Drug Class: Lipase inhibitors

Table of Contents


Xenical (Orlistat) is a weight loss aid used in combination with a low-calorie diet and doctor-approved exercise. It also helps to continue maintaining weight following weight loss. It is for use in adults only. Orlistat is used in patients with a certain weight who may also have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease.

Orlistat is in a class of drugs called lipase inhibitors. It works in your intestines, where it blocks some of the fat you eat from being absorbed and disgested. This undigested fat is then removed in your bowel movements (BM).

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How to Take It

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. This medicine should be taken with food that contains fat.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • gas with discharge
  • headache
  • rectum pain
  • urgent need to have a bowel movements
  • fecal incontinence
  • anxiety
  • increased number of bowel movements
  • stomach pain
  • irregular menstrual periods

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • itching
  • redness of skin
  • swelling
  • seizure or convulsions
  • yellowing eyes or skin
  • chest pain
  • light-colored stools
  • cold sweats
  • dark-colored urine
  • confusion
  • vomiting
  • difficulty breathing
  • fever

Warnings & Precautions

  • If you are allergic to Orlistat or any other drugs, inform your doctor.
  • Avoid a high-fat diet while taking this medication.
  • DO NOT take Xenical if you have an inability to absorb food and nutrients, or gallbladder problems.
  • When taking this medication, follow diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely. Your daily intake of carbohydrates, fats, proteins should be evenly divided over the course of your daily meals.
  • If you have a serious allergic reaction that includes itching, swelling, or rash, extreme dizziness, or difficulty breathing, get medical help immediately.
  • Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, diabetes, or an underactive thyroid.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Xenical is available in capsule form. It is usually taken 3x /day with each meal that contains fat. Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medication.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


Do not take Xenical if you plan to become pregnant or are currently pregnant.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a601244.html for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.