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orlistat weight loss medication
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Orlistat is a medication used to help people lose weight. It works by preventing the body from absorbing some of the fat from food.

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Jordan Christchurch reviewed
"Fast, easy to use and very responsive customer service. Prices are also very competitive."
RJ Layton reviewed
"5 Star service is so much easier than going to my local pharmacy, especially when feeling under the weather."
Bianca Carthright reviewed
"No fuss, and fast delivery. Welzo dispatched my order the same day and it arrived in the morning."
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Orlistat for Weight Loss

Orlistat is a treatment for obesity. It is often only prescribed after a change to diet and lifestyle has not been effective at reducing weight. Orlistat is taken with each main meal of the day and works in the digestive system to block the absorption of fat into the body. This non-absorbed fat is then eliminated from the body through the stools.

Weight loss medication needs to be used in conjunction with eating a balanced diet and partaking in regular exercise.

What is Orlistat and how does it work?

Orlistat works by blocking approximately one-third of the fat in the food you eat from being digested. It will attach to the enzymes in the digestion system and block them from breaking down some of the fat from your food. Since it cannot be digested, the fat that wasn't digested is eliminated from the body as waste.

Orlistat is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Orlistat is only intended for use by adults aged 18 and over who are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 28 or above.

Is Orlistat right for me?

If you suffer from obesity, Orlistat may be an effective treatment. However, it may not be suitable for you if you have the following:

  • If you are allergic to orlistat or any other ingredients in this medicine
  • If you have chronic malabsorption syndrome
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you have cholestasis
  • If you are on anticoagulant drugs
  • If you are taking ciclosporin
  • If you have diabetes
  • If you have kidney disease

Side Effects

All medications can cause potential side effects, below we have listed some potential side effects of Orlistat. However, these do not always occur and are mostly mild in nature. But if you experience any prolonged or worrying side effects of Orlistat, please discontinue the medication immediately and consult your doctor.

Common side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Abdominal pain/discomfort
  • Urgent or increased need to open the bowels
  • Wind
  • Wind with discharge
  • Oily discharge
  • Oily or fatty stools
  • Liquid stools
  • Increased elimination of stools
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Low blood sugar levels

Additional Information

Orlistat is available as a prescription drug and also sold over the counter in some countries. Orlistat can also be known as Xenical.

There are two main forms of orlistat:

The prescription-only form, which is sold under the brand name Xenical. This form of orlistat is only available with a doctor's prescription. The over-the-counter form, which is sold under the brand name Alli. This form of orlistat does not require a prescription but is only approved for use in adults aged 18 years and older who have a body mass index (BMI) of 28 kg/m2 or greater.

Orlistat is generally well-tolerated but can cause some gastrointestinal side effects, such as flatulence and oily stools. It may also interact with certain medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting orlistat if you are taking any other medications.

If you are interested in trying orlistat, talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you.

How to take Orlistat?

Always take Orlistat exactly as prescribed by your doctor or advised by the pharmacist. The recommended starting dose is three (120mg) tablets a day, however, in presence of other factors, this may be increased or decreased accordingly as per the prescriber's clinical judgement. 

  • Orlistat is typically taken three times a day. One tablet should be taken immediately before, during or up to one hour after each main meal
  • Swallow the capsule with water
  • The usual dose is one capsule with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Orlistat will not work if you miss a meal, or if there is no fat in your meal.
  • If you eat a high-fat meal, do not take more than your recommended dose
  • Do not take Orlistat if pregnant or breast-feeding

Only 3 doses of Orlistat should be taken in 24 hours. Do not take more than 3 capsules a day.

Warnings and Precautions

Orlistat may not be safe if taken with other medication or recreational drugs. Please inform the prescriber if you are taking any of the listed medications.

DO NOT take Orlistat:

  • If you are allergic to orlistat or any other ingredients in this medicine
  • If you are taking medicines for depression, anxiety or psychiatric disorders
  • If you are taking Amiodarone
  • If you are taking warfarin or other blood-thinning medications
  • If you are taking ciclosporin
  • If you taking medicines to treat HIV
  • If you are taking Iodine salts and/or thyroxine

The above-listed warnings are not exhaustive, please consult a doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you have further questions on the use of this medication or potential interactions with other medicines.


