Orlistat vs Saxenda 

saxenda vs orlistat

Saxenda and Orlistat are weight loss medications used to help people with high body mass index (BMI) lose weight. BMI is a mathematical formula calculated using weight (KG) divided by height (m) squared. The value it produces depicts your weight to height proportion. A BMI between 25-29.9 is it categorised as overweight and if the value is above 30 is it categorised as obese. 

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Xenical (Orlistat) is an oral weight loss medication. Xenical is the branded version, Orlistat being the generic drug name. Both work in the same way as they are the same drug. Their mechanism of action works by blocking the chemicals present in your intestine lining from digesting fat. It blocks the enzyme called lipases which are in charge of breaking down fat into soluble forms. When it comes to breaking down the fat you eat, Orlistat can block nearly ⅓ of it which helps reduce the overall calories your body absorbs. The rest of the fat not digested by your body is excreted via your faeces. 

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The medication comes in capsule form and it is taken 3 times a day with fat containing meals. The recommended dose of the medication is 120 mg. The medication does not need to be taken if the meal does not contain fat or contains more than 15gs of fat as the side effect it produces will be too unpleasant. When taking Orlistat, it is recommended to change your diet to a calorie-controlled diet and have a regular exercise routine to get the maximal results as it does not burn calories alone. At this 120mg dose, three times a day, Orlistat has been shown to reduce body fat by 30%. 


Saxenda (liraglutide) is another weight-loss drug  initially developed to treat Type 2 diabetes. It contains the active ingredient Liraglutide, a GLP-1 receptor antagonist. It works by binding to the hormone ghrelin, described as the hunger hormone, tricking your body into feeling full and satisfied quicker than normal. This translates to you eating less while feeling fuller. The added benefit of Saxenda is that it manages your blood sugars as well as weight management. 

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With a combination of a reduced calorie diet and regular exercise, clinical trials have shown Saxenda to help over 60% of people lose 5% of their body weight or more (with diet and exercise). 

Saxenda does not come as a capsule like Orlistat. It is instead injected once a day subcutaneously (into the fat layer of your skin, avoiding the muscles). Recommended places to inject are fat rich areas like your tummy, thigh or upper arms. Make sure to rotate the site of injection as it can cause damage to the site after multiple uses. 

The medication comes in prefilled syringes, saving you the hassle of measuring the medication on your own. They need to be stored in the fridge as it is sensitive to high temperatures. 

Can you use Saxenda and Orlistat together?

While there are no known drug interactions between Orlistat and Saxenda, and they both act via  different mechanisms of action, it is still recommended to get medical advice before taking both medications together. 

Orlistat does however have interactions with drugs like blood thinners such as warfarin. If you are taking these kinds of drugs make sure to let your healthcare professional know. 


How to get Orlistat or Saxenda?

Here at Simple Online Pharmacy, if you would like Orlistat or Saxenda after completing an online assessment. One of our doctors will review your answers, and if they have no concerns, will prescribe you Orlistat or Saxenda which we will post straight to your doorstep. With a low fat diet and regular exercise, you are one step closer in your weight loss goal.