Orlistat is prescription only diet pill in most countries, but pharmacies in Australia are permitted to sell Orlistat so long as the customer meets certain criteria
Government regulations state the drug can only be sold to obese people, with a Body Mass Index (BMI)of 28 or more, who are also suffering from a weight-related health problem such as type 2 diabetes of high blood pressure.
People who have a BMI or 30 or more, and do not have any such medical problems, may still qualify for Orlistat due to the extreme nature of their condition.
What Orlistat is and How it Works
In Australia Orlistat is often distributed under the trade name Xenical. It’s a weight loss drug that helps control the calorie intake by interfering with the body’s ability to digest dietary fat. Prescription only diet pills and commercially available weight loss supplements that work in this way are called fat blockers.
Orlistat can reduce fat absorption by up to 30% and this is achieved by the drugs’ ability to retard the activity of the digestive enzymes that are necessary for breaking down fats that are provided by food. Any fat that is not digested passes through the intestines and leaves the body with the stool, which is usually softer and greasier than would normally be the case.
Each gram of fat that is digested provides the body with 9 calories, so Orlistat can be very effective for lowering the amount of calories the body receives each day.
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How Orlistat is Used
One (120g) Orlistat capsule is required within an hour of eating each of the three main meals of the day (breakfast, dinner, lunch) and it is important that the drug be used as part of a calorie controlled diet.
Some Important Considerations
People who find it particularly hard to limit their intake of favourite (fatty) foods may be tempted to try and use Orlistat as a cheat pill and continue with their normal eating habits. This is not a wise thing to do because, apart from the fact that it will make weight loss less likely, eating too much fat will also have consequences.
If there is more fat to block, an increased amount of fat will be passed with the stool. This can result in a sudden need for the toilet and using Orlistat in this way may result in soiled undergarments.
Due to the way it works, Orlistat may cause deficiencies of certain fat-soluble vitamins and this could lead to health problems. However this is not a major problem because things can be brought back into balance by the use of a vitamin supplement, taken two hours before or after the dose of Orlistat.
Possibility of Side Effects
The fact that Orlistat interferes with the way fat is absorbed in the intestines may result in a build-up of wind. The drug has also been linked to chest infections and headaches. Allergic reactions are also a possibility, but the majority of Orlistat users are unlikely to experience any negative issues.
Potential for Improving Weight Loss
Orlistat is a well-studied drug that has proved its worth in many clinical trials and the average weight loss appears to be 50% more than a placebo.
Orlistat is a clinically proven diet pill that can help people to increase their weight loss results by up to 50%. Good results require that the drug be used alongside a calorie controlled diet, but anyone capable of losing 10kg by diet alone should be capable of losing an extra 5kg by using Orlistat. People who start exercise regularly may further improve the amount of weight they lose because the increased activity level cause the body to burn extra calories.
However, it is important to remember Orlistat is only ever sold to people who have attained a high level of obesity. Many people who wish to loose weight will not qualify. Fortunately many commercially available weight loss supplements can deliver a similar or better fat blocking action, while also offering other benefits that can further speed up the weight loss process. So although Orlistat is a good diet pill option (for some people) it is not the only option.
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