|Purpose: This medication is used to block the absorption of up to 30% of fat taken in through the diet. It inhibits the absorption of fat by making the fats undigestible. The effects of this medication lessen over time and are minimally effective after 1-2 years.
Also known as: Orlistat.
Side Effects: This medication is known to cause the following side effects:
- loose stools
- increased gas or flatulence
- fatty stools
- oily stools
- urgent need to go to the bathroom
- oily discharge
- increased number of bowel movements
- inability to control bowel movements
- loss of beta carotene (requires supplements)
- loss of vitamins D, E and K (requires supplements)
- more serious side effects to report to your doctor:
- allergic reaction
Precautions: Xenical is not recommended for people with certain pre-existing conditions. Before beginning treatment with this medication be sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- high cholesterol
- high blood sugar
- allergy to other medications
- gallbladder problems
- kidney stones
- eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia)
Drug interactions: Xenical is known to interact negatively with many over-the-counter and prescribed medications. If you are taking any of the following medications, be sure to tell your doctor:
- weight loss medications
- appetite suppressants
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
- cholesterol medications
Dependency: It is unknown if Xenical is habit-forming. However, you should always speak with your doctor before discontinuing any medication.
Warning: Xenical is secreted in breast milk and may cause problems or side effects in your infant. Do not use this medication if you are breastfeeding.
Due to the blocking of fats, Xenical also reduces the body's ability to absorb certain nutrients including beta carotene and vitamins D, E and K. Be sure to speak with your doctor about supplements for these nutrients while taking this medication.