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All orders placed before 14:00 on weekdays will be delivered the next working day. For the majority of the UK, medication will be dispatched by Royal Mail, Monday to Friday, if ordered before 14:00. Dispatches are sent using Royal Mail's Next-Day Tracked 24-Hour service. We will email you tracking information directly and you should receive your order the day after dispatch.

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We know that many of our customers turn to us when they need personal medication, preferring to use our online service rather than shopping for the product face to face. That is why our delivery is always discreetly packaged in plain brown boxes or enveloped. You will not have to worry about any content descriptions, and the package will be for your eyes only!

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Orlistat: Weight Loss Treatment

What is Orlistat?

Orlistat, a notable medication for weight management, is a drug specifically designed to combat obesity. It is the main active ingredient in weight loss medications like Xenical and Alli. The medication falls under the category of lipase inhibitors and has been approved by the FDA for long-term use.

How Does Orlistat Work for Weight Loss?

Orlistat restricts 25% to 33% of the dietary fat from being absorbed by the body. The primary mode of action of Orlistat lies in its ability to inhibit the body's enzymes responsible for fat absorption, helping with a patient's weight loss journey. Rather than contributing to caloric intake, the unabsorbed fat passes out of the body in stools. The mechanism is central to the role of Orlistat in weight loss, as it effectively reduces the amount of calorie intake from fats. Orlistat is most effective when used with a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise, as emphasised by Harvard Medical School.

Orlistat: Dosage & Usage

Who can use Orlistat?

Orlistat is primarily intended for adults struggling with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above, or 28 and above if other risk factors like diabetes or high blood pressure are present. Orlistat must be used as a part of a comprehensive weight-loss program under medical supervision, as suggested by Dr Michael Dansinger of the Tufts Medical Center.

What is the dosage and duration of treatment of Orlistat?

The standard dosage for Orlistat is 120 mg, taken three times a day with each main meal containing fat. It is crucial to maintain a balanced, calorie-controlled diet during the treatment. The treatment duration depends on the individual's response to the drug, their weight-loss target, and medical advice. However, doctors typically suggest discontinuing the medication if a person does not lose at least 5% of their initial body weight after 12 weeks of treatment. Consult a doctor for further recommendations. 

How to use Orlistat 120 mg for weight loss?

Orlistat 120 mg is most effective when taken with a meal containing fat. However, it is important not to exceed the recommended daily fat intake to avoid potential side effects. No more than 30% of the calories in each meal must come from fat, as recommended by experts such as Katherine Zeratsky, a dietitian and nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic.

Can I take one orlistat a day?

No, the standard dosage is 120 mg, taken thrice daily, with each meal containing fat, however, speak with a doctor for individual recommendations. Following the recommended dosage for Orlistat is essential to ensure its effectiveness and avoid potential side effects and a single dose of Orlistat a day is not the usual recommendation and might not provide the desired weight loss benefits. Orlistat must be taken as part of a weight management programme under professional supervision to effectively help with losing weight, as suggested by the NHS guidelines.

Orlistat Effectiveness and Results

Is Orlistat good for weight loss?

Yes, Orlistat is an effective weight loss treatment when used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise. Patients using Orlistat experienced a significant reduction in body weight compared to those using a placebo, according to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. It is, however, crucial to remember that weight loss varies among individuals and depends on various factors, including lifestyle changes and adherence to a balanced diet to effectively lose weight.

How effective is Orlistat?

Orlistat use, combined with lifestyle changes, leads to an average weight loss of 10% over six months, as found in a study in the International Journal of Obesity. However, the effect varies among individuals and is often maximised with a healthy, balanced diet and regular physical activity.

How much weight can I lose in a week with Orlistat?

