Orlistat

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  • REPRESENTATIVE TRADE NAMES

Orlistat – Generic, Alli®, Xenical®

  • DRUG CLASS

Weight Loss Agents

Indications (use) - Orlistat

Orlistat is an inhibitor of pancreatic and gastric lipase and a commonly used weight loss agent that is available both by prescription and over-the-counter.

Mechanism of action of Orlistat

Orlistat (or' li stat) is a tetrahydrolipstatin, a saturated derivative of lipstatin which is a potent natural inhibitor of gastric and pancreatic lipase. Orlistat when taken with meals inhibits the digestion of dietary fats and prevents their absorption, thus reducing caloric intake. When used in conjunction with caloric restriction and exercise, orlistat improves weight loss.

FDA approval information for Orlistat

Orlistat as Xenical was approved for use in the United States in 1999, and an over-the-counter formulation of the drug (Alli) was approved in 2007.

Dosage and administration for Orlistat

Orlistat is available by prescription as capsules of 120 mg in generic forms and under the trade name Xenical and over-the-counter as capsules of 60 mg under the trade name Alli. The usual dose is one capsule three times daily before meals.

Absorption of Orlistat

Orlistat is minimally, if at all, absorbed/

Side effects of Orlistat

Its side effects are largely due to its effect on fat absorption including abdominal discomfort, bloating, gaseousness, diarrhea, fecal leakage and steatorrhea (oily stools and fat-soluble vitamin malabsorption). Symptoms are particularly prominent if orlistat is given before a high fat meal and they tend to lessen with more prolonged therapy (perhaps due to its adverse effects, leading to a lower fat diet).


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