Orlistat (Generic Xenical) - Product information and Uses

Orlistat which is available as a prescription only medication under the trade name Xenical by Roche in most countries, or as over-the-counter medication as Alli by GlaxoSmithKline in the United Kingdom and the United States, is a medication designed to treat obesity. The primary function of Orlistat (Generic Xenical) is preventing the absorption of fats from the human diet, thereby reducing caloric intake. It is intended for use along with a physician-supervised reduced-calorie diet.
Orlistat is used for the treatment of obesity. The amount of weight loss achieved with orlistat varies. In one-year clinical trials, between 35.5% and 54.8% of subjects achieved a 5% or greater decrease in body mass, although not all of this mass was necessarily fat. Between 16.4% and 24.8% achieved at least a 10% decrease in body mass.
The effectiveness of orlistat in promoting weight loss is definite, though modest. Data collected and analysed from clinical trials suggest that people given orlistat in addition to lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise, lose about 2-3 kilograms (4.4-6.6 lb) more than those not taking the drug over the course of a year. Orlistat also modestly reduces blood pressure(mean reductions of 2.5 and 1.9 mmHg in systolic and diastolic blood pressure respectively), and appears to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, whether due to weight loss itself or to other effects. In a large randomized controlled trial, orlistat was found to reduce the incidence of diabetes by nearly 40% in obese people.
Orlistat is notorious for its gastrointestinal side effects (sometimes referred to as treatment effects), which can include steatorrhea (oily, loose stools). These decrease with time, however, and are the most frequently reported adverse effects of the medicine.

Orlistat (Generic Xenical) - Availability And Packaging

Generic Xenical is available as Generic Orlistat Capsules which is packaged in 120 mg capsules.

Side Effects of Orlistat (Generic Xenical)

The primary side effects of the drug are gastrointestinal-related, and include steatorrhea (oily, loose stools with excessive flatus due to unabsorbed fats reaching the large intestine), fecal incontinence and frequent or urgent bowel movements.
To minimize these effects, foods with high fat content should be avoided; the manufacturer advises consumers to follow a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet. Oily stools and flatulence can be controlled by reducing the dietary fat content to somewhere in the region of 15 grams per meal. According to a study, it was found that only 36% of people had gastrointestinal adverse effects during their fourth year of taking orlistat, whereas 91% of study subjects had experienced at least one GI-related side effect during the first year of treatment. It has also been suggested that the decrease in side effects over time may be associated with long-term compliance with a low-fat diet.

Orlistat (Generic Xenical) - Dosage

The recommended dose of Orlistat is one 120 mg capsule three times a day with each main meal containing fat to be taken during or up to 1 hour after the meal. In case a meal is occasionally missed or contains no fat, the dose of Generic Xenical can be omitted.

Orlistat (Generic Xenical) - Contraindications

Orlistat is contraindicated in Malabsorption, Hypersensitivity to orlistat, Reduced gallbladder function (e.g. after cholecystectomy) and Pregnancy and breastfeeding. Use caution with: obstructed bile duct, impaired liver function, and pancreatic disease.
Generic Xenical is also contraindicated in patients with chronic malabsorption syndrome or cholestasis, and in patients with known hypersensitivity to Orlistat or to any inactive component of this medicine.

Orlistat (Generic Xenical) - Interactions

Orlistat may reduce plasma levels of ciclosporin (also known as "cyclosporin" or "cyclosporine", trade names Sandimmune, Gengraf, Neoral, etc.), an immunosuppressive drug frequently used to prevent transplant rejection. The two medicines should therefore not be administered concomitantly. Orlistat can also impair absorption of the antiarrhythmic amiodarone.

Additional Information

Additional Info: Prescribing Information