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nu image medical orlistat jar

What is Orlistat?

Orlistat, a lipase inhibitor, works by preventing some of the fats in food from being absorbed in the intestines. When coupled with a low-calorie diet and exercise program, it promotes weight loss. Prescription Orlistat (Xenical®) is also used after weight loss to keep people from gaining back the weight they lost.

How does Orlistat work?

The Science

Orlistat (Xenical®) works by inhibiting gastric and pancreatic lipases, the enzymes that break down triglycerides in the intestine. Triglycerides are not absorbed and are eliminated via feces, resulting in a caloric deficit that promotes weight loss.


Orlistat (Xenical®) blocks the enzymes that digest fat. It effectively lowers blood lipids, may help regulate blood pressure, and improves insulin sensitivity. Coupled with a low-calorie diet and exercise program, Orlistat (Xenical®) causes more weight loss than dietary modifications and exercise alone.