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  • Writer's picturedr. Jerome Groopman

Xenical: Uses, Side Effects, and Important Information

Updated: Jan 29

What is Xenical?

Xenical is a trade name for a medication whose active ingredient is orlistat. Orlistat is used in the treatment of obesity and helps control weight by reducing the absorption of fats from food in the intestines.

By taking Xenical, a person reduces the absorption of fats, which in turn leads to a reduction in calories entering the body. This can help individuals who are overweight or obese manage their weight and reduce the risk of various obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Xenical pill, symbolizing its role in obesity treatment. The image includes visual elements like scales and healthy lifestyle themes, emphasizing Xenical's effectiveness in weight management.
Xenical A Pill for Weight Management

Xenical and Its International Brand Names

A medication containing orlistat and equivalent to Xenical can be sold under various trade names in different countries. Here are some examples of Xenical and its analogs' trade names:

In the United States: Xenical (Xenical is also available in the American market).

In the United Kingdom: Alli (Alli contains a lower dose of orlistat than Xenical and is available without a prescription).

In Canada: Xenical (similar to the United States, Xenical is the trade name in Canada).

In Australia: Xenical (Xenical is also available in Australia).

In India and other countries: Orlistat (orlistat can be sold under the generic name in many countries).

These are just a few examples, and trade names may vary depending on the country and manufacturer. It is always recommended to verify current information with a local pharmacist or conduct a search specific to the country and region if needed.

The History of Xenical and Its Synthesis

The drug Xenical, containing orlistat as its active ingredient, was developed and synthesized by the pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche, a Swiss global corporation. Orlistat was discovered in 1987 by researchers at Roche. Studies showed that orlistat inhibits the activity of an enzyme known as pancreatic lipase, which plays a role in breaking down dietary fats.

Due to this action, orlistat reduces the absorption of fats in the body, leading to a decrease in calories entering the bloodstream. This helps people in weight reduction and obesity control. As a result of this discovery, Hoffmann-La Roche developed a medication based on orlistat and began selling it under the trade name Xenical. Xenical was approved for medical use in various countries and became available to patients with obesity or excess weight by prescription.

Over time, generic versions and biosimilars of the Xenical drug were also developed and released, containing orlistat as the active ingredient and being sold under different trade names depending on the country and manufacturer.

Guidelines for Taking Xenical as Prescribed

When taking Xenical, it is important to strictly follow the prescription provided by the doctor. This typically includes the following recommendations:

  1. Dosage: The doctor will determine the optimal dosage of Xenical based on the individual needs and condition of the patient. Typically, this is one capsule (120 mg of orlistat) during or shortly after each meal containing fats.

  2. Timing of Intake: Xenical is usually taken three times a day during or after meals. Patients are advised to consume a balanced, low-calorie diet with limited fat intake.

  3. Diet Adherence: It is essential to adhere to a low-fat diet as Xenical blocks the absorption of fats from food. Failure to follow the diet can lead to side effects such as oily stools and other gastrointestinal disturbances.

  4. Medical Monitoring: Patients taking Xenical typically have regular consultations with a doctor for medical monitoring and assessment of treatment outcomes.

  5. Compliance with Recommendations: It is crucial to follow all the doctor's instructions and not change the dosage or intake regimen without their consent.

Xenical should be taken only as prescribed by a doctor and under their medical supervision, as this medication can have side effects and interact with other drugs. Patients should also seek medical assistance if they experience any unpleasant symptoms or side effects.

Side Effects of Xenical: What to Be Aware Of

The medication Xenical (with the active ingredient orlistat) can have various side effects. The specific lists and nature of side effects may vary among different patients, but here are some of the most commonly encountered ones:

  1. Oily stools: Xenical blocks the absorption of fats, which can lead to oily, greasy stools. This side effect is called "oily discharge" and can be unpleasant.

