Orlistat: Over-the-counter support for weight loss

The active substance orlistat is used to treat severe obesity. It reduces the absorption of fat from the diet and thereby supports weight loss. Orlistat should only be used in conjunction with a reduced-fat diet, as it can lead to more side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and greasy bowel movements. We inform you about the correct application, effects and side effects of Orlistat.

Decreased fat absorption in the intestine

Orlistat inhibits fat-splitting enzymes (lipases) in the stomach and small intestine so that fats from food are not split. As a result, some of the fats in the intestine can not be absorbed and is excreted undigested with the stool.

By taking Orlistat, fat intake can be reduced by up to 30 percent. For example, if the fat content of your daily diet is 60 grams, you can save up to 18 grams of fat per day.

In this way, Orlistat increases weight loss in a diet: If you lose two kilograms with a fat and calorie-reduced diet alone, you can lose an extra kilogram of weight by taking orlistat.

Low-fat diet necessary

Orlistat should always be used as part of a fat and calorie-reduced diet. On the one hand, side effects such as diarrhea or greasy bowel movements occur after meals that are too high in fat. On the other hand, the sole effect of orlistat can not achieve sufficient weight loss. If the fat content of the diet continues to be too high, too much fat will be consumed, despite a reduction in fat intake due to orlistat, so that the success of the order will be avoided. In addition, orlistat should not be taken for more than six months and therefore can support weight loss only in the initial phase of weight loss.

Important: For a permanent weight reduction, it is therefore essential that you change your diet over the long term to a balanced mixed diet. Also, watch for regular exercise to build muscle and increase calorie intake.

Apply orlistat correctly

The active ingredient is available in the form of capsules of 60 milligrams and 120 milligrams. Since 2009 Orlistat is available in the 60 milligram dosage without prescription in the pharmacy. For the higher dosage, however, a doctor's prescription is required.

As a rule, one capsule each is taken at the main meals. However, orlistat only works if the food contains fat. For example, if you are eating a fruit salad with lean quark, you should avoid taking orlistat. The same is true if you omit a meal. On a high-fat meal, however, you should not increase the dosage. Also, be careful not to exceed the maximum dose of three capsules per day.

Indigestion as a common side effect

There are many side effects with the use of orlistat in the gastrointestinal tract. Among other things, the following symptoms may occur:

  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • bloating
  • greasy bowel movements
  • fecal incontinence

In order to reduce the occurrence of side effects, you should pay attention to a low-fat diet, as these side effects are mainly caused by the increased fat excretion with the stool.

In addition, the ingestion of orlistat deficiency of vitamins A, D, E and K occur because these vitamins are fat-soluble and can be absorbed only in conjunction with fat from the body. In this case, after consultation with a doctor, the intake of a multivitamin preparation may be useful.

In rare cases it can also come through a bile to a liver inflammation. This is manifested by symptoms such as yellowing of the skin and eyes, pain in the right upper abdomen and itching. Other rare side effects include bleeding, colitis, inflammation of the pancreas and increased levels of liver or oxalic acid in the blood.

Contraindications of Orlistat

Orlistat must only be used by adults aged 18 and over with a body mass index of at least 28. Children and adolescents are not allowed to take the drug. Orlistat should not be used during pregnancy and lactation, as the effects and possible side effects in pregnant women have not been sufficiently researched so far. In addition, orlistat must not be taken in the following diseases:

  • Bile (cholestasis)
  • Disturbed uptake of food components in the intestine (malabsorption syndrome)
  • Hypersensitivity to the active substance Orlistat
  • Conditions in which the use of cyclosporin is required (rheumatoid arthritis, certain skin diseases, organ transplants)
  • Illnesses that require the use of blood-thinning medications such as Marcumar® or warfarin

Patients suffering from diabetes or kidney disease should take orlistat only after consulting a doctor.

Interactions: Use caution in anticoagulant drugs

Taking orlistat may cause a number of interactions with various other medicines. So while taking aspirin the blood-thinning effect can be prolonged, whereas the effect of the anticoagulant drug prasugrel is shortened. If you are taking any of these medicines, you should use Orlistat only after consulting your doctor. On the other hand, medicines containing phenprocoumon (Marcumar®) and warfarin should not be taken concomitantly with orlistat.

Orlistat also inhibits the uptake of the active ingredients amiodarone and cyclosporine as well as the effect of the cancer drug irinotecan. In addition, there may be interactions with thyroid hormone preparations and certain epileptic drugs.

Women taking contraceptive pills, such as contraceptive pills, should use additional contraception if necessary, as the effect of contraceptive pills may be reduced in cases of severe diarrhea.

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