Alli (Orlistat) is a drug designed to treat obesity. It is marketed as a prescription drug under the trade name Xenical by Roche in most countries, and is sold over-the-counter as alli by GlaxoSmithKline in the United Kingdom and the United States. Its primary function is preventing the absorption of fats from the human diet by acting as a lipase inhibitor, thereby reducing caloric intake. The weight loss drug is intended for overweight adults ages 18 and older who also follow a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet.
How Does Alli Work?
Alli belongs to a class of drugs called lipase inhibitors. It blocks the intestines from absorbing about 25% of the fat that you eat. Fats that aren’t absorbed leave your body through bowel movements. Some data suggest that Alli helps reduce the amount of a particularly dangerous type of belly fat called visceral fat, which has been linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Alli comes in capsule form. It’s taken by mouth three times a day, either with a meal that contains a little bit of fat, or up to one hour afterward. If you eat a no-fat meal, your doctor may tell you to skip your dose. Never take more medicine than recommended.
What Are Side Effects of Alli
Common side effects of Alli include:
- changes in your bowel function because of the unabsorbed fat,
- fatty/oily stool,
- oily spotting in your undergarments,
- orange or brown colored oil in your stool,
- intestinal gas with discharge,
- loose stools,
- a feeling of needing to have a bowel movement right away,
- increased number of bowel movements,
- poor bowel control,
- stomach pain,
- diarrhea, or
- rectal pain.
These side effects of Alli may worsen if you eat more fat than you should. Other side effects of alli include:
- dark urine,
- clay-colored stools,
- loss of appetite,
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes),
- problems with your teeth or gums,
- cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, cough),
- sore throat,
- flu symptoms,
- back pain, or
- skin rash.