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How Does Xenical Help in Weight Loss?


Generic Xenical is a weight-loss capsule that helps in losing weight. It is used by adults who are struggling hard to shed those excess pounds each day. It is clearly said and believed that this medicine can help lose weight more effectively than dieting alone can. However, this weight loss medicine is used only by overweight adults who are 18 years or older and not used in children.

But the question here that arises is that “does this medication really work in losing weight or is it just a myth?” 


Weight loss pills and inch tape


What exactly is Xenical?

Orlistat 120mg capsule is a prescription drug and an essential part of a weight-loss plan that includes a low-calorie, low-fat diet and regular physical activity.

Xenical is approved for use in adults who are 18 or older and have a body mass index, also commonly known as BMI of 30 or more which is termed as obese or BMI of 27 to 29.

How does orlistat work?

Orlistat (Xenical) works by reducing the amount of dietary fat absorbed in your intestines. This medicine inhibits the work of lipase, an enzyme found in the digestive tract that helps breakdown the dietary fat into smaller components so that it can be used or stored for energy.

This medicine blocks the intestines from absorbing about 25% of the fat that you consume. Fats that are not absorbed by the human body are then flushed out through bowel movements.

How much weight can be lost using Xenical?

An individual who is striving hard to lose weight should keep in mind that, weight loss drugs are only effective when taken with a proper calorie-restricted diet along with the physical activity.

If you religiously follow all these things, this medication can help you lose up to 5% or more within a year’s time

According to a survey, people who did the above-mentioned things lost an approx. of 5.7 pounds.

Who all should not take Xenical?

Weight loss medicines should not be taken by those who are suffering from the following conditions;

  • Diabetes

  • Thyroid disease

  • Seizures

  • HIV

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Cardiovascular disease

It is also not recommended by those who are at a healthy weight, have had an organ transplant, are taking cyclosporine, have problems in digesting or absorbing food or, who are pregnant are breast-feeding.

How long should one take this medicine?

After taking this medicine if you still have failed to lose 5% of your body weight in a year’s time, discontinuing the medicine would be the wisest decision.

Usually, most of the weight loss happens during the first few months on this medicine. But, if you have adhered to the diet and exercise plan and are still unable to lose weight in a few months, continuing would be of no or little benefit.


It is very important to know the pros and cons of the medicine before taking it so as to be on the safer side. Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication.

There is no hard and fast rule to weight loss. Taking this medicine won’t 100% ensure weight loss, but it will somewhere help you in losing weight moderately and not drastically.

Self-determination, exercise, and a balanced diet are all that it takes to lose weight. So, merely relying on medications won’t solve your purpose.

Also Read: Is Obesity an Eating Disorder?

Medically Reviewed By:
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B. Pharma

(Dr. A. Sharma, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist and a medical writer with 10 years of clinical experience. He strives to empower patients to understand their medications so that they become better healthcare advocates.)


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