Orlistat side effects

What you should know before taking Orlistat weight loss pills


Orlistat (Xenical) is what is known as a fat blocker. It prevents your body from absorbing some of the fat you consume. So as you eat, your body would typically store up the fat it isn’t using right away into fatty tissue. Orlistat ensures that this happens at a reduced rate. Your body will still absorb some fat, but it expels most of the fat you eat from the body.

Proper Orlistat Usage

You should always follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to using Orlistat. It is meant to be taken on a low-calorie or reduced-calorie diet. This diet helps your body process the fat coming in without having too much to block off. If you don’t change your diet while taking this drug, then you could suffer unwanted side effects.

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Taking too much of the drug at once can result in an overdose, and the risk for exacerbated side effects is incredibly high.

If you use too little of it or taking a low dose, it may not be effective, and you could be wasting the medication. You could also end up allowing your body to adapt to the drug and dampen its effects.

Common Side Effects

You cannot change the way your body processes fat and expect that there will be no side effects. There are a few common side effects that the majority of people taking this drug will experience. Your individual side effects may not be as severe or as long-lasting as someone else’s, or they could be much worse. The effects vary from person to person, because everyone is different, and their reaction to the drug will be different.

The most common side effects are:

  • steatorrhea (fat expelled with faeces)
  • flatulent discharge
  • oily anal discharge
  • urgent bowel movements
  • an increase in bowel movements
  • faecal incontinence.

You may be able to control these side effects by taking some over-the-counter medication or by simply decreasing your dosage of Orlistat. Do not change your dosage, however, until you talk to your doctor.

Serious Side Effects

Most people only experience mild side effects with this drug. Some of the rarer side effects are quite serious, however, and you should be aware of them. While they may not seem threatening, these can indicate a more serious medical condition developing as a result of taking this drug. If you start to notice any of these symptoms, you should let your doctor know right away.

You may experience:

  • back pain
  • abdominal pain
  • stiffness
  • body aches
  • chills
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • trouble sleeping
  • runny nose
  • sweating
  • sore throat

Once again, these may indicate a greater underlying problem, and they need to be addressed right away.

A tiny percentage of people experience side effects that are quite dangerous on their own. These include an increased heartbeat, changes in their hearing, gum and tooth problems, painful urination, joint pain and jaundice. These need medical attention right away, and they are cause for serious concern. However, your chance of experiencing any of these is quite rare. You should still keep an eye out for any unexplained side effects and symptoms. If you start to notice anything out of the ordinary, it may be caused by Orlistat, and you need to let your doctor know. Any serious problems need to be followed by a trip to the hospital right away.

Allergic Reactions

A small percentage of those who take Orlistat will suffer from an allergic reaction. If your body rejects the drug in this way, it can be indicated by breaking out in hives or rashes, swelling up your tongue and extremities, causing difficulty breathing and other signs of an allergic reaction. If you notice any of these occurring, you need to address them right away with professional medical treatment. An allergic reaction can be very serious, since it can result in breathing problems and eventually suffocation and death.

While most people were taking Orlistat experience only the mildest of symptoms, you do need to be aware of what symptoms you experience and understand which ones call for medical attention.

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