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Who Is Xenical Prescribed To? Should I Call My Doctor?

Who Is Xenical Prescribed To? Should I Call My Doctor?
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

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Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 4 min read

Xenical is a medication that can be used in the treatment of obese patients. For those who suffer from obesity, this can be a helpful part of a healthy lifestyle that helps you to lose more weight. It works as a powerful gastrointestinal lipase inhibitor, and it has a long effect on patients who use it. It works to make the body less able to break down fats from food that is ingested in triglyceride form. Because these triglycerides are then not absorbed by the body, there are fewer calories that are absorbed by the body. This leads to a lower body weight. It also reduces the risk that the weight you have lost will come back again. 

There are lower doses of this medication that are sold over the counter. Alli is the brand name of the generic orlistat that is sold over the counter. 

Lower Calories

When Xenical is used correctly, it offers faster and easier weight loss than dieting alone. The medication is meant to be taken along with eating a low-calorie diet that is not high in fat. When Xenical is prescribed for weight loss, your doctor will talk to you about the correct diet to eat to keep losing weight with the help of this medication. The diet eaten should also be moderately low in fat for Xenical to work best. When you don't eat too much fat, it is able to block a percentage of the fat from your food from being absorbed.

While you are taking this medication, your daily number of calories should not include more than 30% of those calories as fat. If you were to eat a 2000-calorie diet, your fat intake should be less than 600 calories for the day. The medication can have unpleasant side effects if you were to eat too much fat, and it helps to encourage a low-fat lifestyle this way.

Who Should Be Prescribed Xenical?

Xenical is mainly for adults, but it is also approved for prescription use from the age of 12 and up. The over-the-counter medication Alli is for those over 18 only, but doctors can prescribe Xenical to adolescents if it is needed. It is made for patients who are overweight or obese. If you are not overweight, you should not take this medication.

The ideal patient would be one who is working to lose weight and wants a helping hand to allow for quicker weight loss. The patient should also be actively trying to change their weight through their diet and level of exercise.  Xenical weight loss takes work just like any other kind of weight loss, so it's important to know that those who take it can change their lifestyle in a healthier direction.

Who Should Not Be Prescribed Xenical?

Along with a desire to lose weight, the patients who are prescribed this medication should be free from certain medical problems that the medicine could aggravate. Above all, you should not be pregnant or breastfeeding. It is not recommended to lose weight during pregnancy. If you were to get pregnant while on this medication, stop taking it. 

If you already have a digestive disorder, such as malabsorption syndrome,  that makes it hard for your body to absorb food, or you have any gallbladder problems, do not take this medication. If you are an organ transplant patient and/or take cyclosporine to prevent an organ rejection, you are not an ideal patient for Xenical weight loss. If you have ever been allergic to orlistat, don't take this medication.

There are some conditions that can preclude some people from taking it, so you should always talk to your doctor if you have any of these to find out if it is safe in your specific case. If you have ever had pancreatitis, kidney stones, a disease of the gallbladder, liver disease, an underactive thyroid or an eating disorder, discuss it with your doctor. If you take amiodarone, take medications for HIV or AIDs, you take wither insulin or an oral medication for diabetes, you are on seizure medication, you take a blood thinner such as warfarin, be sure to talk to your doctor about whether Xenical is right for you. There are other medications, both prescription and over the counter, that may not react well with Xenical.

Taking Xenical

To get Xenical weight loss help, it's important to take this medication in the correct way. Generally, this medication is supposed to be taken three times daily with one dose taken with each meal. The meal should contain up to 30% fat, but it shouldn't have zero fat. If you have heated a meal containing some fat, it can be taken along with it or you can take up as much as an hour after your meal. If a meal has zero fat, skip that dose of your medication.

Xenical can make it more difficult for certain vitamins to be absorbed by your body, so you may be advised to take a vitamin supplement either at bedtime or more than two hours from the time you take Xenical. If you take levothyroxine, you may be told to take it at least four hours after your last Xenical dose.

A Healthy Lifestyle

Taking Xenical for weight loss is just one part of the lifestyle puzzle. To lose weight and keep it off, you also have to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Your doctor may talk to you about your specific diet and give you pages that suggest healthy foods, or you may see a dietitian or nutrition counselor to get that information.

You should have a diet that includes protein as well as fat and carbohydrates. It's important to get into the habit of exercising regularly to help drop weight and to make sure it stays off. Your doctor can tell you what type of exercises you need specifically as well as how often you should do them to lose weight.

Read the packages of every food that you eat. It will spell out the number of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates and more. It is also important to notice the number of servings in the container. The amount of carbs, protein and fats you eat should be eaten in even amounts throughout all of the meals you have in a day. In other words, all of your fat calories for the day shouldn't be in just one meal.

Stay On Track

It can be easy to start taking Xenical and rely on it for weight loss. However, it's important to remember the entire healthy lifestyle picture so that the medication works at its best. Xenical can make it easier to eat less fat, and it's up to you to keep up your healthier meals and regular exercise.

After you have been taking Xenical for a few weeks, your new habits should be better ingrained so that you remember each day to make better choices for your health. Over time, Xenical can enhance your other healthy choices and allow you to lose more weight for weight goals that get closer and closer. Once you reach your weight goal, these healthy measures will allow you to keep the weight off instead of having it go up and down like a yo-yo.

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.