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Orlistat is a prescription weight loss pill. It works by preventing the body from storing certain fats as energy, which are then passed on in stools. Orlistat weight loss tablets are taken three times daily. 

With EveAdam, you can buy Orlistat online from a UK pharmacy. Answer some questions and connect with registered clinicians. Subscribe to a plan for regular delivery, and we’ll take care of the rest. 

Treatments from only £41.33 per month

Buy Orlistat online and subscribe to repeat deliveries.

Orlistat is a generic weight loss tablet approved for use in the UK. It can be an effective weight loss treatment as part of an all-around plan that includes things like diet and exercise.

Start your consultation and connect with UK clinicians. If Orlistat is prescribed, you can subscribe to a regular treatment plan and decide how often you’d like to receive it. We’re able to prescribe, dispense and deliver your treatment. It’s all part of the service.

You can log back into EveAdam at any time if there’s anything you need to discuss with a prescriber.

And that’s it. In a nutshell.

How does Orlistat work? Is it a fat binder?

Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in biochemistry to understand how Orlistat works. It’s pretty straightforward. Let’s break it down.

In the stomach and small intestine, you’ll find enzymes (something that causes a particular biochemical reaction to happen – a catalyst). One such enzyme is called lipase. One of its jobs is to take the fat found in food and help store it as energy. Think of it like a fat miner.

Orlistat works by preventing the lipase enzyme from fulfilling this job. This means certain fats don’t get stored, but are instead excreted when you go to the toilet (well, it has to go somewhere).

Orlistat can be described as a fat binder, so can the branded version Alli and alternative treatments like Xenical. Fat binders are not the same as fat burners. There is no evidence to support the argument that fat burner supplements work. Whereas fat binders like Orlistat have been proven to be effective weight loss treatments when taken as part of a plan that includes diet and exercise.

Is Orlistat safe and who can take it?

Yes, Orlistat is a safe weight loss treatment approved for use in the UK. You need to be classed as obese to use it. This means having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above.

You may be able to take Orlistat if you have a BMI of 28 or above, and you also have a health condition that would benefit from weight loss.

BMI is a relatively simple formula used to calculate a person’s weight. It divides an individual’s weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. A healthy BMI for an adult is anywhere between 18.5 to 24.9.

  • Below 18.5 – underweight. 
  • Between 18.5 to 24.9 – healthy weight. 
  • Between 25 and 29.9 – overweight. 
  • Between 30 and 39.9 – obese.

It should be noted that body mass index is not a perfect measure of an individual’s weight. For example, its ranges can change slightly for people with particular ethnicities because they may be more at risk from having a lower BMI. Therefore, Orlistat can be prescribed ‘off-label’ for some people whose BMI is below 30 (or 28 with an underlying health condition).

When buying slimming pills online, it’s important to do so safely. That means only seeking a prescription from those who are registered to provide one, and for medications that are approved by the MHRA.

Page reviewed by:
Mr Craig Marsh
Mr Craig Marsh
Pharmacist Prescriber
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Last updated 01/07/2021

What you need to know about Orlistat

Is Orlistat effective?

Most studies agree that Orlistat is a safe and effective weight loss treatment if taken as part of a plan that includes dieting and regular exercise.

One particular study found that ‘compared to [a] placebo, Orlistat caused significant reduction in weight.’ It concludes: ‘Orlistat is an effective and well-tolerated anti-obesity drug, which can be employed as an adjunct to therapeutic lifestyle changes to achieve and maintain optimal weight.’[1]

Other studies suggest that Orlistat, as part of a weight loss plan, can help patients lose up to 10% of their body fat in up to six months.[2]

Can you get Orlistat over-the-counter?

How to get Orlistat online

How to take Orlistat

Orlistat is taken three times a day with a meal. This can happen just before, during or up to an hour after you eat. Swallow each weight loss capsule whole, with water.

If you skip a meal, skip the Orlistat tablet you’d have taken alongside it. For Orlistat to work, your meal needs to contain some level of fat. If you eat something without any fat content, you can skip that particular Orlistat pill.

What if I forget to take one of my weight loss pills?

How long before I lose weight?

Is Orlistat safe?

Orlistat: Common side effects

The very common side effects of Orlistat include headache, infection of the upper respiratory tract, abdominal pain or discomfort, urgent or increased need to empty the bowels, oily stools, wind, oily discharge or ‘spotting’, diarrhoea, low blood sugar levels and flu infection. 

When to see a doctor about Orlistat side effects

Orlistat and pregnancy

What is Alli?

Alli 60mg is a similar weight loss medication that contains the active ingredient orlistat. Alli tablets are available over-the-counter at certain high street pharmacies. Meaning you don’t need a prescription to get Alli weight loss capsules. You can just talk to a pharmacist.

Orlistat contains 120mg of the active ingredient, and so is double the strength of Alli. This is largely why you need a prescription to use Orlistat and not Alli.

Is Orlistat the same as Xenical?

Other approved weight loss treatments

orlistat SAFETY INFO

You should always read the patient information leaflet that comes with Orlistat before you use it.

If you experience any side effects, contact our clinician using your EveAdam account. They may advise you to try a different weight loss treatment.

Can Orlistat interact with other medications?

Orlistat may interact with any of the following medications:

  • Anticoagulant drugs like warfarin
  • Ciclosporin
  • Iodine salts and/or levothyroxine
  • Amiodarone
  • HIV treatments
  • Mental health treatments for things like depression and anxiety 

Who can take Orlistat?

What are the side effects of Orlistat?


[1] Jain SS, Ramanand SJ, Ramanand JB, Akat PB, Patwardhan MH, Joshi SR. Evaluation of efficacy and safety of orlistat in obese patients. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. (2):99-104. doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.81938. PMID: 21731866; PMCID: PMC3125014.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3125014/ [Accessed: 15 March 2021].

[2] Knott, L. (Reviewed by Huin, H). Orlistat: Weight Loss Medicine. Patient UK. https://patient.info/healthy-living/obesity-overweight/orlistat-weight-loss-medicine#:~:text=100%20g%20sauce.-,Does%20orlistat%20work%3F,others%2C%20it%20is%20less%20effective [Accessed: 15/03/2021].