Xenical (Orlistat) and/or Equivalents
What is Xenical?
Xenical is an anti Obesity drug which is prescribed to patients who have a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 30 or BMI 28 or above along with a medical condition that would improve with weight loss.
The active ingredient in Xenical is Orlistat which helps to lose weight by blocking the fat digesting enzymes in the gut. These lipases present in the digestive juices breakdown the fat that is consumed in the diet. The fat which is thus being prevented from being absorbed in the body gets eliminated in the faeces.
Xenical is presented as capsules in blister packing or glass bottles.
Before taking Xenical:
Not everyone who is obese can be prescribed Xenical. The doctors prescribe Xenical only to patients who have high BMI and who have tried changing their lifestyle by following a balanced diet with less consumption of fats and extra calories and have also increased the level of their physical activity.
The doctors are expected to follow certain guidelines before prescribing xenical.
The BMI should be greater than 30 or if the BMI is greater than 28, the person should have a condition like diabetes or high blood pressure that benefits from loss of weight.
Patient should not be less than 18 years or more than 75 years of age.
Treatment with Xenical should be stopped if the patient does not lose atleast 5% of his/her body weight in 3 months of starting the treatment.
Do not take Xenical if:
You are pregnant or breast feeding your child.
Your liver is not functioning properly or in case of biliary stones which may cause improper flow of bile.
You have a condition in which food is not absorbed properly.
Xenical is not meant to be used for children.
It does not affect your motor functions and hence it’s safe to drive or operate machinery while taking Xenical.
Special care while taking Xenical:
Discuss with your doctor any medication that you might be taking as weight loss may necessiate dose adjustment.
If you have kidney problems, inform your doctor as the use of Xenical is associated with kidney stones in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Xenical may cause you to have alterations in your bowel habits like loose or oily stools, flatulence due to the undigested fat from the food you have taken. This will be more prominent after having meals with high fat content.
Xenical is no miracle drug so to get maximum benefit from your course of therapy, you need to follow a well balanced nutrition program and control your caloric intake. Your food should comprise of foods low in fat like fresh fruits and vegetables and the diet plan should be complimented with a regular exercise regimen.
As Xenical may cause severe diarrhoea, it reduces the effeicasy of the pill as a method of contraception. It should therefore be supplemented with other methods of contraception like condoms.
Xenical interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K. therefore it is advisable to take a multivitamin supplement alongwith Xenical Regimen. The supplement should be taken at least two hours after the Xenical dose.
Taking other medicines
Please inform your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken any other drug which may or maynot have been prescribed.This is of importance as using more than one medicine at the same time can alter the effects of the medicines.
Xenical may modify the activity of
Anticoagulant drugs like warfarin
Levothyroxine or Iodine salts as cases of hypothyroidism or reduced control of hypothyroidism may occur.
How to take Xenical:
You should take Xenical exactly as recommended by your doctor.
Take Xenical immediately before or within one hour of consuming your meal with a glass of water.
If you skip a meal or take a meal devoid of fat, you need not take that dose of Xenical as Xenical works in presence of fat only.
Do not be troubled if you miss to take a dose of Xenical. Take it as soon as you remember if this is within one hour of your last meal and if not just take the next dose as prescribed.Do not in any condition take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.
Inform the doctor if you miss several doses. Also let him know if you have not taken the medicine as prescribed or he would unnecessarily alter your treatment thinking that the medicine has not been effective for you or has not been tolerated by you.
If you inadvertantly consume more Xenical capsules than prescribed or somebody else accidently consumes your medicine, contact the doctor to seek medical attention.
Xenical should be stored in the original labeled drug container till used. It should be stored in a cool and dry place, away from direct heat and light and away from the reach of children.
The active ingredient is 120 mg Orlistat. The other ingredients used are microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, povidone, sodium laurilsulfate and talc. Capsule shell is made of gelatin and also contains opacifier like titanium dioxide and edible inks.
Side effects of Xenical
Xenical, like all medications cause certain side effects. The majority of side effects are related to xenicals effects on the digestive system. The side effects are particularly experienced after high fat mealsand so you can get rid of them by adhering to the dietary restrictions.
Some common side effects which occur on start of Xenical are headache, flatulance with discharge, oily stools, urge to defecate often, discomfort or pain in the abdomen and low blood sugar in patients with type-2 diabetes.
Less common side effects include bloating, itchiness or discomfort in the rectum, irregular menses in women and tiredness.
There may be other side effects which occur in you and which are not included in the above list. If you observe any other consequence of the use of Xenical, consult your doctor immediately.
What does Xenical contain?
The active ingredient in Xenical is Orlistat.
Who should be prescribed Xenical?
Xenical should not be prescribed to everyone who is obese. It is prescribed only to patients who have a high BMI and who have not been able to lose weight even after following a balanced diet plan and increased level of physical activity. It is prescribed to patients with a body mass index greater than or equal to 30 or BMI 28 along with diseases in which weight loss will be beneficial.
How does Xenical work?
Xenical blocks the fat digesting enzymes in the gut. These enzymes present in the digestive juices breakdown the fat that is consumed in the diet and as the fat is not absorbed it gets eliminated in the faeces.
Are there any drugs which I cannot take in combination with Xenical?
Xenical may affect the activity of anticoagulant drugs like warfarin, levothyroxine or iodine salts, ciclosporin etc. It may reduce the efficacy of the birth control pill as it may cause severe diarrhoea and hence the pill should be supplemented with other methods of contraception. Also as Xenical interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, it is advisable to take a multivitamin supplement alongwith Xenical atleast two hours after the dose of Xenical.
What happens if I miss a dose of Xenical Tablets?
If you miss a dose of Xenical, take it as soon as you remember it if it is within one hour of your last meal and if not just take the next dose as prescribed. Do not take a double dose under any circumstances.