Orlistat is a weight loss tablet that can help you lose more than 10% of your body weight in 3-6 months. Get weight loss tablets online with fast and discreet delivery.
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Orlistat is a prescription medication used by overweight people (with a BMI over 30 or over 28 with certain health problems) to help them lose weight. Usually, it is used alongside a healthy diet and exercise plan, as recommended by a doctor.
Orlistat tablets come in a dosage of 120mg which you take up to 3 times per day with a meal containing fat. Orlistat 120mg is an effective weight loss treatment, and you can expect to see results within 2 weeks.
If you have any questions about orlistat, weight loss treatments in general, or your health, you can send a message to our doctors for free advice using your account. You can do this before you start treatment or later once you have started treatment.
42 capsule(s) / 120 mg - £24.99
84 capsule(s) / 120 mg - £45.00
Orlistat is a prescribed weight loss pill that is used to help overweight people lose weight. It does this by preventing them from digesting and absorbing fat. It does not remove body fat or reduce appetite.
Orlistat can only be prescribed to those with a BMI over 30 or over 28 with certain medical problems, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
Orlistat belongs to a class of drugs called lipase inhibitors. These drugs change how your body absorbs fat, reducing the amount of dietary fat absorbed by your intestines by a third. This unabsorbed fat is passed on in your stool when you go to the toilet.
Orlistat is used to help people who struggle with unwanted weight gain or obesity. It can be a good option for people who have tried other weight loss strategies but have been unsuccessful.
How do you get approved for orlistat?
To get an approved prescription of orlistat, you will need to go through an assessment with a doctor or weight loss specialist.
Weight loss tablets like orlistat will usually only be approved if you have already made efforts to lose weight through lifestyle changes, such as dieting or exercise.
Orlistat can only be prescribed to those with a BMI over 30 or over 28 with certain medical problems, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
Orlistat works by changing how your body digests fat. When you take it, it blocks lipase, an enzyme found in the intestines that helps break down and digest fats. Once lipase is blocked, fat is passed through your body as waste instead of being absorbed.
What does orlistat do to your body?
Orlistat tablets contain the active ingredient orlistat, which is a lipase inhibitor. This medication prevents certain enzymes, called lipase, from breaking down dietary fats in your food. This stops some of the fat in your food from being absorbed into your body, and instead causes it to be passed on in your stool when you go to the bathroom.
How long does orlistat take to work?
Orlistat starts to work within 1-2 days after first taking it, but it can take up to 2 weeks until you start to see results. Most patients say they see the best results in the first 3 months of taking orlistat.
Orlistat is an effective weight loss medication. Obese people can lose more than 10% of their body weight within 3-6 months of taking it.
How much weight can you lose with orlistat in a month?
You can expect to lose 0.5 to 1kg per week when you first start taking orlistat, or around 2 to 4kg in the first month. Results will vary from person to person, depending on things like your starting weight or any underlying medical conditions.
Studies have shown that people who took orlistat while dieting and exercising lost around 8.5kg in a year. Those who did not take orlistat lost around 3kg less than those who did over that same time period.
Some studies show that orlistat can help you lose more than 10% of your body weight in 3-6 months.
“Yes, orlistat is safe for weight loss. This medication has been used to treat weight loss for over 10 years. Studies over many years have proven that there are no widely reported adverse reactions to the medication, with the most common being adverse mild abdominal pain, needing to go to the bathroom more urgently, and loose stools.” – Dr Crystal Wyllie, Doctor at ZAVA.
You should swallow your orlistat capsules whole, washed down with water. Take orlistat up to 3 times a day, with each meal that contains fat, or up to 1 hour after.
Please note: If you miss a meal or don’t have a meal with any fat, do not take a dose.
When to take orlistat
The best time to take orlistat is immediately after a meal that contains fat, or up to 1 hour after the meal. If you eat a meal that is low in fat, or has none, then you do not need to take Orlistat.
How long can you take orlistat for?
Orlistat is typically taken for 3-6 months, but there is no time limit on how long you can safely take orlistat for. You should not continue to take orlistat tablets without an assessment with your doctor.
What happens if you take orlistat without eating?
If you take orlistat without eating, you will see no weight loss benefits. Orlistat works by reducing the amount of fat your body absorbs from food. If you stop eating, there is no fat intake to be reduced, and so nothing will happen. This is why you also do not need to take orlistat if you have a meal that doesn’t contain fat.
How to get the best results from orlistat
Orlistat is most effective when used in combination with other weight loss methods, like healthy eating and regular exercise. Your doctor or dietician will be able to give you advice.
