What is the most important information I should know about orlistat?

Orlistat may decrease your body's absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins. To ensure adequate nutrition, your doctor may recommend taking a multivitamin that contains vitamins D, E, K, and beta-carotene. Take your vitamin supplement once a day, at least 2 hours before or after a dose of orlistat.

donot Do not take more of this medication than has been prescribed for you. Doses greater than 120 mg three times a day have not been shown to provide any additional weight-loss benefit.

What is orlistat?

Orlistat blocks some of the fat that you eat from being absorbed by your body.

Orlistat is used in the management of obesity including weight loss and weight maintenance when used with a reduced-calorie diet.

Orlistat may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking orlistat?

donot Do not take orlistat without first talking to your doctor if you have
  • chronic malabsorption syndrome (an inability to absorb food and nutrients properly), or
  • gallbladder problems.

You may not be able to take orlistat if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Before taking orlistat, talk to your doctor if you

  • have a history of kidney stones,
  • have diabetes,
  • have anorexia or bulimia,
  • take any other weight-loss medicine, or
  • take cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral).

You may not be able to take orlistat, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during your treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Orlistat is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Do not take orlistat without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

nobrfeed It is not known whether orlistat passes into breast milk. Do not take orlistat without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take orlistat?

Take orlistat exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

water Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Orlistat is usually taken with each main meal that contains fat. Orlistat can be taken during meals or up to one hour after a meal.

Each time you take orlistat, your meal should contain no more than about 30% of calories from fat. Evenly divide your daily intake of fat, carbohydrates, and protein over three main meals a day. Talk to your doctor about following a healthy eating plan.

If you miss a meal, or if you have a meal without fat, you can skip your dose of orlistat for that meal also.

If orlistat is taken with any one meal that is very high in fat, there is an increased chance of digestive side effects.

donot Do not take more of this medication than has been prescribed for you. Doses greater than 120 mg three times a day have not been shown to provide an additional weight-loss benefit.

Orlistat may decrease your body's absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins. To ensure adequate nutrition, your doctor may recommend taking a multivitamin that contains vitamins D, E, K, and beta-carotene. Take your vitamin supplement once a day, at least 2 hours before or after a dose of orlistat.

rt Store orlistat at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose up to one hour after a meal. If more than one hour has passed since your last meal, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

If you miss a meal, or if you have a meal without fat, you can skip your dose of orlistat for that meal also.

What happens if I overdose?

emt Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an orlistat overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking orlistat?

Each time you take orlistat, your meal should contain no more than about 30% of calories from fat. Evenly divide your daily intake of fat, carbohydrates, and protein over three main meals a day. Talk to your doctor about following a healthy eating plan.

What are the possible side effects of orlistat?

emt Stop taking orlistat and seek emergency medical attention if you experience a rare allergic reaction including shortness of breath; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.

Other, less serious side effects are more likely to occur. Continue to take orlistat and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • oily spotting;
  • oily or fatty stools;
  • orange or brown colored oil in your stool;
  • gas with discharge, an oily discharge;
  • an urgent need to go to the bathroom;
  • an inability to control bowel movements, or;
  • an increased number of bowel movements.

The bowel changes listed above are a natural effect of blocking fat and indicate that orlistat is working. They generally occur early in treatment, particularly after meals containing higher amounts of fat than are recommended. These symptoms are usually temporary and lessen or disappear as you continue treatment and keep to your recommended diet of meals containing 30% fat.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect orlistat?

donot Do not take orlistat without first talking to your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), or
  • warfarin (Coumadin).

You may not be able to take orlistat, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during your treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Orlistat may decrease your body's absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins. To ensure adequate nutrition, your doctor may recommend taking a multivitamin that contains vitamins D, E, K, and beta-carotene. Take your vitamin supplement once a day, at least 2 hours before or after a dose of orlistat.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with orlistat. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking or using any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist has more information about orlistat written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Orlistat is available with a prescription under the brand name Xenical. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Xenical 120 mg-dark-blue, hard-gelatin capsules


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.