Generic Xenical (Orlistat)
The main reason due to which a person gains weight is that with food the body receives more calories than it consumes, that is, people eat more than they need. An important source of calories in food is fat, because during the burning of 1 g of fat, the body releases 2 times more energy than during the burning of 1 g of proteins or carbohydrates.
Fats contained in food are absorbed by the body only after they are broken down in the intestine with the help of a special pancreatic enzyme – lipase. Lipase enters the intestine at the beginning of a meal and acts so efficiently that all the fats received from food are usually 100% absorbed.
Xenical (active substance: Orlistat) is the first medication aimed at weight loss and its mechanism of action is well studied. Its effect is based on the suppression of intestinal absorption of fat by blocking lipase. Undigested fat molecules are not absorbed and removed from the body.
This drug acts very gently. It is not absorbed into the blood, but only works in the intestines. Once in the intestine, it blocks the enzymes that contribute to the absorption of fat – pancreatic lipase and intestinal lipase.
The drug inhibits the absorption of up to 30% of fats from food, thereby reducing their intake from the outside and the body begins to consume its own “energy resources”.
For example: with a daily diet of 2900 kcal containing fats, the body receives 1700 kcal. When taking the drug, the absorption of 30% of fat is suppressed, that is, 510 kcal is “burned”. For comparison: in order to burn 510 kcal, you need to clean snow for 68 minutes or to travel a distance of 14.5 km.
The efficacy of the drug has been proven during clinical trials, in which over 7,000 patients worldwide have participated for more than 2 years. Those patients who took this drug during several months, on average, “lost” about 10% of body weight. Thus, we can say that the drug provides a stable weight loss, prevents a repeated gain of body weight after termination of the drug intake. Weight loss reduces risk factors for the development of such diseases as diabetes, atherosclerosis, arterial hypertension.
Thus, in order to achieve a result, doctors recommend combining treatment with a rational and balanced diet, which involves consuming no more than 30% of fat from the total mass of food ingested. At the same time, with all three main meals, the patient should receive both fats and proteins with carbohydrates. This slimming drug reduces the absorbability of vitamins A, E and D, so in the intervals between breakfast, lunch and dinner, or before going to bed, it is recommended to take multivitamins.
The selected nutrition system for weight loss should predominantly contain protein and such needed carbohydrates should not be received from baked foods, muffin and sweets, but from croup. Food needs to be prepared independently, do not use semi-finished products and products sold in vacuum packages with chemical additives. The diet must contain foods rich in fiber, which includes fruits and vegetables. At the same time, it is recommended to do physical exercises, and also drink plenty of fluids, which also contributes to weight loss.
Patients taking this drug do not get used to the drug. This means that it can be used for a long time.
It should be said that the drug acts only in the lumen of the stomach and small intestine; it does not have a systemic effect, and therefore does not affect the central nervous system, brain, heart and other organs.
Well-known contraindications include chronic malabsorption syndrome, cholestasis, hypersensitivity to the drug or any other components contained in the capsule.
During animal reproduction studies there were no teratogenic and embryotoxic observed. In the absence of a teratogenic effect in animals, one should not expect such an effect in humans. However, due to the lack of clinical data, Xenical should not be given to pregnant women.
Excretion of Orlistat with breast milk has not been studied, so it should not be taken during breastfeeding.
Furthermore contraindication includes chronic impaired intestinal absorption syndrome, diseases of the gallbladder. The drug cannot be used by persons under 18 years of age, as well as those whose body mass index is less than 25.
This medicine is also not recommended for the treatment of overweight in children. The children's body will not be able to cope with the medication composition, and as a result, some organs of the child will be significantly damaged. Based on this, it can be concluded that this medicine is contraindicated for a child’s body.
The drug should be taken in dosage of 120 mg 3 times a day along with the main meals. The drug is taken with food or no later than an hour after eating. If the meal is skipped or if the food does not contain fat, then the Orlistat intake can be skipped. The duration of treatment is determined by the doctor depending on the therapeutic efficacy and individual sensitivity.
It should be added that increasing the dose above the recommended does not enhance the therapeutic effect.
This medicine can be taken with comorbidities, but under strict medical supervision. It should be taken only according to the dosages prescribed by the attending physician and in no case it should not be increased at your own volition.
How to take Orlistat?
