Orlistat is an organic compound. It is used to treat obesity. It prevents the body from absorbing fat from the food we eat. It works if you combine with a low-calorie diet.
Orlistat works by blocking the action of an enzyme called lipase. It is lipase's job to break down fat into smaller molecules so that the body can absorb them. When orlistat is taken, it binds to lipase and prevents it from working. This prevents the body from absorbing about 30% of the fat that is eaten.
Unabsorbed fat is then excreted from the body in the stool. This can result in side effects like oily stools, gas, and diarrhea. These side effects are usually minor and disappear after a few weeks.
In order to get the desired results, orlistat should be combined with a moderately low-calorie diet. While taking the drug, it is also advisable to maintain physical activity.
The indications for taking the drug orlistat
Patients with a BMI of greater than 30 kg/m2 can take orlistat to treat their obesity, but those with a BMI of less than 28 kg/m2 shouldn't.
Contraindications and precautions
Contraindications to the use of the drug are:
- hypersensitivity to orlistat,
- hypersensitivity to any of the drug substances,
- chronic malabsorption syndrome ,
- cholestasis ( cholestasis ), liver disorders ,
- breastfeeding .
Orlistat should not be used by children, adolescents under 18, or pregnant women .
Inform your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, as orlistat may interfere with the effects of:
- anticoagulants ,
- cyclosporin ,
- iodine salts and levothyroxine ,
- amiodarone ,
- drugs used to treat HIV ,
- antiepileptic drugs,
- medicines to treat depression , mental illness, or anxiety disorders.
Orlistat may also make it harder to absorb vitamins that dissolve in fat ( A , D , E and K ). So, the doctor may also tell you to take multivitamins in some cases.
Orlistat is taken about an hour after each main meal that is high in fat. If the meal doesn't have any fat, you should skip the dose. You should swallow the capsule with water when taking the drug by mouth.
Always take the medicine as prescribed by your doctor . Orlistat, in the opinion of most doctors, is most often used in the following doses:
- in obese patients: 120 mg three times a day,
- in overweight patients: 60 mg three times a day.
It is also important to use an appropriate diet with a controlled calorie content. The patient's diet should also be rich in fruits and vegetables.
Side effects of orlistat
The side effects of orlistat are mainly related to the gastrointestinal tract. The most common side effects include:
- abdominal pain ,
- stool pressure,
- frequent bowel movements,
- bloating and gas
- fatty spots,
- change in stool consistency ( liquid stools ),
- fatty, oily stools, caused by the excretion of undigested fat with the feces,
- headaches ,
- low blood sugar (in some patients with type 2 diabetes ).
Patients taking orlistat may also occasionally experience fatigue, tooth and gum disease, anal pain, issues with stool retention, allergic reactions, and irregular menstruation.
How effective is Orlistat ?
Orlistat is effective in helping overweight or obese people lose weight and keep it off. Orlistat has been shown in studies to help people lose 5 to 10% of their body weight in a year. This is significant weight loss, and it can lead to better health outcomes, such as a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
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