  2. Gas and excessive flatulence: Patients taking Xenical may experience increased gas formation and gas expulsion.

  3. Abdominal pain or discomfort: Some individuals may feel discomfort or abdominal pain, especially at the beginning of taking the medication.

  4. Gastrointestinal disturbances: Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and other gastrointestinal disturbances can occur.

  5. Headache: Some patients may experience headaches.

  6. Reduced absorption of fat-soluble vitamins: Xenical can decrease the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). Therefore, patients may require additional supplementation of these vitamins or their intake in special forms.

  7. Other reactions: In rare cases, allergic reactions, elevated liver enzyme levels, and other side effects may occur.

It's important to note that not all patients will necessarily experience these side effects, and the intensity can vary. If you experience any unpleasant symptoms while taking Xenical, it's essential to report them to your doctor. Before starting Xenical, it's always advisable to discuss the potential side effects and risks with a medical professional.

Xenical Forms and Dosages: What You Need to Know

The medication Xenical (with the active ingredient orlistat) is typically manufactured in the form of oral capsules. Available dosages of Xenical usually contain 120 mg of orlistat in each capsule.

Xenical capsules are sold in various packaging sizes, which may contain different numbers of capsules. The dosage and recommendations for intake are typically determined by a doctor based on individual needs and treatment goals.

It is essential to strictly follow the doctor's prescription and not to change the dosage or intake regimen without their approval, as this can affect the effectiveness and safety of the treatment. Patients should also follow the instructions on the packaging and the information provided by the doctor or pharmacist when receiving the medication.

Advantages of the Xenical drug:

Weight reduction and obesity control: Xenical helps individuals with excess weight or obesity reduce the absorption of fats from their food, leading to gradual weight loss.

Improved health: Decreasing body weight can lower the risk of various obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and more.

Enhanced weight management: Xenical can also assist patients in maintaining their achieved weight after weight loss.

Conducting clinical trials of the Xenical drug:

Involvement of patients with excess weight or obesity: Studies were conducted with a significant number of people suffering from obesity or having excess weight.

Evaluation of effectiveness and safety: Within these studies, the results of weight loss, as well as side effects and tolerability of Xenical, were assessed.

Xenical on obesity treatment. The image abstractly symbolizes the journey of individuals using Xenical, transitioning from struggling with obesity to achieving healthier weight management. It features a metamorphosis theme with human figures depicted in various stages of transformation, alongside the Xenical pill.
Transformation Journey: Xenical's Impact in 3D Art

Changes undergone by the Xenical drug or its active substance:

Primary goal - reducing fat absorption: Xenical blocks the absorption of a portion of fats from the diet in the body.

Addition of new data and recommendations in the instructions: Instructions for the use of the drug may periodically be updated based on new research and data regarding its effectiveness and safety. Patients are always advised to consult with a doctor or pharmacist and stay informed about the latest information concerning the medication.

Why a doctor's consultation is necessary:

Determining the correct dosage: A doctor will determine the optimal dosage of Xenical and provide instructions on how to take the medication based on your individual needs and medical history.

Health assessment: The doctor will conduct a medical examination and assess your current health condition to ensure that Xenical is safe and suitable for you.

Managing side effects: The doctor can inform you about potential side effects and offer recommendations on how to manage them.

Interaction with other medications: The doctor will consider your other medical prescriptions and decide whether it's safe to take Xenical alongside them.

Where to purchase:

Xenical is typically sold in pharmacies with a prescription in most countries. You can obtain it only after consulting with a doctor and receiving a prescription.

Can online pharmacies be trusted when purchasing such medication:

When purchasing Xenical or any other medication online, it's important to turn to reputable and licensed online pharmacies or pharmaceutical companies.

Ensure that the pharmacy holds the appropriate licenses and certificates.

Buying medication online without a prescription can be risky, as it may lead to incorrect usage of the medication or encountering counterfeit products.

If you are buying medication online, make sure it is from a trustworthy and verified source, preferably based on your doctor's or pharmacist's recommendation.

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