• The generic version of Xenical
  • Reduces the amount of fat the body absorbs
  • Ingredient in Alli Capsules
  • Take THREE times daily with meals


Orlistat is a weight loss medication that can work with your diet to help you to meet your weight loss goals. If you have a BMI of 30 or over and are looking for something that will help make your healthy diet work a little harder, orlistat could be the product for you.


  • How Does Orlistat Work for Weight Loss?

    Orlistat works by binding to the enzymes in the body to prevent the absorption of fat. On average, Orlistat will work on around a quarter to one-third of the fat you eat. Instead of this fat being absorbed, it passes through your gut. For people with high-fat diets, this can result in oily stools.

  • Who can use Orlistat?

    Orlistat is indicated in people with a BMI over 30, or in people who have a BMI over 28, with another weight-related condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

  • What is the difference between Orlistat and Xenical?

    Xenical is the branded version of the drug, Orlistat. Orlistat is the generic form of Xenical. Medically, they are exactly the same drug and contain exactly the same strength (120mg of Orlistat).

  • What is the difference between Orlistat / Xenical and Alli?

    Alli is an over the counter version of Orlistat, which is half the strength of the prescribed version. Alli contains 60mg of Orlistat, compared to 120mg in Xenical and generic prescription Orlistat.

  • What is the dosage and duration of treatment of Orlistat?

    One Orlistat capsule is taken with each main meal (to a maximum of three capsules daily). You can take the capsule before, during or up to one hour after each meal.

    If you miss a meal or the meal does not contain any fat, you may not need to take the orlistat capsule; check the patient information leaflet that comes with your medication.

    Treatment with Orlistat (Xenical) should only continue beyond three months if you have lost 5% of your body weight. It usually starts to affect how you digest fat within one to two days.

    If orlistat has not worked after three months, it is unlikely to be an effective treatment for you.

    If you have type 2 diabetes, it can take longer to lose weight using Orlistat (Xenical), so your target weight loss after three months may, therefore, be slightly lower.

    If Orlistat (Xenical) is successful after three months, your prescription may be continued for up to a year. After that, your GP will review your condition and decide whether you should continue with Orlistat (Xenical).

  • How effective is Orlistat?

    Orlistat helps reduce fat absorption by 25-33%. In trials, patients on Orlistat are twice as likely to lose over 10% of their body weight over the course of a year, in comparison to someone using diet alone. It should be noted, when taking Orlistat, diet and exercise are still key to achieving best results.

  • What can you eat when taking Orlistat?

    You should aim to reduce the fat in your diet when taking Orlistat, however, you can continue to eat normal foods.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Orlistat (Xenical) can include:

  • fatty or oily stools
  • needing the toilet urgently
  • passing stools frequently
  • oily discharge from your rectum (you may have oily spots on your underwear)
  • flatulence (wind)
  • stomach pain
  • headaches

These side effects are much less likely to occur if you stick to a low-fat diet.

Women taking the oral contraceptive pill are advised to use an additional method of contraception, such as a condom if they experience severe diarrhoea while taking orlistat. This is because the contraceptive pill may not be absorbed by your body if you have diarrhoea, so it may not be effective.

If you have any side effects you are concerned about, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.


Orlistat should not be taken if you are

  • Pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • Have a BMI less than 28
  • Are under 18


Each hard capsule contains 120 mg orlistat.

Capsule content: Cellulose, microcrystalline PH 112 (E460), Sodium starch glycolate (type A), Silica, colloidal anhydrous, Sodium laurilsulfate

Capsule shell: Gelatin, Titanum dioxide (E171), Indigo carmine (E132)