Orlistat is a medicine which can help you to lose weight if you are obese or overweight. It works by interfering with the way that fat is digested and absorbed into the body. Doctors have guidelines as to when orlistat can be prescribed. You can also buy orlistat from pharmacies – but certain conditions apply, detailed below. If you take orlistat, as it may possibly interfere with the absorption of some vitamins, you should take a multivitamin supplement at bedtime.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any other medicines, as orlistat can interfere with the absorption of some medicines.
What is orlistat?
Orlistat is a medicine which can help you to lose weight if you are obese or overweight. It works by blocking chemicals (enzymes) in your gut which digest fat. Nearly a third of the fat that you eat is blocked by orlistat. The undigested fat is not absorbed into your body, and is passed out with your stools (faeces). The normal dose is one capsule – 120 mg, three times a day with each meal. However, you do not need to take one if there is no fat in the meal or if you miss a meal.
Orlistat is the only medicine available to prescribe to help with weight loss. Two other medicines – sibutramine and rimonabant – previously used to help with weight loss are no longer available in the UK because of concerns over their safety.