Orlistat, when combined with a low-calorie diet, can help overweight patients to lose excess weight and prevent its future formation by impeding digestion of some consumed fats.
Orlistat is administered orally three times a day during high-fat meals. Try to divide your daily intake of fats, carbohydrates and protein evenly between meals. It is recommended to complement the medication with a daily multivitamin supplement, as Orlistat can impede the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (e.g., A, D, E or K). However, the supplement should be taken 2 hours before or after taking Orlistat. It may take only 1 or 2 days for the first effects of the medication to appear; however, significant weight loss will take longer.
Common side effects of taking Orlistat include: oily stools, intestinal gas, poor bowel control and bowel movement urgency, headaches. If any of these effects persist or become bothersome, or if any other side effects develop, contact your doctor.
If you exceed daily fat intake, intestinal side effects may increase.
Inform your doctor of your entire medical history, especially: digestive disorders (malabsorption or cholestasis), allergies, low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) or other metabolism problems (e.g., oxalate kidney stones, hyperoxaluria). Patients with anorexia nervosa or bulimia-type eating disorders should not take Orlistat.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women are not recommended to use the medication, although it is yet unknown whether it can pass into breast milk. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, consult your doctor before taking Orlistat.
Notify your medical specialist about other medications you are using, especially: diabetes drugs (e.g., insulin), "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), cyclosporine or other weight management drugs. Take cyclosporine 2 hours before or after taking orlistat for its better absorption into bloodstream. Consult your medical professional before taking any other medication.
Orlistat should be stored at room temperature (77°F or 25°C) away from moisture and light, and out of reach of children and pets.