Weight Loss, Dieting & Obesity
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Prescription Weight Loss Medications - Reviews of Xenical / Orlistat / Alli
Please read Part One of this series of articles on Weight Loss Medications before continuing. It contains important advice applicable to all forms of weight loss medications.
Orlistat is the generic name of the prescription weight loss drug more commonly known by the brand name of Xenical. A smaller dose version under the name of Alli is also available without prescription in some jurisdictions.
Important Update: Research suggests that Xenical use in conjunction with an oxylate-rich diet increases the risk of kidney stone formation - Kidney International - Volume 66 Issue 2 Page 676 - August 2004
Type of Weight Loss Medication (Drug):
Lipase Inhibitor. Orlistat / Xenical / Alli works in the intestines to block absorption of dietary fat into the bloodstream, thereby reducing the number of calories you get from a meal. This undigested fat is then discharged via your bowel movements.
At the usual dosage level, it cuts fat absorption by almost one-third. Combined with a low-calorie diet, it is used to promote weight loss and discourage the return of unwanted pounds.
The Orlistat / Xenical is prescribed for the frankly obese and for merely overweight people who have other health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels.
It works in a completely different way than the Phentermine prescription weight loss drugs such as Adipex and Ionamin, the Phendimetrazine weight loss medications such as Bontril, and the Benzphetamine drugs such as Didrex, and in a different way again than Meridia.
Brief description of use:
Take a capsule of Orlistat / Xenical / Alli during, or up to 1 hour after, each meal. You should follow a nutritionally balanced, low-calorie diet that provides no more than 30 percent of its calories from fat. If you miss a meal, or the meal contains no fat, you can skip the accompanying dose of Orlistat / Xenical.
Orlistat / Xenical / Alli is also useful in patients with a certain weight who may also have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease and therefore for whom most other prescription weight loss medications are inappropriate.
Orlistat / Xenical / Alli produces rather embarrassing and often uncontrollable bowel movements if your food intake is rich in fats which, due to this weight loss drug, are not absorbed. In this way, Orlistat / Xenical / Alli "trains" a person into eating low fat foods and meals. Developing this behavioral change in your diet for a year or two will hopefully instill permanent dietary change even after the treatment is no longer required.
Weight loss begins within 2 weeks and continues for 6 to 12 months. The effect of using Orlistat / Xenical / Alli for more than 2 years is still unknown and therefore not recommended.
Use only under the recommendation and supervision of a medical practioner, and use only as directed.
Contraindictions, warnings, drug side effects & risks:
Follow your doctor's directions at all times and keep all medical appointments while using Xenical weight loss medication.
Orlistat / Xenical / Alli blocks your body's absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins and beta carotene. Therefore, when you use Orlistat / Xenical / Alli you should take a daily multivitamin supplement that contains vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene. Take the vitamin once a day, 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking this weight loss medication.
Not suitable for children except where recommended by a doctor. Safety and efficacy of this drug in children has not been established.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to Orlistat / Xenical / Alli or any other drug (whether prescription, over-the-counter or illicit).
Orlistat / Xenical / Alli is not recommended if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had anorexia nervosa, glaucoma, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, a stroke, gallstones, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, thyroid disease, seizures, or liver, kidney, or heart disease, or if you consistently have problems absorbing food (malabsorption syndrome).
Do not exceed recommended dose.
Advise your doctor of all other medications or drug, whether prescribed, over-the-counter or illicit, before taking this medication - especially anticoagulants (''blood thinners'') such as warfarin (Coumadin); medications for diabetes, such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (DiaBeta, Dynase, Micronase), metformin (Glucophage), and insulin; other medications for weight loss; pravastatin (Pravachol); vitamins such as beta-carotene and vitamins A, D, E, and K; and herbal products. If you are taking cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), take it 2 hours before or 2 hours after Orlistat / Xenical / Alli.
Side effects are common in the early stages of use, though generally disappear as you adjust your diet to low fat content. If the side effects are severe or continue for a prolonged period, discuss them with your doctor.
The most common side effects include oily, spotting bowel movements, gas with discharge, urgent need to have a bowel movement, oily or fatty stools, an oily discharge, increased number of bowel movements, uncontrollable bowel movements, orange or brown color of a bowel movement, stomach pain, irregular menstrual periods.
Side effects that sometimes occur after the first year of treatment with Xenical / Alli include: depression, leg pain, swollen feet, and tendonitis.
Advise your doctor immediately of any of these more severe side effects: itching, redness of skin, skin rash or hives, swelling, chest pain, difficulty breathing, fever.
If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember unless it is more than 1 hour since you ate a main meal. If it is longer than 1 hour since you ate a main meal, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Never share this weight loss drug with anyone else.
Always read in full the instructions and additional information that come with Alli / Orlistat / Xenical weight loss medication.
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