?
If you are overweight or obese, orlistat is a medication that can help you lose weight. Orlistat works by blocking fat-digesting molecules (enzymes) in your gut. Orlistat blocks about a third of the fat you consume. Undigested fat is excreted with your stools and is not absorbed by your body (faeces). One capsule containing 120 mg is taken three times a day with each meal. If there is no fat in the meal or if you miss a meal, you do not need to take one.
Liraglutide is a new drug that was approved in January 2017 for the treatment of obesity. This medication, which is only accessible in injectable form, has had little experience. It is now only used in specialist centres for persons who have developed additional illnesses as a result of their obesity, such as diabetes.
Two more medications, sibutramine and rimonabant, were previously used to aid weight loss but are no longer accessible in the UK due to safety concerns.
While taking orlistat, it is recommended that you limit your fat intake to 30% of your total calorie intake. Flatulence, oily stains on underwear, increased urgency, and loose bowel movements have all been reported as side effects of eating too much fat.
Tips for lowering your fat intake:
⦁ Switch to a low-fat spread instead of butter or standard spreads.
⦁ Trim visible fat from lean slices of meat. On chicken, avoid the skin, and on pork, avoid the crackling.
⦁ Cooking with additional fat/oil should be avoided; instead, grill, poach, bake, or microwave.
⦁ Low-fat dairy items like semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, low-calorie yoghurts, reduced-fat cheeses, and low-fat spreads are all good choices.
⦁ Choose sauces with fewer than 5 grams of fat per 100 grams of sauce.
Is orlistat effective?
Orlistat combined a weight-reduction diet and exercise, on average, results in higher weight loss than a weight-reduction diet and exercise alone, according to studies. Orlistat has helped some people lose 10% or more of their body weight in just six months. In some cases, it is ineffective.
One reason orlistat may not work is that you may believe you may relax your weight-loss diet since orlistat will take care of everything. This isn't correct. To lose weight, you must continue to eat less and exercise on a regular basis. Keep in mind that orlistat only inhibits some of the fat you eat from being absorbed (just under a third). However, if you do not stick to a healthy weight-loss diet, and if you eat additional fat (chocolate, cakes, etc. ), the excess fat will easily wipe out the orlistat's effect.
When should orlistat be used?
Orlistat isn't recommended for everyone looking to lose weight. It is only indicated for persons who have a specified BMI (BMI). A doctor must first ensure that you have tried modifying your diet and improving your physical activity levels before prescribing orlistat.
When prescribing orlistat, doctors are obliged to follow the following guidelines:
⦁ Your BMI must be at least 30; or
⦁ You must be 28 years old or older, and you must have a medical condition that would benefit from weight loss (such as diabetes or high blood pressure).
⦁ If you don't lose at least 5% of your weight within three months of starting orlistat, you should discontinue taking it.
How long does it take orlistat to work?
There are no restrictions on how long orlistat can be administered if you have dropped 5% of your body weight in three months. Most doctors, however, will assess your medication on a regular basis and determine whether or not you should continue taking orlistat.
If you continue to lose weight after six months, your doctor may recommend that you take orlistat again. This could last anywhere from a few months to a year, or even longer if you have a lot of weight to reduce.
Maintaining a healthy weight
When orlistat medication is discontinued, many people who have lost weight using the drug gain it back. Try to foresee this. If you continue to a nutritious diet, exercise consistently (if you are able), and weigh yourself once a week, you are more likely to maintain your weight loss.
Is it possible to purchase orlistat?
In the United Kingdom, orlistat 120 mg is available on prescription from your doctor or as a private (paid) service through Patient Access at some pharmacies. Orlistat low-dose (60 mg) is also available over-the-counter at pharmacies.
Orlistat cannot be sold to just anyone by pharmacists. They must also adhere to the following guidelines:
⦁ Your BMI must be at least 28.
⦁ Every time you request orlistat, your BMI should be verified.
⦁ You must be at least 18 years old.
⦁ Over-the-counter orlistat should not be used for longer than six months (at the 60 mg dose).
⦁ If you haven't dropped at least 5% of your weight after three months on orlistat, you should consult your doctor.
Your pharmacist will also advise you on a healthy diet that is minimal in calories and fat.
Side effects of orlistat
The fat that is passed out with your stools is the main cause of orlistat's negative effects (faeces). You may experience greasy, stinky faeces, a strong desire to use the restroom, oily patches on your underwear, and excessive wind. If you eat a low-fat diet, these adverse effects are less likely. They usually go away with time, probably because they remind you that you should be eating a low-fat diet if they arise. Other negative effects are uncommon.
Note that the foregoing is not an exhaustive list of orlistat side effects. For a complete list of possible side effects and precautions, consult the patient information sheet that came with your drug.
Who isn't a good candidate for orlistat?
Orlistat should not be taken by the following people:
⦁ Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
⦁ Individuals under the age of eighteen.
⦁ People who suffer from a disorder in which food is not fully digested (a malabsorption syndrome).
⦁ Cholestasis patients. Bile does not flow adequately from the liver to the duodenum in this situation.
⦁ Orlistat can also impact the way certain medicines and vitamins operate by interfering with their absorption.
If you have so much diarrhoea that your contraceptive tablets don't absorb properly, it could influence how well they function.
If you're taking the pill and have severe diarrhoea, you should consider using alternative forms of contraception, such as condoms, in addition to the pill.
Before starting orlistat, tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medications you're taking.
To assist ensure proper vitamin consumption, take a multivitamin supplement after bedtime, when you will not be taking orlistat.
Always read the entire package leaflet for a complete list of warnings and who should not take orlistat.