Just a few questions from our Pharmacist before you checkout to make sure this medicine is safe for you.
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Xenical capsules are a weight loss treatment that contains 120mg of the active ingredient orlistat in each capsule. They work by reducing the fat your body absorbs from your food, working alongside a low-fat diet to help boost your weight loss. It’s ideal for people who have a BMI of 30 or above and need a little help to reach their weight loss goals alongside their healthy lifestyle changes.
How orlistat works
Each Xenical capsule contains 120mg of orlistat, a weight loss medication that works by blocking fat. When you eat a meal, orlistat keeps a third of the fat from your food from being broken down by your digestive system. The undigested fat can’t be absorbed by your body and is then passed out of your system with your poo. When paired with a low-fat diet and regular exercise, this treatment can help to boost your weight loss so you can reach a healthy weight more quickly.
The usual dose of Xenical 120mg capsules is one capsule three times a day with each main meal. However, you should always follow the prescribed dosage your doctor gives to you carefully, so if you’re unsure, be sure to ask them for advice. You should swallow each capsule with a sip of water.
Like all medication, the orlistat in Xenical can cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them. Most of these side effects are caused by how this treatment works in your digestive system, and you’ll often find that they’re mild and stop as your treatment continues. You may also experience side effects after eating a meal that is high in fat. The most common side effects of this product include:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- An urgent or increased need to go for a poo
- Wind (also known as flatulence) with discharge
- Oily discharge
- Oily or fatty poo
- Liquid or runny poo
- Low blood sugar levels, especially in patients with Type 2 diabetes
- Pain or discomfort in your rectum (in your anus)
- Soft poo
- Passing poo without meaning to or losing control over your bowel movements (faecal incontinence)
- Tooth or gum disorders
- Changes or irregularity in your menstrual cycle (periods)
For a complete list of potential side effects, please see the patient information leaflet included with your medication. If you experience these or any other side effects while taking this product, speak to your doctor or pharmacist. If any side effects are particularly severe (e.g. a severe allergic reaction) you should stop use and seek immediate medical help. For more information about reporting the side effects of medication, please see the MHRA’s Yellow Card Scheme.
Xenical is not suitable for children. Do not use this product if you are allergic to orlistat or any of the other listed ingredients in this medication. You should not take this medication if you have:
- Chronic malabsorption syndrome, which means you cannot absorb enough nutrients from your food
- Cholestasis, which is a liver disorder
- A BMI which is less than 30 (28 if you have a weight-related condition)
Tell your doctor during your initial consultation if you have:
- Kidney problems
We would recommend avoiding alcohol while taking Xenical if you can. Although you can drink alcohol while taking this product, alcohol often contains a lot of calories, more than you may realise. When you’re drinking alcohol you might end up taking in more calories than you want or need to, essentially negating the positive effects that the combination of Xenical and your lifestyle changes have had.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
You should not take Xenical during pregnancy or while you’re breastfeeding. It currently isn’t known whether this medication passes into breastmilk and it could be harmful to your baby, so avoiding it entirely is the best option at this time. If you’re worried about weight gain during or after your pregnancy you should speak to your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare visitor, they may be able to recommend lifestyle changes that could help or investigate further if necessary.
If you’re taking any other medication, including herbal remedies and medications you obtained without a prescription, you should tell your doctor about them during your first consultation. This especially applies if you are already taking any of the following:
- Anticoagulants, which are also known as blood thinners, such as warfarin
- Ciclosporin, which is used for autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, e.g. arthritis, lupus
- Iodine salts or levothyroxine, which are used for an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
- Amiodarone, which is used for heart rate problems
- Medications used to treat HIV
- Medications used to treat depression, psychiatric disorders, or anxiousness
- Medications used to treat epilepsy
- Acarbose, which is an anti-diabetic drug
This product is a medicine; make sure to speak to your doctor or Chemist4U pharmacist before taking this product if you have an underlying medical problem or are taking any other medicine or complementary therapy. If your symptoms get worse or continue after taking this product, contact us or your doctor. For medical services in your area, please refer to https://www.nhs.uk
If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, speak to your doctor or our pharmacist before taking this product. If you suffer from any allergies, ask your doctor or our pharmacist if this medicine is right for you.
Store all medicines out of sight and reach of children.
Please read the included leaflet carefully before using this product.
Please contact your GP if appropriate regarding this product.
