Orlistat is a medication used to help with weight loss in individuals with a BMI over 25. BMI (Body Mass Index) is calculated by dividing your weight (kg) by your height (m) squared. Different ranges of values correlate to different categories of weight; a BMI 25-29.9 is categorised as overweight, while a BMI above 30 is categorised as obese. 

Orlistat works by blocking the action of lipase enzymes in your intestine lining. Lipase is an enzyme found abundantly in our gut which is responsible for breaking down fat into soluble forms so they become digestible to the body. By blocking this enzyme, Orlistat prevents your body from digesting some of the fat in your diet.

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How Does Orlistat Work?

Orlistat blocks around ⅓ of the digestion of the fat you consume, meaning your body absorbs less calories from the food you eat. What fat is left undigested is excreted from the body via your stool and faeces. 

For Orlistat to be effective, it needs to be paired with a low fat diet and regular exercise. 3 months is the recommended length for a course of Orlistat, but can be extended if a weight reduction of at least 5% is not noticed during this time period. Starting Orlistat at this 120 mg dose, three times a day, has been shown to reduce body fat by up to 30%. 

How to Take Orlistat

The recommended dose for Orlistat is 120mg which should be taken 3 times a day or with every fat-containing meal. Each meal should contain less than 15mg of fat. It is advised that you do not need to take the medication if the meal does not contain fat or you have missed a meal. You should also not take an Orlistat capsule when eating a meal with more than 15g of fat as this can cause you unpleasant side effects. 

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Taking Orlistat on an Empty Stomach

Orlistat works by stopping the digestion of ⅓ of the fats in your diet. If you have not eaten anything, there is nothing for Orlistat to work with. If you do take the medication on an empty stomach, you might experience side effects like flatulence, loose oily stools and rectal spotting. 

If you want more information about Orlistat and how to take it, please consult the Patient Information Leaflet for Xenical (branded orlistat). 

When Does Orlistat Start Working?

Orlistat starts working almost immediately once taking the medication, but this does not mean you will see immediate effects on your weight. By taking Orlistat as outlined with diet and exercise, you can start to notice weight loss in around 2 weeks. The main percentage of weight loss happens during the first 6 months. 

How to Get Orlistat?

If you would like to try Orlistat, you can order it at Simple Online Pharmacy, after completing an assessment with us. Your answers will be reviewed by one of our doctors, and if they have no concerns, will prescribe you Orlistat and we will post it straight to your doorstep.

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