How Does Orlistat Work?

When you eat, the dietary fats in your food have to be broken down into smaller pieces before your body can absorb them. When you take Orlistat, it works by blocking the enzyme responsible for breaking down those dietary fats. As a result, your body isn’t able to absorb all of the fat, and the undigested fat simply passes out of your body through bowel movements. This prevents your body from gaining as much weight as a result of ingesting fat. However, Orlistat does not block the absorption of other calories, such as those from sugar and other non-fat foods, so it’s still important to reduce your caloric intake if you wish to lose weight.

How Much Weight Can You Lose With Orlistat?

The specific amount of weight you'll lose with Orlistat will depend on several factors, including your starting weight and for how long you take the medication. On average, you can expect to lose approximately 5 to 10 lbs during the first six months of taking Orlistat in NYC, Long Island, & New Jersey.

How Soon Can I Expect to Lose Weight?

It typically takes several weeks to start seeing significant results from taking Orlistat. During the first 12 weeks of your treatment, you should aim to lose approximately 5% of your starting body weight.

How Often Is Orlistat Taken?

Orlistat is meant to be taken thrice daily, with each main meal containing some fat.

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How Do I Take Orlistat?

Orlistat comes in the form of a capsule that should be taken orally. You can take the medication with your meal or up to one hour after you’ve eaten. If you eat a meal that does not contain any fat, you should skip your dose of Orlistat for that meal.

Orlistat is meant to be part of a complete treatment program that includes dieting and regular exercise. Because Orlistat can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins, you may need to take a regular vitamin and mineral supplement while taking the medication.

Orlistat should be stored at room temperature and kept away from moisture, heat, and light.

Is Orlistat Safe?

If you use the medication properly and follow your doctor’s instructions, Orlistat is generally a safe medication. However, you should not take Orlistat if:

  • You are pregnant
  • You have gallbladder problems
  • You have had an organ transplant
  • You are not overweight

Risks and Side Effects of Orlistat

Orlistat can cause certain side effects in some patients. The most common side effects of Orlistat include:

  • Oily/fatty stools
  • Oily spots in your underwear
  • Gas
  • Oily discharge
  • Loose stools
  • More frequent bowel movements
  • Stomach pain
  • Rectal pain
  • Nausea

If you encounter any of the following more serious side effects, you should stop taking Orlistat and contact your doctor immediately:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Severe lower back pain
  • Blood in your urine
  • Painful urination
  • Jaundice
  • Swelling of the feet or ankles

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Note: A BMI of 30 – 34.9 or BMI 35 – 39.9 with no comorbidities qualify for lap band but is usually not covered by insurance.