While most weight loss pills are formulated to eviscerate excess weight through the mechanisms of appetite suppression and fat burning, a minority of weight loss pills attack excess poundage in another way. These diet aids belong to a small category of weight loss drugs and supplements called fat blockers and carbohydrate blockers. Xenical® is the brand name of a fat blocker generically known as orlistat.

What Is Xenical?

In 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the marketing of orlistat, an anti-obesity drug that works by preventing the absorption of most of the fat from food intake. The Swiss global pharmaceutical, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., manufactures the branded version of orlistat, which is Xenical. Xenical is a prescription drug that was formulated to help people lose weight and keep it off through a combined program of a low calorie diet and appropriate exercise. It is recommended that this diet regimen stick to a proportion of one-third protein, one-third fat, and one-third carbs.

How Xenical Busts Excess Weight

Fat blockers, Xenical in particular, inhibits fats from being broken down in the intestines. Xenical stops lipase enzymes from breaking down up to one-third of the fat in consumed food so that these fats may pass out unabsorbed through the feces. Although this action helps the body get rid of excess calories from fat, it is not a license for the dieter to indulge in high-fat food as the drug can only prevent the absorption of only a portion of the intake.

How Much Weight Can Xenical Bust?

On the average, Xenical users who stick to a low-calorie diet and exercise program lose 10% of their initial body weight over a six to eight month period.

What’s In A Pill?

Xenical has 120 mg. of orlistat, its main active ingredient. In order for this to work effectively, the pill must be taken immediately before, during, or after consuming a main meal. If the meal has no fats in it, the dose of Xenical should be skipped as it has nothing to work on.

The Good

  • Xenical is FDA-approved.
  • It is one of the strongest fat blockers in the market
  • Because of its embarrassing side effects, it encourages the dieter to lean more toward a low fat diet.

The Bad

Since fat is unabsorbed and undigested, it has to pass out of the body one way or the other. This fact contributes to many of Xenical’s embarrassing side effects:
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Flatulence
  • Uncontrolled anal leakage, mostly oily in nature
  • Uncontrolled bowel movements
These very same side effects however may force the dieter to control his fat intake in order to lower the incidences of these messy and aggravating consequences. Although these side effects cannot be helped, it is hoped that these will “train” individuals toward making better food choices. Xenical has other adverse reactions other than an uncontrolled anus such as abdominal cramping, soft or lose stools, diarrhea, and tooth and gum problems. Xenical is also thought to have the potential to cause colon cancer and liver damage, although these have not really been proven clinically. If you are prescribed Xenical, talk to your doctor about these concerns.

The Bottom Line

Compared to other weight loss drugs, Xenical may not have as much negative reactions when taken in combination with other drugs. It is still important though to inform your physician of every supplement and medication you take before accepting a prescription. The most positive factors going for Xenical are:
  • its power to effect a change in dietary habits for the good
  • its potency in blocking fat absorption, translating to effective weight loss and maintenance
Xenical works but it does exact its toll by triggering socially discomfiting body reactions. However for all the embarrassment it causes, it does force one toward good health practices.

WeightComment’s Rating: 4 / 5

If you can live with the uncomfortable side effects, Xenical could be a good choice for a weight loss aid.

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  1. From Jacquelynn Ortner

    My doctor put me on xenical Jan 2, 2013. I am over weight and I am having back pain. He suggested I lose weight to help the problem. He also suggested I use alli but I told him it cost to much could he give me a prescription. He gave me xenical. I have been on it since the Jan 2 and I have lost 12 pounds. I am thrilled. I am eating better and feeling much better. I don’t mind the side effects. I just wear a pad in my underwear and it works out fine. I hope to be a new me in six momths. I am 72 years old and haven’t felt this good in a long time. Thank you.