What is Xenical?
Xenical, with active ingredient Orlistat, is a prescription medicine used as a weight loss drug. The drug works by preventing the absorption of fat in the body. Xenical attaches itself to Lipases, hence decreasing their activity. Lipases are known for breaking down fat molecules and aiding in absorption of these fat molecules. Thus, by inhibiting the functioning of Lipases in the body, the drug reduces the absorption of fat in the body.
Precautions/side effects of Xenical
Xenical has the active ingredient Orlistat. Thus, patients allergic to Orlistat should refrain from taking the drug. Other than that, patients with malabsorption disease or problems with the gallbladder should refrain from taking the drug. Patients with thyroid disease, liver disease, diabetes as well as a history of gallbladder stones should take Xenical only after consultation with a doctor.
Xenical is also known to react with certain medications such as anticoagulants like warfarin, certain diabetes medications as well as digoxin and lyvothyroxine. Patients on any of these drugs should take Xenical only after due consultation with a doctor. This is not a complete list of drugs which are known to react with Xenical. Patients on any other prescription drugs should take Xenical only after consultation with a doctor.
Xenical is a Category B pregnancy drug. Thus, it may have adverse effects on the newborn as well as the fetus. Hence, pregnant women as well as women who are breastfeeding should take the drug only after consulting a doctor.
Xenical is also known to have certain side effects such as oily stools, irritable bowel movements, incontinence, pain in the abdomen, dark urine or loss of appetite. However, in some cases, serious side effects are known to show up to the drug such as rashes of the skin, flu like symptoms and jaundice. If any of these symptoms show up after taking Xenical, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Important safety information
- A high fat diet should be avoided while taking Xenical. A high fat diet taken in combination with the drug can increase the side effects of the drug.
- The drug should not be used in children aged between 12 and 18 years without proper prescription.
- Healthy diet and exercise is important along with the intake of drug to maximize the effects of the drug.
Dosage of Xenical
Xenical is available as 120 mg capsules. The usual dosage of Xenical is one capsule with each meal. The meal should be high in fat content. The drug is not meant to be taken without fatty food. However, it can be taken in a time-frame of half of an hour after having a high fat meal.
The drug is known to affect the absorption of vitamins in the body. Thus, vitamin supplements should be had 2 hours before or after taking the drug.
Overdosage of the drug should be avoided at all costs. If a dose is missed, it should be had as soon as possible. However, it should not be clubbed with the next dose. Overdose of the drug can lead to severe symptoms such as rashes on the skin, jaundice etc. which require immediate medical attention.
Storage of Xenical
Xenical should be stored at room temperature in cool and dry conditions away from direct sunlight. It should be kept away from reach of children and pets at all times.