Patients using Orlistat lose about 5% of their body weight within three months, as found by the NICE guidelines. Weight loss with Orlistat varies among individuals, however, a healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss is generally considered to be around 0.5 to 1 kg per week. It is important to remember that weight loss must be gradual and consistent, and rapid weight loss leads to health complications, therefore it is important to measure lost weight over the course of treatment through a holistic approach.

How long does Orlistat take to work?

Orlistat starts to work immediately by blocking the absorption of dietary fat. However, noticeable weight loss usually takes a few weeks to manifest. In clinical trials, significant weight loss was observed within the first three months of treatment as cited by the European Medicines Agency.

How long can you stay on Orlistat?

If a person does not lose at least 5% of their initial body weight after 12 weeks of treatment, doctors suggest discontinuing the medication. The duration of Orlistat treatment varies among individuals and depends on their response to the medication and the amount of weight they aim to lose. Long-term use of Orlistat must be under the supervision of a healthcare provider. The FDA has approved Orlistat for long-term use, but it is generally not recommended to use it for more than two years without a doctor's advice.

How to get the best results from Orlistat?

The best results from Orlistat are achieved when it is used as part of a comprehensive weight loss programme, including a balanced, low-calorie diet and regular physical activity. Consults with a healthcare provider for specific recommendations. 

What can you eat when taking Orlistat?

While taking Orlistat, it is important to adhere to a balanced, low-fat diet to maximise weight loss and minimise side effects. The diet must consist of a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, according to dietitian Lisa Young. It is recommended that no more than 30% of the calories in each meal come from fat. Regular meals are essential, with attention paid to portion sizes to control caloric intake.

Orlistat Alternatives

If Orlistat is not suitable or not effective, other weight loss medications are considered under a healthcare provider's guidance including drugs like liraglutide, naltrexone-bupropion, and phentermine-topiramate, among others. However, it is important to remember that all weight loss medications work best when used in conjunction with lifestyle modifications, including a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

What is the difference between Orlistat and Xenical?

Orlistat and Xenical are often used interchangeably, creating some confusion, however, Orlistat is the active ingredient in the brand-name drug Xenical. Both serve the same function and have the same impact on weight loss. The primary difference lies in the branding and the dosage, with Xenical typically containing a higher dosage of Orlistat than some over-the-counter versions.

What is the difference between Orlistat / Xenical and Alli?

Both Orlistat and Xenical contain the same active ingredient, whereas Alli is a brand-name drug that contains a lower dose of Orlistat. Alli is a more accessible option for many, as it is available for purchase over the counter without a prescription, while Xenical usually requires a doctor's prescription. However, due to the lower dosage, Alli might be slightly less effective than Xenical in promoting weight loss.

Orlistat Availability and Pricing

Can I buy Orlistat over the counter?

Yes, Orlistat is available both as a prescription and over-the-counter medication. The over-the-counter version, known as Alli, contains a lower dose of Orlistat than the prescription version. Orlos is available with a consultation and the 120mg Orlistat required a prescription. It is available in many pharmacies and health stores. However, it's advisable to consult a healthcare provider before starting any weight loss medication. 

Where can I buy Orlistat?

Orlistat is available from pharmacies, both in-person and online, with a prescription, while Alli, the lower-dose version, is available for purchase over the counter. However, ensuring the source is legitimate is crucial to avoid counterfeit products. Websites like NHS provide guidelines on how to buy medicines online safely.

What is the over-the-counter version of Orlistat?

The over-the-counter version of Orlistat is known as Alli. It contains a lower dose of Orlistat (60 mg per capsule compared to 120 mg in the prescription version) and is available for purchase without a prescription. Despite the lower dosage, Alli works in the same way as Orlistat and contributes to weight loss when used in conjunction with a low-fat, balanced diet and regular physical activity.

How do you qualify for Orlistat?

Qualification for Orlistat is usually based on Body Mass Index (BMI). Orlistat is considered for adults with a BMI of 30 or above or 27 and above if other health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, are present, as per NICE guidelines. A healthcare provider considers other factors, such as previous weight loss attempts, potential benefits and risks, and the individual's motivation to lose weight.

