Orlistat is a weight loss medication used to assist people who are overweight in reducing their BMI. It is suitable for people with a BMI over 30, or 28 for those with additional risk factors. It comes in capsule form, and the prescription strength version available from Fairlop Pharmacy contains 120mg of the active ingredient.
Orlistat capsules work by preventing around a third of the fat from the food you eat from being digested. The undigested fat is not absorbed and is passed out with your faeces. Orlistat works in the same way as the over the counter medicine, Alli. They contain the same active ingredient (Orlistat), however, the prescription strength version is twice the strength (120mg instead of 60mg).
To purchase this medication from Fairlop Pharmacy, please visit us in store for a brief consultation. Our pharmacist will review your requirement and suitability and, just like your GP, check whether it is safe for you to take a weight loss treatment such as orlistat capsules.
Our prices are listed below.
Initial consultation - £15.00
Orlistat 120mg capsules, 84 pack - £45.00
Losing weight with Orlistat
Orlistat helps you avoid gaining weight by reducing the amount of fat absorbed by your body. However, it does not necessarily cause you to lose weight. Therefore, it’s still important to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan. In combination, the drug can be successful in reducing your weight into a more healthy BMI range.
Orlistat is usually recommended if you have made a significant effort to lose weight through diet, exercise or changing your lifestyle.
Even then, orlistat is only prescribed if you have:
a body mass index (BMI) of 28 or more and other conditions related to weight, such as high blood pressure
a BMI of 30 or more
Treatment with orlistat must be combined with a low-calorie diet and other weight loss strategies, such as doing more exercise.
Orlistat is recommended to be taken over a 12 week period and most people can expect to lose around 5% of your original body weight if combined with a good lifestyle and regular exercise. The medication itself should reduce the amount of dietary fat absorbed by your body by around 33%, so this gives you a good opportunity to lose weight if you increase the amount of exercise you do.
The usual dosage of Orlistat is 120mg three times a day (with your meals). As it works to reduce the fat absorbed by your body, you do not need to take a dose if you skip a meal. You also don't need to take a dose if you have a zero fat meal, as there will be not fat for the body to absorb!
Orlistat side effects
Like any medication, orlistat can cause side effects for some people. Common side effects can include:
fatty or oily stools
needing the toilet urgently
passing stools frequently
oily discharge from your rectum (you may have oily spots on your underwear)
These side effects are much less likely to occur if you stick to a low-fat diet.
Women taking the oral contraceptive pill are advised to use an additional method of contraception, such as a condom if they experience severe diarrhoea while taking orlistat. This is because the contraceptive pill may not be absorbed by your body if you have diarrhoea, so it may not be effective.
For detailed info on orlistat side effects, please check the patient information leaflet that comes with your tablets.