What to eat when taking orlistat
For the best results, take orlistat tablets with meals that are high in nutritional value and are low in calories and fat. When taking orlistat, it is recommended that you follow a diet that controls your fat intake to 30% of your total calories.
Some easy ways you can reduce your fat intake include:
- Eating leaner cuts of meat, such as turkey and chicken.
- Switching to a diet higher in fruits and vegetables.
- Trimming visible fat off your meat, and removing chicken skin.
- Choosing low-fat options where possible, such as skimmed milk, low-fat spreads, and reduced-fat cheese.
- Avoiding adding extra oil or butter when cooking. Choose cooking methods such as poaching, baking, and grilling.
- Switching to spray oil, which can help you use less oil while cooking.
- Avoiding snacking between meals.
You should avoid foods that are high in fat when taking orlistat. This is because orlistat works by reducing the amount of fat your body can absorb, and this unabsorbed fat will be passed through your stools.
If you eat foods that are high in fat, you may notice side effects including:
- oily or fatty stools
- oily spotting or discharge from rectum
- stomach pain
- increased flatulence
- needing to go to the toilet more often and/or more urgently
- loose bowel movements
Orlistat is available in 60mg and 120mg dosages.
Orlistat 60mg is available over the counter in the UK, under the brand name Alli. This is medication with orlistat, but is slightly less effective for weight loss as it is a lower dosage. Orlistat 60mg is taken up to 3 times a day with each meal, for a total dosage of 180mg of orlistat per day.
Orlistat 120mg is a prescription only medication, and is also sold under the brand name Xenical. Orlistat 120mg is taken 3 times a day with each meal, for a total dosage of 360mg of orlistat per day.
What is the difference between orlistat 60 and 120?
The difference between orlistat 60 and 120 is the dosage. Otherwise they are the exact same medication.
Orlistat 120 is more effective than orlistat 60, but also has a higher risk of side effects. Because of this, it is a prescription only medication as a doctor needs to make sure it is safe and appropriate for you to take it.
Orlistat 60 is still effective for weight loss, and is found to be safe for most people. Because of this, it is available without a prescription under the brand name Alli.
Cost Price per Pill 42 capsules (2 week supply)
84 capsules (4 week supply)
You can only buy orlistat 120mg if you have a prescription. You can get a prescription from your local GP with an appointment, or you can request treatment with orlistat safely and conveniently online from websites such as ZAVA Online Doctor.
Where to buy orlistat online?
You can buy orlistat online from trusted websites such as ZAVA Online Doctor. To make sure it is safe and appropriate for you to take orlistat, you will first have to complete a short online questionnaire about your health.
Please note: It is safe and legal to purchase orlistat from trusted and regulated websites. When purchasing prescription medications like Orlistat online, make sure the website is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This means that the website is operated by real doctors who are dispensing legitimate medications.
Can you buy orlistat over the counter?
Yes, you can buy orlistat over the counter, but only at the lowest dosage.
Orlistat 60mg, sold under the brand name Alli, is available without a prescription from most pharmacies in the UK. You will need to complete a short assessment in the pharmacy before you can get it, but you will not require a prescription from a doctor first. This is because this dosage has been found to be safe for most people to take.
Orlistat 120mg is not available over the counter, so you will need a prescription from a doctor before you can get this medication.
The benefits of orlistat tablets include lower weight, BMI, and cholesterol levels. This happens because your body is absorbing less fat from food, which is instead being passed as waste.
Some studies show that orlistat is also beneficial for high blood pressure, and can help those with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels.
“Orlistat usually starts working straight away, and most people experience weight loss within the first few weeks. However, it can take up to 3 months to see results. If you have been taking orlistat alongside other weight loss strategies for longer than 3 months and haven’t lost weight, it may be that orlistat is not an effective treatment for you.” – Dr Crystal Wyllie, Doctor at ZAVA.
Orlistat is not the only medication that is available for weight loss treatment. If orlistat does not work for you, alternative weight loss treatments may be a better option for you. Our doctors can provide advice and help guide you to the right weight loss treatment for you.
Just like any medication, orlistat can have side effects. These range from very common to rare:
- abdominal pain
- oily and/or liquid stools
- low blood sugar levels
- upper respiratory infections
- the flu
- rectal pain/discomfort
- soft stools
- urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- lower respiratory infection
- infectious diarrhoea
- irregular menstrual cycle
- gum disease
- muscle pain
- feeling sick
- allergic reaction
- skin rash
- abnormal liver function
- internal bleeding
- decreased appetite
- inflammation of the vagina
- visible water retention
Getting a couple of common side effects is perfectly normal when taking any medication. However, if you get side effects that begin to concern you, call 111 or see your GP.
