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Orlistat is commonly prescribed for those who are significantly overweight, or who are considered obese. It is not used alone to promote weight loss but is used in conjunction with a specifically designed diet that restricts caloric intake. The treatment plan will also include regular exercise as well as behavior modification techniques. This medications is also used for those who have already lost a desired amount of weight and want to maintain their present weight. Being able to lose excess weight and keep it off can help reduce the risk of developing other serious conditions such as high blood pressure, some cancers, breathing problems, diabetes and heart disease.
Orlistat works by inhibiting the work of the enzyme that breaks down fat in the body. Since the fats must be broken down to be absorbed by the body, when they cannot be broken down they will pass on into the bowels and be discarded with the body’s waste products without being absorbed into the body. The medication will not block calories from other non-fat foods like sugars. Therefore, caloric intake should be restricted.
This medication should be taken with liquid during the main meals that are consumed if they contain fat. They can be taken up to one hour after finishing the meal as well. They are usually taken three times a day unless the doctor instructs otherwise. If a meal is missed, or contains no fats simply do not take the medication. To reduce some of the unpleasant side effects, make sure that no more than thirty percent of the total calories consumed in a day are from fat. Eating normal amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats should be evenly spread throughout the three main meals that are eaten every day.
Since this medication can interfere with absorbing some vitamins, it is recommended to take a supplement. It should be taken at least two hours after taking Orlistat.