Xenical is one brand name form of the weight loss drug, Orlistat. It can be tough to keep track of the many weight loss options these days. Which one is right for me? Which ones will my doctor approve? What will the side effects be? How effective will this drug be and how fast will I see results? There are so many questions to consider when choosing a weight loss medication, but the only person who can truly give you sound advice is your doctor or nurse practitioner. However, it is a good idea to do some of your own research and present your doctor with some of your ideal options. Be prepared with questions for them about which over the counter or prescription diet pill will be right for you.
Let’s examine some of the facts about Xenical so you can have some more information to present to your doctor when trying to decide which medication will be right for you.
What is Xenical?
Xenical is a prescription weight loss drug that is prescribed to obese individuals to help with weight loss. It also helps to prevent regaining of the weight after it has been lost. This medication is, however, not only available by prescription, but it should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor or nurse practitioner. The active ingredient in this drug (and also the generic form) is Orlistat. This drug works by blocking enzymes that help to break down fat in your digestive system. Fats in your diet must be broken down before you can absorb them through digestion. By blocking this process, the body is not able to process as much fat as it normally would, helping the patient to lose weight through less absorption of fats. The undigested fat is simply excreted from the body during bowel movements.
Keep in mind that this medication does not prevent the absorption of other calories. This includes those from sugars and carbohydrates, so you should be avoiding these unhealthy food items. You should also continue to reduce your daily caloric intake while on this medication. If you do not eat less, you will not yield significant results. You will also, of course, need to exercise. This holds true for all weight loss medications, whether over the counter or prescription.
Xenical vs. Phentermine
Many people can confuse the various kinds of weight loss drugs that are available on the market today. Xenical differs from one of the most popular weight loss drugs, Phentermine Hydrochloride, in that it does not suppress appetite that way Phentermine does. While it is not known exactly how this process works, Phentermine helps to suppress appetite, making it easier to eat less and avoid intense cravings. Phentermine may have an effect on the digestive tract itself, or it is very likely that it works through neurological means. It is believed that Phentermine stimulates the release of norepinephrine in the hypothalamus. This region of the brain helps to control hunger and appetite. This release of the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, “tells” us that we feel full or at least that we feel more full and satisfied than we actually are. This helps individuals to stick with their reduced calorie diet.
Xenical, on the other hand, works by blocking absorption of fat. These are two very different processes, and one medication may be more effective than the other for different individuals. You should talk with your doctor about all of your options and have him or her give their best recommendation based upon your weight loss goals and your medical history. If you take other medications or have another health condition, then one of these drugs may be more ideal for you than the other. The only way to know is to talk to your doctor. You may even get lucky enough that your doctor will let you decide which you prefer. Or they may have you try each to decide which is more effective and easier for you to take. These drugs can come along with many side effects, so one may affect you more or less than the other.
What are the Side Effects of Xenical?
While this medication is offered over the counter, you should still talk with your doctor before starting to take this drug. Whether you obtain it yourself or get a prescription, you should review all of the possible side effects and monitor these carefully. Discuss any changes or increases in these side effects with your doctor immediately. The following is a list of the most common side effects associated with Xenical:
- Changes in bowel function
- Oily and/or fatty stool
- Oily spotting with bowel movements
- Intestinal gas that may come along with a discharge
- Feeling of needing to make a bowel movement shortly after taking the drug
- Increased bowel movements
- Poor bowel control
Keep in mind, the more fat you consume, the more likely you are to experience the above side effects, since your body will be excreting much more fat than usual.
If you experience any of the following side effects, discontinue use immediately and seek medical treatment:
- Symptoms of liver disease
- Symptoms of kidney stones
- Allergic reaction
Whether you take this drug over the counter or by prescription, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and monitor your side effects. Nothing is worth your health or your life.
Other Over the Counter Alternatives
Xenical and other forms of Orlistat aren’t for everyone. And not all of us are able to get a doctor’s prescription to Phentermine 37.5. Luckily, there are a lot of other over the counter alternatives that you can try to help you along your road to weight loss. One great option is the weight loss supplement, PhenoFen 37.5. This amazing dietary supplement helps to speed up metabolism, encouraging weight loss. It can also boost energy, promote bone health, and promote stress release. As with any daily dietary supplement, you should talk with your doctor to make sure that PhenoFen is right for you. Best of luck to you on your weight loss journey!
Xenical. (n.d.). Retrieved from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-17218/xenical-oral/details#side-effects