What Is Orlistat?

MaNaDr2023-01-19
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Orlistat is a medication that is used to help people lose weight. It works by blocking the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine, which can help reduce calorie intake and lead to weight loss. Orlistat is available as Xenical in Singapore and can be obtained from a pharmacist at a retail pharmacy.

Orlistat is a lipase inhibitor, which means it works by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for breaking down dietary fat in the intestine. When this enzyme is inhibited, the body is unable to absorb fat from the diet, which can help reduce calorie intake and lead to weight loss. Orlistat is most effective when used in combination with a low-fat diet and regular exercise.

Orlistat is approved for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, or adults with a BMI of 28 or higher who have other risk factors for obesity-related conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. It is generally recommended for use in people who have been unable to lose weight through diet and exercise alone.

Orlistat is generally well-tolerated, but it can cause some side effects, particularly in the digestive system. The most common side effects of Orlistat include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and farting. These side effects can be minimized by following a low-fat diet and taking the medication with meals.

Orlistat may also interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. It is important to take a daily multivitamin while taking Orlistat to ensure adequate intake of these nutrients.

There are some potential drug interactions with Orlistat, so it is important to tell your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking before starting Orlistat. Orlistat may interact with blood thinners, immunosuppresants, and medications for diabetes, HIV, seizures and hypothyroidism.

Orlistat is generally considered safe when used as directed, but it is not appropriate for everyone. People with certain medical conditions, such as chronic malabsorption syndrome or gallbladder disease, should not use Orlistat. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid orlistat.

In conclusion, Orlistat is a medication that is used to help people lose weight. It works by blocking the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine, which can help reduce calorie intake and lead to weight loss. It is most effective when used in combination with a low-fat diet and regular exercise, and can cause some side effects, particularly in the digestive system. It is important to tell your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking before starting Orlistat, and to take a daily multivitamin while using the medication. Orlistat may not be appropriate for everyone and should be avoided by certain groups of people.

About The Contributor

Dr Rachel Teoh Pui Pui 

Family Physician

Qualifications

MBBS (Spore 2002), Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma in Family M, DIP (Fam Med, 2009), DIP (Derm UK, 2007)

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