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Orlistat is used for weight loss along with an exercise and diet regimen. It is also prescribed by doctors to overweight people who may be suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart patients. It is also used to stop weight gain after weight reduction.

How it works

Orlistat belongs to a class of medication called lipase inhibitors. This prevents absorption of some fat (present in our food) from the intestines. This fat is then removed from the body in stools thus reducing weight gain.

Common side effects

Allergic reaction, Back pain, Body ache, Difficulty in controlling bowel movements, Light colored stools, Dark colored urine, Diarrhoea, Fever, Anxiety, Headache, Irregular menstrual cycle, Jaundice, Ankle swelling, Limb swelling, Nausea, Rectal pain, Rectal discomfort, Sticky stools, Stomach pain, Stomach pain / epigastric pain, Vomiting, Weakness, Yellow discoloration of skin


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Expert advice

  • Orlistat should not be taken if patient is allergic to orlistat.
  • It should not be taken by those who have malabsorption (poor absorption) issues.
  • It should not be taken by women who are breast feeding.
  • It should not be taken with a high fat meal.
  • Do not use this drug if you are pregnant.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is Orlistat available in India?
 Orlistat is available in India with the brand names Orlean, Vyfat, Lipocut, Olistat, Obelit, Orlica, Reeshape, Xenical and Zerofat.

Q. Is Orlistat safe and effective?
Orlistat is safe and effective if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.

Q. Is Orlistat available without prescription?
Orlistat as Alli is available without prescription but Xenical is available only with prescription. Always consult your doctor regarding its use.
Q. How long can I take Orlistat?
Therapy should not continue for more than 6 months along with diet and exercise. If the patient does not lose weight in 12 weeks he/she should consult the doctor and follow his advice.
Q. Can I take Orlistat with anti-depressants, antibiotics, gabapentine, levothyroxine, venlafaxine, metformin, raspberry ketones?
All these drugs are known to have some drug-drug interactions with Orlistat and hence should be taken together only based on doctor’s recommendation.
Q. Does Orlistat burn existing fat or reduce appetite?
Orlistat prevents absorption of fat from the food in the intestine. It does not burn fat. Orlistat may cause reduction of appetite.
Q. Does Orlistat affect the liver or cause cancer?
No studies of Orlistat affecting the liver or causing cancer have been reported.

Content on this page was last updated on 17 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)