Xenical (orlistat) is a prescription medication used for weight management including weight loss, weight maintenance, and to help prevent weight regain after a diet. Xenical inhibits (blocks) the absorption of dietary fat by approximately thirty percent when taken as recommended.
The usual recommended dose is 120 mg. (one capsule), three times a day, with meals containing fat. Xenical may be taken during the meal or up to an hour afterward. Undigested dietary fat is eliminated with the stool, during bowel movements, within approximately 24 to 48 hours after dosing. Some effect may continue to be seen for up to 72 hours after the last dose.
Xenical is generally well tolerated. The most common adverse side effects are gastrointestinal, such as oily stool, oily spotting, flatus with discharge, and fecal urgency. Most adverse effects last for less than one week, although they may continue six months or longer.
Xenical is most effective when used in conjunction with a healthy eating plan. It has been shown to reduce body weight by up to ten percent when used in combination with a comprehensive weight loss program. In one study at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas it was found that, after a year, 57 percent of patients taking Xenical lost more than five percent of their initial weight, compared with only 34 percent of patients taking placebo in conjunction with a similar diet. In the second year, patients who continued taking Xenical regained significantly less weight than those who switched to placebo (35 percent compared with 63 percent). Xenical also cut total cholesterol levels, as well as mean blood pressure compared with diet alone.
Lindora Medical Clinics in southern California has seen good results in patients who have used Xenical in conjunction with the Lean for Life weight management program. Although it may be difficult to separate the effect of the medication from the effect of complying with the weight loss program, there are these success stories:
Forty-six-year old “Rosie” had “tried everything” to lose weight without success. When she came to Lindora, she felt she needed help and we prescribed Xenical. She lost 20 pounds, reducing from 182 pounds to162 pounds over the first six weeks of her weight loss program.
Sixty-four-year old “Rita” had multiple medical problems. She takes medication for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and high cholesterol. She didn’t expect to lose much weight, but is thrilled after losing more than 40 pounds in her first 8 weeks using Xenical and following her weight loss program.