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Molecule Description

Orlistat belongs to the class of medicines called gastrointestinal lipase inhibitors that are used to control obesity.

Uses of Orlistat

  • Used for obesity management: by aiding in weight loss
  • Reduce the risk of regaining weight which is already lost

Contraindications of Orlistat

When should one not use Orlistat

Do not take this medicine if you are suffering from malabsorption, allergic reaction to Orlistat or reduced gallbladder function.

Side effects of Orlistat

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Oily or fatty stools
  • Oily spotting on undergarments
  • Gas and oily discharge from the bowel
  • Increased number of bowel movements
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Rectal pain
  • Severe pain in lower back
  • Upper stomach pain
  • Itching
  • Tired feeling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine, clay-colored stools and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

Precautions and Warnings of Orlistat


Can I take Orlistat during pregnancy?
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy. Do not take Orlistat if you are pregnant.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Orlistat while breastfeeding?
You must not breastfeed your infant during treatment with Orlistat as it is unknown whether this medicine passes into human milk.


Can I drive if I have consumed Orlistat?
No known effect on your ability to drive a vehicle.


Can I consume alcohol with Orlistat?
No known interction. Consult with doctor while on this medication.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • You have diabetes
  • You have kidney disease. Use of Orlistat may be associated with kidney stones in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease

Mode of Action of Orlistat

How Does It Work?

It works in your digestive system by blocking nearly one-third of the fat in the food from being digested. Orlistat attaches to the enzymes in your digestive system (lipases) and prevents them from breaking down some of the fat you have eaten during your meal. The undigested fat cannot be absorbed and is removed by your body.
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Interactions of Orlistat

Interactions with other medicines

  • Cyclosporine
  • Warfarin (blood-thinning medicine)
  • Amiodarone
  • Insulin or oral anti-diabetes medicine like Acarbose
  • Seizure medication (especially if your seizures get worse while taking orlistat)
  • Vitamin or mineral supplement that contains Beta Carotene or vitamin E
  • If you are taking any over-the-counter medicines or any other herbal medicines

Interactions with food items

  • It can be taken immediately before a meal, during a meal or up to one hour after a meal. No food interaction is reported.

Dietary Restrictions of Orlistat

No information is available on dietary restrictions while you are taking Orlistat, consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

Dosage of Orlistat


The symptoms of an overdose of orlistat are not reported. They are presumably the same as the pronounced side effects, which include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, abdominal distress, oily stools and incontinence of stools.
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Missed a Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember but no more than one hour after eating a meal. If it has been more than an hour since your last meal, skip the missed dose and take medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to compensate for the missed dose.
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Content Details


Dr. Nikita Toshi

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: Can I use this medicine in children?

A: This medicine must not be taken by children and adolescents under 18 years old.

Q: What should I inform the doctor before taking this medicine?

  • Inform doctor:
  • If you are taking a medicine for high blood pressure or high cholesterol or on thyroid medicine (Levothyroxine) as it may be necessary to adjust your dose
  • If you have any gastrointestinal problems or liver problems
  • If you had any previous surgeries

Q: Will this medicine be absorbed into blood?

A: Systemic absorption of Orlistat is minimal, however systemic absorption of the drug is not needed for activity.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
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