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For those who have a medical need to lose or stay away from a certain weight, such as people dealing with obesity or being overweight, doctors may prescribe them Xenical (orlistat). Orlistat is a medication that works alongside a reduced-calorie diet and an exercise routine to help people lose weight or prevent them from regaining weight they have already lost.

Once on orlistat, you’ll probably need to take it three times a day with each main meal, which should contain 30% or less fat. As you do so, orlistat may make it difficult for your body to absorb vitamins. So you may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements.

When not using orlistat, store it at room temperature in a place that’s free from moisture, heat, and light. Make sure the medication bottle is tightly closed. And throw away any unused orlistat once its expiration date has passed.


While on orlistat, there are certain things you need to avoid. First one is any sort of high-fat meal. Consuming high-fat meals could cause some very unpleasant side effects within your stomach or intestines. Secondly, avoid taking cyclosporine within three hours before or after taking orlistat. Remember to act similarly if you take levothyroxine, except you should avoid taking it four hours before or after taking orlistat.

Side Effects

As this medication works through your system, you are likely to notice some orlistat side effects.

The most common ones include oily or fatty stools, oily spots in your undergarments, gas and oily discharge, loose stools, an urgent need to go to the bathroom, an inability to control bowel movements, more frequent bowel movements, stomach pain, and nausea. But don’t worry about them too much as they are generally caused by orlistat’s ability to block fat. They should only be around temporarily. If they do persist, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Other more serious orlistat side effects may involve severe stomach pain, severe lower back pain, bloody urination, urination difficulties, kidney problems, and liver problems. If you notice any of these, stop taking orlistat and contact your doctor immediately.


How does orlistat help with weight loss?

Orlistat helps you handle weight loss more easily by blocking some of the fat, that you consume through your diet. That way, the fat doesn’t get absorbed into your body to add to your weight.

What are the best foods to eat when taking orlistat?

The best foods are ones that your doctor will likely highlight for you as orlistat is generally taken alongside a prescribed diet and exercise routine. The diet will likely include fruit; potatoes; wholegrain bread, rice, and pasta; certain milk and other dairy products; fish; eggs; and beans.

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