IN THIS ARTICLE
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking orlistat (alli, Xenical)?
Do not take orlistat if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need an orlistat dose adjustment or special tests:
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Taking orlistat can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins. These vitamins are important if you are nursing a baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give over-the-counter orlistat (Alli) to a child younger than 18 years old. Prescription orlistat (Xenical) should not be used by anyone age 12 to 18 without the advice of a doctor.
Orlistat should be used only by the person it was prescribed or recommended for and should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of eating disorder. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
How should I take orlistat (alli, Xenical)?
Take exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Orlistat is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Your daily intake of fat, protein, and carbohydrates should be evenly divided over all of your daily meals. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Take orlistat during or within 1 hour after a meal that contains some fat (no more than 30% of the calories for that meal). Orlistat is usually taken 3 times daily.
If you skip a meal or you eat a meal that does not contain any fat, skip your orlistat dose for that meal.
The fat content of your daily diet should not be greater than 30% of your total daily caloric intake. For example, if you eat 1200 calories per day, no more than 360 of those calories should be in the form of fat.
Read the label of all food items you consume, paying special attention to the number of servings per container. Your doctor, nutrition counselor, or dietitian can help you develop a healthy eating plan.
Your doctor may recommend you take vitamin and mineral supplements while you are taking orlistat. This medication can make it harder for your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Follow your doctor's instructions about the type of multi-vitamin or mineral supplement to use.
Take the supplement at least 2 hours before or after you take orlistat.
Store orlistat at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Orlistat is a drug that may be misused as a weight-loss aid, and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Diet and Weight Loss Resources
- Symptoms of a Severe Allergic Reaction
- Breast Cancer Treatment Options
- Is Your Body Ready for Pregnancy?