Store in a cool, dry place which is below 25 degrees C. Store in original packaging to protect from light and moisture. Do not use this product if the expiry date printed on the original packaging has passed. Keep out of sight and reach of children.
The active substance is orlistat. Each capsule contains 120 mg of orlistat.
The other ingredients are microcrystalline cellulose (E460), sodium starch glycolate (type A), povidone (E1201), sodium laurilsulfate and talc. The capsule shell consists of gelatine, indigo carmine (E132), titanium dioxide (E171) and edible printing ink.
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Xenical (Orlistat) Capsules Reviews
Can I take Xenical if I’m not overweight?
If your weight is within a healthy BMI range or lower then you should not take Xenical.
This treatment is specifically designed to help those who are obese lose weight more quickly and form good diet and exercise habits as they return to a healthy weight.
We would not recommend them to anyone who does not need to lose weight for the benefit of their health or to those who are a healthy weight and want to lose weight purely for cosmetic purposes.
Do I need to have a certain BMI to take Xenical capsules?
Xenical capsules should usually only be taken by those who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or above.
This number can be lowered to 28 if you have a weight-related condition that could be eased by weight loss, for example, type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Even then, your BMI is not the only factor to consider, your doctor will need to be sure that this treatment is right for you and that you are dedicated to making the lifestyle changes necessary for orlistat to work.
If you’re unsure what your BMI is, you can use this handy calculator to work it out using your height and weight.
Is Xenical the same as Alli and Orlos?
Xenical, Alli, and Orlos are all weight loss medications that share the same active ingredient, orlistat.
This means that they all work in the same way, but are created by different manufacturers.
The biggest difference that you should note is the strength of the active ingredient in each product.
Alli and Orlos both contain 60mg of orlistat in each capsule, whereas Xenical contains 120mg in each capsule and gives you a higher daily dose of orlistat than the other brands.
Naturally, this increase in dose comes with extra precautions, which is why Xenical is only available as a prescription medication whereas Alli and Orlos can be bought over the counter from your pharmacy.
Should I take orlistat at a certain time?
You should take each capsule immediately before or during a meal.
If you forget to take your medication, you can take it up to one hour after you finish eating.
This medication only works if there is fat in your food, so if your food contains no fat or if you skip a meal you should not take a capsule.
However, we would recommend splitting your daily fat intake evenly throughout your three daily meals.
Will I need to change my diet when I’m taking Xenical?
You will need to eat a low-fat diet while you’re taking Xenical and you’ll need to try to ensure that your fat intake is spread as evenly as possible throughout your meals.
This medication works by preventing around a third of the fat from your food from being absorbed, so eating fatty foods will not only mean more fat intake but will also mean that your body will need to get rid of more excess fat.
As the excess fat is passed with your poo, eating fatty foods can lead to side effects like oily discharge from your anus and fatty poo.
When you consider that eating fatty foods while taking this treatment can not only cause side effects but can also slow down your weight loss, making sure that you stick to a low-fat diet will be the logical choice.
Will Xenical make me constipated?
Constipation is not a listed side effect of Xenical, even though digestive problems are common while taking this medication.
This doesn’t mean that Xenical definitely will not cause constipation, as everyone reacts to medications slightly differently, but it is unlikely to happen to you.
If you do experience constipation after taking this medication, we’d recommend speaking to your doctor or pharmacist and asking for their advice.
They’ll be able to assess whether this weight loss medication is the best thing for you and help you to make a decision about your ongoing treatment.
Will this medication affect my birth control?
Orlistat usually won’t affect contraception, but some of the potential side effects can affect oral birth control like the mini pill or combined pill.
If you do take oral contraception you should consider using a second method of contraception, like condoms, when you first start your treatment.
One of the potential side effects of orlistat is diarrhoea, and if you have severe diarrhoea it can mean that your contraceptive pill won’t be absorbed properly in your system.
If this happens, you won’t be effectively protected from pregnancy, which is why you would need to use a second method of contraception.
If you have severe diarrhoea after taking this medication you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you can, as this treatment may not be right for you.
How long does orlistat take to work?
Orlistat will get to work reducing the amount of fat absorbed from your food right away.
However, this doesn’t mean you’ll see weight loss results immediately.
Weight loss is always a slow process and as much as this treatment can help, how quickly you shed the pounds will ultimately be decided by what you eat and how much exercise you do.