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Important information please read carefully.

Prescription Treatments (Weight Loss)

Weight Loss

Please note: This service is only suitable for those people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above, or those with a BMI of  28 and above with other medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. This service is not suitable for those people wishing to lose weight for cosmetic reasons. You can check your BMI by clicking here.

Prior to taking any medication to help with weight loss, you should first implement dietary and lifestyle changes. Taking medication alone for weight loss without making the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes will not help in losing weight. Losing weight can be difficult but implementing a strict diet and exercise programme will help accelerate weight loss and improve your general health and wellbeing.



We can supply orlistat 120mg (a prescription only medication) for those individuals who meet the criteria above and are assessed as suitable after completing a short questionnaire. Orlistat is available as a 120mg capsule and also in a lower strength 60mg version called Alli (a non prescription alternative). Orlistat works by binding to fat molecules in your food, and preventing it from being absorbed into the body. It therefore remains in your digestive system and is expelled from the body. You should observe a low fat diet whilst taking orlistat, as consuming a high amount of fat can result in unwanted side effects and loose fatty stools. Research has shown that you are more likely to lose weight when taking orlistat than dieting alone.



Orlistat (brand name Xenical or Alli) should be taken in conjunction with a strict diet and exercise programme to help maximise weight loss. You should weigh yourself prior to starting treatment and regularly thereafter. If after a 3 month course you have not lost more than 5% of your initial body weight, you should discontinue taking orlistat as it is unlikely to work for you. If you have lost more than 5% of your initial body weight, then orlistat can be continued for up to 1 year.

Orlistat is taken three times a day with each of your main meals, either just before or up to an hour after eating. If you do not eat, or eat a meal which does not contain any fats you do not need to take it. You should stop taking orlistat once you have reached your weight loss goals, or your BMI drops below 30. You should then continue with your diet and exercise programme. It is recommended that you take a multivitamin whilst using orlistat, as it can reduce the amount of fat soluble vitamins your body can absorb.



Side effects of orlistat include

  • Oily and fatty stools
  • Spotting
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Diarrhoea

Side effects can be reduced by sticking to a low fat diet.

You should not take orlistat if the following apply:

  • You are under 18 years of age
  • Pregnant or Breastfeeding
  • If you are taking certain medications
  • Suffer from cholestasis or chronic malabsorption syndrome
  • Liver or kidney disease

Please ensure you read the patient information leaflet here, prior to taking.