Do not take this medication if you are allergic to orlistat, or if you have gallbladder problems, or chronic malabsorption syndrome (an inability to absorb food and nutrients properly).
Before taking orlistat, tell your doctor if you have an underactive thyroid, a history of kidney stones or pancreatitis, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, an eating disorder, or if you take other weight-loss medications (prescription or over-the-counter).
Do not give over-the-counter orlistat (Alli) to a child younger than 18 years old. Prescription orlistat (Xenical) should not be used by anyone age 12 to 18 without the advice of a doctor.
Orlistat should be used only by the person it was prescribed or recommended for and should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of eating disorder. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Orlistat is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Your daily intake of fat, protein, and carbohydrates should be evenly divided over all of your daily meals. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Take orlistat during or within 1 hour after a meal that contains some fat (no more than 30% of the calories for that meal). Orlistat is usually taken 3 times daily. If you skip a meal or you eat a meal that does not contain any fat, skip your orlistat dose for that meal.
The fat content of your daily diet should not be greater than 30% of your total daily caloric intake. Avoid a diet that is high in fat. High-fat meals taken in combination with orlistat can increase your risk of unpleasant side effects on your stomach or intestines.
Your doctor may recommend you take vitamin and mineral supplements while you are taking orlistat. Follow your doctor’s instructions about the type of multi-vitamin or mineral supplement to use. Take the supplement at least 2 hours before or after you take orlistat.