Patients who are aimed at lose weight need to seek an advice and continued support of an experienced specialist. The doctor will make an individual plan for weight loss and will give recommendations on how to properly keep the “food diary” necessary for the patient to self-control.
In order to take this medicine with the maximum benefit for the body, it is necessary to follow some recommendations. Especially these recommendations should be observed when eating. You can read about these tips in the literature or ask your doctor.
Firstly, while fighting with overweight it is not enough to take this medicine, it is also necessary to limit oneself in eating. It is best to give up an excess of high-calorie and fatty foods, since it primarily contributes to the appearance of additional kilograms. This measure will speed up the process of losing weight without difficulties and health problems.
Secondly, all fatty foods that you plan to eat during the day should be distributed in equal portions to be taken during several times. This will increase the effectiveness of the medication and prevent the appearance of oily stool. Do not be afraid if after taking this remedy, your stool become fatter, this is the norm. The reason for such changes is the content in the feces of the removed fat from the body. This undigested product is excreted in the form of oily substances. The more fatty foods you eat, the more such substances will be in your feces.
- Side effects include the abundant discharge of gases and a decrease in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
- More rare side effects include abdominal spastic pain, increased gas formation, flatulence. There were clinical records of an allergic reaction to Orlistat development manifested in the form of itching or urticaria.
- The most common complaints during treatment with this remedy were the gastrointestinal tract and the associated motility disorders.
- In particular, patients were disturbed by flatulence, fecal incontinence, frequent urge to empty the bowel, oily discharge.
- There were stomach pain and pain in the abdomen, discomfort.
- Women complain about menstrual cycle disorders, headaches.
- Patients with diabetes mellitus evidenced a decrease in the degree of glucose in the blood.
It is believed that when taking Xenical there is no risk of overdose. In clinical studies, a single dose of 800 mg or repeated intake of 400 mg 3 times a day for 15 days was not accompanied by significant side effects.
However, in the case of severe overdose, medical supervision is recommended within 24 hours.
There is no fixed drug interaction when using Orlistat with Digoxin, Warfarin, Metformin, oral contraceptives, Nifedipine, statins, Ethanol.
Most people take medications with alcohol, without even thinking about the possible consequences. Alcohol itself is quite dangerous to health, and its interaction with the drug can lead to completely unexpected results.
Xenical and alcohol does not have compatibility bans. Alcoholic beverages do not adversely affect the activity of the main component, and the drug itself does not interfere with the absorption of alcohol into the blood and does not interact. Therefore, from this point of view, such compatibility is possible and safe. The load on the organs due to the interaction of the drug with alcohol does not increase, and the composition of the blood does not change.
However, Xenical is taken by people who have been suffering from obesity for a long time. For certain reasons, they cannot lose weight by themselves. Orlistat is active in reducing weight and prevents the accumulation of fat. Formally, it will inhibit lipase with alcohol, but weight loss may stop, or the opposite effect may occur.
The interaction of alcohol and this medication, primarily affects the metabolic processes in the body. The accumulation of excess weight depends on the rate of metabolism. It is known that in people with obesity, these processes are disturbed, they cannot move quickly and actively, the heart and blood vessels at this moment receive a very strong load. The discussed remedy does not affect the metabolic processes, and alcohol slows down the metabolism, thereby adding to the load on the cardiovascular system.
Tanya: It really helps. My sister lost weight while using Xenical. She lost 10 kg during three months. She took the drug once a day after a full dinner. In the day time she ate vegetables and fruits. We are all very pleased with the result.
Theresa: I really liked Xenical. It helped me to form the right diet. Now, after I stopped taking it, the lost kilograms five months ago did not return, and it makes me happy.
Karina: I was very afraid to start taking Xenical because I read on the Internet about a possible liquid stool. However, when the weight exceeded 110 kg and I could not put on my skirts, my fear weakened a bit. A week before the start of the drug, I decided to get prepared and excluded fatty foods from my diet. This helped me avoid problems with my stool. Furthermore, I strictly followed the diet. In a month I already was able to put on my skirts. Since the goal has not yet been achieved and I still need to lose at least 20 kg, I continue taking the drug.
Damira: I had to take Xenical for almost 8 months. I was very afraid of such a long period of drug administration, but the amount of extra kilos did not give a choice. In the end, I dropped 30 kg, nothing bad happened to me. Finally, I was able to start actively exercising. Now, I hope, I do not need this medication anymore.