Orlistat for slimming: how does the drug work and how much weight can you lose?

A medication called orlistat is used to treat obesity and excess weight. It functions by preventing the digestion of dietary fats. You can lose more than 10% of your body weight using orlistat. Orlistat is unfortunately not widely used because of its unpleasant side effects.

Obesity is regarded as a disease of civilization. Pharmacotherapy is one method of treatment. Orlistat is a prescription drug used for weight loss. What is the process for losing weight?

Orlistat for slimming:

Orlistat for weight loss: what is it?

The drug orlistat (tetrahydrolipostatin) blocks the action of enzymes (lipases) in the digestive tract. This stops 30% of the fats in food from being absorbed. Taken orally, the medication. It is designed to be used in conjunction with a moderately low-calorie diet for obese individuals.

Orlistat for slimming: action

Orlistat comes in capsules that work for a long time, and the digestive tract doesn’t absorb it very often. It is entirely eliminated through feces and urine. Inhibiting fat absorption and lowering calorie intake are the main mechanisms by which orlistat works to cause weight loss.

By stopping enzymes from working once the medicine is in the digestive tract, it stops triglycerides from being changed into free fatty acids and monoglycerides that can be absorbed. Just 24 hours after taking the medication, the amount of fat in the stool rises as a result of the drug’s effect, which is connected to the need to remove extra fat from the digestive system.

Orlistat for slimming – indications for use

Orlistat for weight loss is indicated in:

  • obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30 kg/m2, 
  • overweight patients with a body mass index (BMI) equal to or greater than 28 kg/m2.

Orlistat for slimming: dosage

One capsule of orlistat, 120 mg, should be taken three times daily. Take the medication before, during, or one hour after each main meal. Take the medication before, during, or one hour after each main meal. The medication needs to be skipped if the patient skips a meal or if the meal is low in fat. Water is used to flush the capsule.

The effectiveness of orlistat

In a multicenter, randomized trial to see how well orlistat works, people lost an average of 9.8% of their starting weight. More than 10% of some patients’ initial body weight was lost (37%). In a different investigation into the efficiency of orlistat, 4.65 kg on average were lost after 24 weeks of treatment. Additionally, BMI dropped, waist measurements on average increased by almost 5 cm, and cholesterol levels improved.

The concurrent use of a moderately low-calorie diet (about 30% of which should be fats) is necessary for the drug to be effective. While using orlistat, it is advised that you eat three substantial, well-balanced meals each day that include protein, carbohydrates, and fats. It’s crucial to consume a lot of fruits and vegetables every day. Treatment should end if a weight loss of at least 5% from baseline weight is not made within 12 weeks.

Orlistat side effects

The main side effect of using orlistat is the appearance of fatty diarrhea. Patients may complain  of: 

  • greasy stains on underwear (fatty spotting),
  • gauze with oily stains on clothes,
  • stool pressure,
  • loose stools,
  • diarrhea,
  • difficulty controlling bowel movements
  • pain or discomfort in the rectum
  • headache,
  • stomachache,
  • irregular periods,
  • gum and tooth diseases,
  • anxiety, 
  • tiredness,
  • lowering the level of glucose in the blood (in patients with type 2 diabetes).

Author: DoctorMaryam.org

4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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