Does Amazon Sell Orlistat?

No, Amazon in the UK currently does not sell Orlistat.

Does Boots Sell Orlistat?

Yes, Boots currently offers Orlistat.

Does Lloyds Pharmacy sell Orlistat?

Yes, Lloyds Pharmacy currently sells Orlistat in various forms. 

Does Tesco sell Orlistat?

No, Tesco currently does not sell Orlistat, however, Tesco offers other types of weight loss treatment.

How much does Orlistat cost?

Generic Orlistat costs £20-50. Occasionally, pharmacies offer discounts or sales on Orlistat. It is a good idea to compare prices between different pharmacies to ensure the best price for the medication.

Buy Orlistat Online

Please note the information below is intended for general knowledge, please read the patient information leaflet and/or the information provided by a healthcare professional for more specific guidance. This information should not substitute medical advice.

You can buy Orlistat online from our UK-registered online pharmacy partners. Complete an online consultation form and our system will show you if you are eligible to purchase Orlistat online. Our pharmacists will then review your order of Orlistat and dispatch it discreetly to your address.

How to buy Orlistat online?

You can buy Orlistat by following the following steps.

  1. Fill out our online consultation form
  2. If you are eligible to purchase Orlistat you will be shown it as one of your treatment options
  3. Pay online and receive your order to the comfort of your chosen address

Can I get Orlistat on the NHS?

Whether or not you can get Orlistat on the NHS is dependent on your local guidelines and eligibility status. It is best to contact your local GP service if you are unsure of whether you can get Orlistat from the NHS.

Can you get Orlistat over the counter?

No, you can’t get Orlistat over the counter without a prescription or consultation. Orlistat is a regulated medication so all purchases need to have a prescription and/or suitable consultation form completed.

Can I buy Orlistat online even if I have never taken it before?

A prescribing pharmacist will need to review your consultation form before the medication can be dispatched. One of our partner prescribing pharmacists will review the consultation form and will decide if you are eligible to buy Orlistat.

Is Orlistat safe?

If you have been prescribed Orlistat then it is at the discretion of the prescriber.

However, all medications can potentially have adverse effects and should be taken exactly as prescribed. If you experience any side effects when taking Orlistat then you should contact a doctor immediately.

Are there any foods that should be avoided when taking Orlistat?

We recommend you read the patient information leaflet for this product thoroughly before taking the treatment. This is essential to understanding any interactions that can occur and to take the medication safely.

How long does Orlistat take to work?

The time it takes for a Orlistat to work can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the strength, the individual's age, weight, and overall health, as well as any potential interactions with other medications or substances. Generally, the effects of Orlistat may be noticeable within the time frame outlined by the prescribing pharmacist. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and instructions provided by your healthcare professional, and to consult them if you have any concerns or questions about the medication's efficacy or possible side effects.

How effective is Orlistat?

The effectiveness of Orlistat can vary significantly depending on various factors, such as the dosage, the condition being treated, the individual's age, weight, and overall health, as well as the presence of any other medications or substances that might interact with it. While some medications may be highly effective for certain individuals and conditions, others might experience a lesser degree of benefit or may require adjustments to the dosage or additional treatments to achieve the desired results.

What are the risks of taking Orlistat?

At Welzo, we are dedicated to providing our customers with accurate and comprehensive information about medications. We believe that understanding the potential risks and side effects associated with a medication is essential for making informed decisions about your health. This guide outlines some general considerations for assessing the risks of medication and includes references to the National Health Service (NHS) for further information.

