Orlistat: A Weight Loss Medication

Orlistat is one of the most preferable drugs, which are used in the primary treatment of obesity. At time, it can be found on the market under the brand names Alli or Xenical. Orlistat does not generally work alone. Like most of the other weight loss drugs, Orlistat is also supposed be taken along with some light exercise, and a low calorie diet. This drug has shown remarkable results in the clinical trials done worldwide, where up to 50% weight loss was possible in many cases. The element formula of Orlistat is C29H53NO5. There are other doctors too who have questioned the use of this drug, due to issues like hypersensitivity, incompetence in nutrient absorption etc.

How Orlistat Works: The main function of Orlistat is to prevent the fats and lipids from being absorbed within the body. The action of Orlistat is local within the gastrointestinal tract, and it starts working after the oral dose is ingested. Within the GI tract, Orlistat prevent the function of the gastric and the pancreatic lipases, which aids in the breaking down of the fats and lipids (especially triglycerides). Thus, Orlistat prevents the formation of fatty acids from the ingested triglycerides. The triglycerides are directly excreted from the feces. This drug is also absorbed in very low quantity, as its action is completely local within the GI tract.

How To Take Orlistat: The dose of Orlistat is based on the medical case for which the drug is being used. For example, during adult obesity a dose of 120 mg of Orlistat is given three times a day. The dose has to be taken immediately after the meal, or it can be taken within one hour of the meal completion. The pediatric dose of Orlistat is same as 120 mg three times a day. Based on the effectiveness of the drug, the dose can be increased or decreased by the doctor. But generally, the dose of Orlistat is not increased too much to avoid effects like mal absorption, hypersensitivity to the drug etc.

Drug Interactions: Orlistat shows 2 major and 68 reasonable drug communications. The medicines with which Orlistat shows major interaction are medicines like leflunomide and cyclosporine. The medicine with which Orlistat shows moderate relations are drugs like Acarbose, Pioglitazone, Glimepiride, Rosiglitazone, Exenatide, Interferon beta-1a etc.

Precautions And Side Effects Of Orlistat: Orlistat shows some disease interactions too, with medical conditions like Mal absorption, Vitamin Deficiency, Nephrolithiasis and diabetes. Therefore, if the patient is under the treatment of any of the above stated medicines, or is having any of the above medical conditions, then the doctor must be informed immediately in order to avoid further issues. The dosage can be administered by the doctor accordingly.
Some of the side effects seen in rare cases of Orlistat treatment are frequent urination (polyurea) or loose stools, trouble in bowel movement control, upset stomach, diarrhea, gas formation with discharge. There are other allergic side effects seen in Orlistat treatment too, which are nausea is very common is every cases, toes and fingers highlights blue color, pain in chest, stomach problems, breathing problems, giddiness, diarrhea, vomiting, deteriorating of the pulse rate, uneven rate of heartbeat, and sometimes cramp occurs in leg muscles. If any of the above side effects are seen, then the Orlistat dose must be stopped right away and the doctor must be consulted for further advice.

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