This medication is used with a reduced-calorie diet to help significantly overweight persons lose weight. It also helps to prevent regaining weight previously lost. Orlistat works by blocking some of the fat normally digested by the intestine.
Take this drug by mouth, generally three times daily during (or up to one hour after) each main meal that contains fat. Your daily intake of fat, protein and carbohydrate should be evenly spread over three main meals. If a meal is occasionally missed or contains no fat, skip that dose of the medication. Because this drug can interfere with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (e.g., A,D,E,K), a daily multivitamin supplement containing these nutrients is recommended. Take the multivitamin at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after this drug (e.g., at bedtime). The effects of this drug may begin as soon as 1-2 days after treatment begins; noticeable weight loss will take longer.
Fatty/oily stool, oily spotting, intestinal gas with discharge, bowel movement urgency, poor bowel control, or headaches may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Intestinal side effects (e.g., oily stool) may increase in intensity if you exceed your daily dietary fat allowance. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor your medical history, including: allergies, digestive disorders (malabsorption or cholestasis), low thyroid function (hypothyroidism), other metabolism problems (e.g., oxalate kidney stones, hyperoxaluria). This drug should not be used if you have anorexia nervosa or bulimia-type eating disorders. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. The manufacturer does not recommend use of this drug during pregnancy. It is not known whether this drug is excreted into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you use, especially of: cyclosporine, "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), drugs for diabetes (e.g., insulin), other drugs used for weight loss. Cyclosporine should be taken at least 2 hours before or after orlistat to assure maximum absorption of the cyclosporine into your bloodstream. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
Store at room temperature (77 degrees F, 25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.