Long term orlistat side effects
There are no reported long term side effects of orlistat, and this medication can typically be taken safely for as long as it remains effective.
Yes, you can drink alcohol while taking orlistat. There is no interaction between orlistat and alcohol, so there is no danger of adverse reactions or side effects. However, alcohol is high in calories, so drinking could hurt your attempts to lose weight.
When you consult your GP about orlistat, make sure you mention any pre-existing conditions, as well as any medication you are currently taking. This is because orlistat is known to have serious reactions with some medication or conditions.
These drugs are known to have an adverse reaction with orlistat. If you are taking any of them, orlistat will be unsuitable for you:
- blood thinners, like Warfarin
- HIV medication
- medication to treat fits (seizures)
If you are taking medication or have an existing health condition not listed here, be sure to still check with your GP before taking orlistat.
The following conditions make it unsuitable for you to take orlistat:
- digestive problems
- gallbladder problems
- underactive thyroid
- kidney stones
- eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa or bulimia
- fits (seizures)
There are some orlistat alternatives, such as other weight loss pills with orlistat or Mysimba with the active ingredients naltrexone and bupropion. There are also injections available that patients can inject themselves.
Orlistat vs Xenical
Xenical is a branded version of orlistat 120mg. This means that they are the exact same medication, just with a different name on the box. Orlistat is a generic medication, which means it can be made by any pharmaceutical company, while Xenical can only be produced by Roche. Generics are just as effective as branded medications, and are usually available at a lower price.
Orlistat vs Alli
Alli is a branded version of orlistat 60mg. Alli is a lower dose alternative to Xenical, which is typically prescribed at a 120mg dose.
Alli and orlistat 60mg work in the same way, and are equally effective in treating weight loss. The only difference between them is that Alli is available over-the-counter in the UK.
Weight loss injections
Weight loss injections, like Wegovy and Saxenda, are effective weight loss treatments that work differently to orlistat. Weight loss injections work by reducing your appetite, which helps you to lower your calorie intake by eating less. If orlistat isn’t right for you, weight loss injections like Saxenda and Wegovy may be a good alternative.
Mysimba is a weight loss tablet that works differently to orlistat. Similarly to weight loss injections, Mysimba works by reducing your appetite, so you feel more full after eating less food. If orlistat isn’t an effective treatment, and you feel uncomfortable with a daily injection, Mysimba may be right for you.
Active Ingredient(s) Price Orlistat (Pill)
Naltrexone and Bupropion
Yes, orlistat can be a good option for those trying to lose weight. It is a very effective medication which can help you lose more than 10% of your body weight in 3-6 months, and doesn’t have any widely reported serious side effects.
Orlistat is also a cheaper alternative to many other weight loss treatments, and works well alongside other weight loss strategies like dieting and exercise.
Frequently asked questions
Do you need a prescription for orlistat?
Yes, orlistat 120mg is a prescription only medication so you will need to speak to a doctor before you can get it. Orlistat 60mg, under the brand name Alli, is available over the counter from most UK pharmacies.
How many orlistat do I take a day?
You take orlistat up to 3 times per day, once with each meal that contains fat. If you eat a meal that doesn’t contain fat, then you don’t need to take orlistat afterwards.
Is orlistat available on the NHS?
Yes, orlistat is available on the NHS. You will need to speak to your GP to find out if your specific clinic offers this medication.
Can you take orlistat 120 mg 3 times a day?
Yes, taking orlistat 120mg 3 times per day is the typical dose for this medication.
How long after taking orlistat do you poop?
Orlistat doesn’t typically change how often or how quickly you need to poop. If you eat a fatty meal, you may notice an increased urgency to poop as there is more fat being passed through your stool.
Dr Crystal Wyllie Accreditations: MBBS, MRCGP (2015), DFSRH, DRCOG (2018)
Crystal qualified in Medicine at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2010. She then trained as a GP in London hospitals and practices. She has a particular interest in reproductive, sexual and women’s health.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 10 Jan 2024
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Information for patients taking orlistat (Xenical), NHS [accessed October 2023]
Orlistat, Statpearls [accessed October 2023]
Orlistat Reviews, Drugs [accessed October 2023]
Orlistat Reviews, WebMD [accessed October 2023]