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Orlistat weight loss tablets
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Orlistat weight loss pills can help you lose weight when taken alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise. Orlistat is the generic version of Xenical – it works in the same way but is more cost effective

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Information on Orlistat

Orlistat is medicine in capsule form that helps prevent your body from absorbing nearly one third of the fat that you eat when taken alongside a meal. The fat that is blocked from being digested by your body is passed through your stool (poo).

Orlistat is only prescribed to those with a BMI over 30 or over (or 28 and above if you have a medical condition that would be improved by weight loss such as diabetes).

How to get the best results from Orlistat

Simply taking Orlistat alone but not making any other changes to your diet or lifestyle may not help you to lose weight. This is because Orlistat only blocks one third of the fat you eat from being digested. Therefore, if you’re still digesting lots of fat in the foods you eat and not making any attempts to burn off the calories, Orlistat won’t make much of a difference.

If you’d like to see the best results from Orlistat, you must stick to a calorie reduced diet and exercise plan as agreed upon by your GP.

Check our advice pages for more information on how to introduce healthy eating habits and exercise into your routine.

Alternative treatments to Orlistat

An alternative to Orlistat is alli, which is half the strength and can be purchased without a prescription at LloydsPharmacy. LloydsPharmacy are now also offering an exciting new medicated weight loss service, which involves a daily injection alongside ongoing support from a pharmacist.

Other products exist elsewhere on the market, however ultimately, nothing can replace a healthy diet and exercise. Always consult your GP before trying a new weight loss product.

Do I need a prescription to buy Orlistat?

Yes, in order to purchase Orlistat, you must have undergone a consultation with a qualified clinician to ensure Orlistat is appropriate for you. Never attempt to purchase Orlistat from a website that does not ask you to speak to a clinician. Additionally, before purchase your height and weight will be checked by a pharmacist as a precautionary measure and for your own safety.

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Orlistat frequently asked questions

  • How long does Orlistat take to work?

    This depends on how effectively you are combining treatment with a healthy diet and exercise. Orlistat technically starts working from the first time you take it, however, if you reach 3 months and less than 5% of your body weight has been lost, treatment may be stopped as this is considered unsuccessful.

  • Is Orlistat effective?

    Orlistat is effective but will not do all of the work for you. Orlistat effectively blocks one third of the fat you consume from being absorbed, but if you absorb more than is necessary to lose weight, you will not notice any difference.

    Some tips to cut down on the calories include:

    • Switching from butter to margarine
    • Eating lean cuts of meat
    • Choosing low fat cooking sauces
  • How long can you take Orlistat for?

    Your Orlistat treatment plan will be reviewed regularly by your prescribing clinician to ensure it’s the right option for you. If you have not lost 5% of your body weight after 3 months of taking Orlistat, then you may be advised to stop. If you are successfully losing weight, treatment can be continued for up to a number of years depending on how much weight you need to lose.

  • What are the side effects of Orlistat?

    As with most medicines, Orlistat does carry with it some side effects, which include:

    • Fatty smelly stools
    • Sudden urges to go to the toilet
    • Excess wind
    • Oily spotting in underwear

    It’s important to discuss any side effects with your GP.