Orlistat is used with an low-calorie, low-fat diet and exercise program to help people lose weight rapidly.
Orlistat is used in overweight people who may also have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease. Orlistat is also used after weight-loss to help people keep from gaining back that weight. Orlistat is in a class of medications called lipase inhibitors. It works by preventing some of the fat in foods eaten from being absorbed in the intestines. This unabsorbed fat is then removed from the body in the stool.
Orlistat is usually taken three times a day with each main meal that contains fat. Take orlistat during a meal or up to 1 hour after a meal. If a meal is missed or does not have fat, you may skip your dose. Follow the directions on your prescription or the package label carefully, and ask your doctor. Take orlistat exactly as directed by the doctor.
You should evenly divide the amount of daily fat, carbohydrates, and protein you eat over three main meals. If you take Orlistat with a diet high in fat (a diet with more than 30% of the total daily calories from fat), or with one meal very high in fat, you are more likely to experience side effects from the medication.
While you are taking orlistat, you should avoid foods that have more than 30% fat. Read the labels on all the foods you buy. When eating meat, poultry (chicken) or fish, eat only 2 or 3 ounces (55 or 85 grams) for a serving. Choose lean cuts of meat and remove the skin from poultry. Fill up your meal plate with more grains, fruits, and vegetables. Replace whole-milk products with nonfat or 1% milk and reduced- or low-fat dairy items. Cook with less fat. Use vegetable oil spray when cooking. Salad dressings; many baked items; and prepackaged, processed, and fast foods are usually high in fat. Use the low- or nonfat versions of these foods and/or cut back on serving sizes. When dining out, ask how foods are prepared and request that they be prepared with little or no added fat.
Orlistat blocks your body's absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins and beta carotene. Therefore it is highly recommended that, when you use Orlistat you should take a daily multivitamin that contains vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene. Take the multivitamin once a day, 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking orlistat, or take the multivitamin at bedtime.