  1. Read the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL): Every medication comes with a Patient Information Leaflet, which provides essential details about the drug, its uses, and potential side effects. Be sure to read this leaflet carefully before starting any new medication. The Electronic medicines compendium has a list of patient leaflets. you can visit by heading to
  2. Be aware of potential side effects: All medications have the potential to cause side effects, ranging from mild and short-lived symptoms to more serious, long-lasting issues. It's important to understand the possible side effects of a medication and how to manage them. The NHS has a helpful resource on managing medication side effects, while also speaking to a healthcare professional is important in understanding any potential risks of taking Orlistat.
  3. Interactions with other medications: Some medications may interact with others, leading to increased side effects or reduced effectiveness. Make sure to inform your healthcare professional about all the medications and supplements you are currently taking. The NHS offers a useful tool for checking potential drug interactions here.
  4. Contraindications and precautions: Certain medical conditions or factors may make it unsafe for you to take a particular medication. Before starting any new medication, inform your healthcare professional about your medical history and any current health issues. The NHS provides more information about contraindications and precautions here.
  5. Appropriate use and dosage: It's crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and instructions for taking a medication to ensure its effectiveness and minimise the risk of side effects. The NHS has a useful guide on using medicines safely here.
  6. Monitoring and follow-up: Some medications require regular monitoring or follow-up appointments with your healthcare professional to ensure their safety and effectiveness. Be sure to schedule and attend these appointments as needed.

Can I buy Orlistat in the UK?

Yes, you can buy Orlistat in the UK with a valid prescription and or consultation form. Orlistat is available in the UK for purchase from local pharmacies with a valid prescription and or consultation and to purchase from Welzo if in stock. It is imperative that you ensure that the pharmacy you are buying the products from is licensed and registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

Where can I buy Orlistat?

You can buy Orlistat online from upon completion of a consultation form and a free review from a prescribing pharmacist.

Are Orlistat users satisfied with the product?

We have a list of reviews from customers taking Orlistat at the bottom of this page. For more information of the reviews of Orlistat head over to for further details.

Can I buy Orlistat from an online pharmacy?

Yes, you can purchase Orlistat from an online pharmacy. However, this is dependent on your eligibility for the medication.

How much does Orlistat cost?

The costs of Orlistat are listed at the top of the page. Pricing is provided as a reference as treatment options will be shown upon completing the consultation form.

How do you get the best results from Orlistat?

Orlistat is most effective when used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise. It is important to take Orlistat exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The medication should be taken with each main meal that contains fat (no more than 30% of the total calories for that meal). It can be taken with or without food.

What does Orlistat do to your body?

Orlistat works by preventing the body from absorbing some of the fat from food. When Orlistat is taken with a meal that contains fat, it binds to the enzymes in the gut, which prevents them from breaking down and absorbing some of the fat. This process results in about 30% of the fat being excreted from the body in the stool.

Is this medication suitable for me?

Please get in touch with a doctor if you are unsure what medication is suitable for you. You can also complete our online consultation form to check your eligibility for the product.

How is the medication delivered?

All orders placed before 14:00 from Monday to Friday will be dispatched that day. The orders are sent using 24 Hour Tracked delivery provided by Royal Mail. Items will usually arrive the very next day after the ordear has been placed. We also provide tracking for your orders to check the status and location of your parcel. All our medication is packaged in plain confidential padded white or brown envelopes. This ensures that your orders are discreet, and the content of the orders will be for your eyes only.

Is Orlistat good for weight loss?

Orlistat is usually prescribed for people who are overweight or obese and have not been able to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. It is important to talk to your doctor about all of the potential risks and benefits of Orlistat before starting treatment.

How long will Orlistat take to work?

Orlistat can help people lose weight within a few months, but it is important to keep taking the medication even after weight loss has occurred. People who stop taking Orlistat usually regain the weight they have lost.

How do I order my medication?

Some products only require an online consultation which approximately takes 1 minute to complete, enabling you to then buy the product. Other products will also require a prescription; in this case, you will need to complete the online consultation, and then one of our partner pharmacy prescribers or doctors will review the online consultation questions and approve the order for delivery if you are eligible to purchase the item.

Can I cancel or return my order?

For non-medicinal products, you are eligible to return the product within 14 days of receipt in the same packaging you received. For medicinal products, you are eligible to cancel the order only until it has been dispatched. From that point forward, you are no longer eligible to return the order.

You have the right to cancel your order for medication up to the point when your medication is dispatched.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Daniel Perruzza

I was hesitant to try the product at first, but it turned out to be highly effective in treating my condition.