Orlistat OTC: safety and side effects

by Dr Marc on May 1, 2007

orlistat otcOrlitstat was recently approved as an OTC medication, and rebranded with the curious name, Alli. Orilstat works by blocking the intestinal absorption of fat, which causes loose stools and flatulence so now you can poop and fart your way to weight loss without a prescription. Before you think this is the next miracle weight loss pill, remember actual weight loss was modest, about 5%, and many regained weight when the medication was stopped.

By blocking fat absorption, Orlistat also causes you to lose the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K so it is recommended that you take a multivitamin when on the medication. More troubling is its association in rats with precancerous growths in the colon. Considering its marginal benefits, troublesome side effects and potential health consequences save your money and give Orlistat and its OTC counterpart Alli a pass.


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