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Buy orlistat safely, securely and easily in a few simple steps. Start a consultation today to check your eligibility with a prescribing clinician, at no cost to you.

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Manufactured by various MHRA-approved generic manufacturers


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Dispensed in the UK
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Updated on 26 Mar 2024

What to do if you missed your orlistat dose

Report suspected side effects or adverse reactions to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) using the Yellow Card Reporting system that covers medicines, vaccines, e-cigarettes and medical device incidents.

Learn more about reporting side effects

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About orlistat

Orlistat is used to help people with obesity to lose weight when exercise and dieting alone have not been successful. It is used in patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, or a BMI of 28 or more if other risk factors are present, such as diabetes, heart disease, or smoking.

Orlistat blocks enzymes (lipases) in your intestine from digesting fat, preventing a third of the fat you consume from being absorbed. This undigested fat is passed out of your body with your stools.

NowPatient offers orlistat or the brand Xenical as treatments for weight loss only, following an online consultation with a prescribing clinician.

Key facts of orlistat

  • For the treatment of weight loss
  • When taken in combination with a low calorie-controlled diet and exercise plan, you should see weight loss within the first 13 weeks
  • Orlistat has some common side effects which include bloating and wind
  • It can be dangerous if you take orlistat with certain medications. If you’re not sure if it is safe, discuss this with the prescribing clinician
  • A dose of orlistat is not necessary if there is no fat within your food

Who is orlistat suitable for?

Orlistat is used in patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, or a BMI of 28 or more if other risk factors are present, such as diabetes, heart disease, or smoking.

Who is orlistat not suitable for?

Orlistat may not be suitable for some people. To make sure it’s safe for you, speak to the prescribing clinician before taking orlistat if you:

  • Are allergic orlistat
  • Have chronic malabsorption syndrome
  • Have liver problems

How and where to get orlistat?

Orlistat is available with a prescription. It is also available over the counter as the brand Alli at pharmacies.

NowPatient does not allow customers to buy orlistat directly. Our service is certified, safe and effective, and we only ever treat conditions. If you book a consultation with a prescribing clinician for the treatment of weight loss, you can discuss if orlistat is a suitable treatment option for you.

At the end of the consultation, the clinician will decide if a treatment plan is suitable for you. If it is, the clinician will issue you with a prescription which can then be ordered, paid for and delivered directly to your chosen address by NowPatient.

Dosage and strength for orlistat for weight loss

Orlistat is available as orlistat 120mg capsules when used for weight loss.

Information about how to take orlistat for weight loss

Take one orlistat 120 mg capsule up to three times a day, with or up to one hour after each main meal. A dose of orlistat is not necessary if you have had a low fat meal or if you skip a main meal. Orlistat only works if you have eaten a meal containing dietary fat.

Your doctor will stop orlistat weight loss treatment after 12 weeks if you do not lose at least 5% of your body weight from the start of treatment. You are advised to read the patient information leaflet provided or speak to a healthcare provider for further information.

What happens if you take too much orlistat?

If you take more than prescribed, then it can lead to some unpleasant side effects. You should talk to your doctor or reach out to one of our prescribing clinicians, if you have taken too much orlistat and you experience any of the following side effects:

What are the side effects of orlistat?

Common side effects of orlistat compared to placebo include:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Bloating
  • Urgent bowel movements
  • Fatty liquidy oily stools
  • Constipation, diarrhoea
  • Flatulence with an oily discharge

If you experience any serious side effects, you should contact NHS 111.

If you experience a serious allergic reaction with the signs shown below you should contact emergency services on 999.

  • Your lips, mouth, throat or tongue suddenly become swollen
  • You’re breathing very fast or struggling to breathe (you may become very wheezy or feel like you’re choking or gasping for air)
  • Your throat feels tight or you’re struggling to swallow
  • Your skin, tongue or lips turn blue, grey or pale (if you have black or brown skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
  • You suddenly become very confused, drowsy or dizzy
  • Someone faints and cannot be woken up

Always report adverse effects to the MHRA yellow card reporting system. You can read more about this here How and where do I report side effects of my medication? – NowPatient

Information about taking orlistat at the same time as other medications or herbal supplements

There is not enough evidence to suggest there are any drug interactions between herbal supplements and orlistat, but you should let your prescribing clinician know if you are taking medications such as warfarin, amiodarone, levothyroxine, or cyclosporin.

Can orlistat taken for weight loss be taken long term?

If you do not see any results after taking orlistat for 3 months, it may not be suitable for you and should be stopped. If orlistat is working for you, you can take it for up to 2 years.

Is there a herbal orlistat?

No. Herbal orlistat does not exist. If you have been marketed such a formulation, it may be fake.

Can women use orlistat?

Women can take orlistat for weight loss, but is not usually recommended during pregnancy. Speak to your doctor before taking orlistat if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.

Should I avoid any particular food or drink when taking orlistat?

You can eat and drink normally when taking orlistat. You are advised if you are taking orlistat weight loss medication to take a supplement with your treatment, as you may find it hard to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.

What lifestyle changes can I make to help me with weight loss?

Modify your lifestyle and diet in a number of ways:

  • Reduced calorie diet
  • Cut back on refined carbohydrates
  • Eat more fibre and protein
  • Drink water
  • Physical activity

Alternatives to orlistat

Alternatives for the treatment of weight loss include Alli, Xenical, Saxenda, Wegovy, Ozempic, and Mysimba.


Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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