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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger HendersonReviewed on 29.04.2024 | 3 minutes read

Orlos is a branded product that contains the medication orlistat, which is used for weight loss. You can buy it from your pharmacy although it is only suitable for overweight adults with a BMI of 28 kg/m2 or above who will commit to a reduced-calorie and lower-fat diet.

Exercise and other healthy living choices should also form an essential role in your weight loss plan. The medication can help those who are overweight to reduce their increased risk of developing a range of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even some cancers.

How do I take it?

Orlos is available as capsules. You can take one capsule three times a day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You should take Orlos just before, during, or up to one hour after meals. If you miss a meal or your meal does not contain any fat, you should not take Orlos. Make sure you swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water.

The medication found in Orlos can decrease the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (namely vitamins A, D, E, and K). Therefore, you should take a multivitamin supplement containing these vitamins. It is best to take the multivitamin supplement in the evening before you go to bed, so orlistat does not stop the fat-soluble vitamins from being absorbed into your body.

Do not take Orlos for longer than six months without consulting your doctor. If you have not lost weight (at least a 5% reduction) after taking Orlos for 12 weeks, you should speak with your doctor or pharmacist as they may not want you to continue treatment.

How does it work?

The active medication orlistat works by reducing the absorption of fat from your meals into your body. Orlistat inhibits enzymes in your digestive system called lipase that breaks down fat into smaller components that your digestive system is able to absorb. The fat you have not broken down can’t be absorbed and instead passes out of your body in your stools. Orlos can prevent about a quarter of fat from your meals from being absorbed from your digestive system.

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Who should avoid the medication?

Do not take Orlos if you are allergic to orlistat or another ingredient listed in the medicine. Orlos is not suitable for anyone under 18 or with a BMI lower than 28 kg/m2. Do not take Orlos if you: are pregnant or breastfeeding, have problems absorbing food, have a medical condition called cholestasis, take ciclosporin, or take warfarin or another medicine to thin your blood.

Speak with your doctor before taking Orlos if you have kidney disease or take amiodarone, levothyroxine, or other medications for diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or HIV. If you would usually check with your pharmacist or doctor before taking new medications, it may be best to speak to them first to ensure Orlos is a safe option for you.

Are there any side-effects?

As with all medications, some people may experience side effects. Some common ones include flatulence, fatty or oily stools, oily spotting on your underwear, an urgency to have a bowel movement, and abdominal pain. Eating lower-fat meals can help to reduce side effects. You should speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about any side effects.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 29.04.2024
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