Why is this medication prescribed?
Orlistat (prescription and nonprescription) is used with an individualized low-calorie, low-fat diet and exercise program to help people lose weight. Prescription 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.
How should this medicine be used?
Orlistat comes as a capsule and a nonprescription capsule to take by mouth. It 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 label or the package label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take orlistat exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor or stated on the package.