Side Effects Of Orlistat

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Those that have taken Orlistat will be aware of some of the side effects, especially those that occur when too much fat is eaten! There has been a supply problem with these tablets and I was unable to take them for about 6 months but have recently been able to recommence them. For me they have been very effective in helping me lose weight but having been off them for a while and now starting again I believe I have had some side effects that are not noted as possible side effects in the medical information and I would love to know if any others have had similar problems.

The first is that of hair loss! I have always had a very thick head of hair but have noticed that when I am taking the tablets I do seem to lose a lot more hair than normal. For me it isn't a major problem because my hair is so thick to start with but if I had thin hair in the first place I would be having visions of ending up practically bald!!

The second is of very dry skin and irritation. Previously I had put this down to general poor health and being overweight but this problem had disappeared whilst I was not taking the tablets (which I thought was due to my having lost weight and being healthier) but now I have started taking the medication again it has reoccurred.

Has anyone else had these side effects or indeed any other problems that they think could be attributed to the Orlistat.

At the end of the day for me they have been very effective in that I lost about 7 stone so I am quite happy to put up with any minor miseries!!

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  • Posted

    I am more than happy that I haven't found any hair loss as I do have thin hair....nor have I experienced dry skin even though I am an oldie.

    For me the only 'side' effect has been when I began the blueys and was learning just how much fat my body could tolerate before the orange oil situation arose...but, hey, one learns rather quickly.

    Would you say that the benefit of Orlistat more than outweighs the side effects you are experiencing? Ask your hairdresser how you can add more volume to your hair if you need to, sounds like you don't though and lots of moisturiser will hopefully combat the dryness of the skin.

    Even though I have some way to go to where I want to be.....as long as the GP will give the blueys to me I'll go on until I reach a decent weight for my 5 foot nothing.

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  • Posted

    Also meant to mention the liver situation....I've heard that over time Orlistat can affect it - does anyhone have any proven information on this? Thanks
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  • Posted

    Undoubtedly the benefits far outweigh any side effects that I have had and neither are major problems for me at all. I just wonder whether these are side effects from the Orlistat or just my imagination - lol !!

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  • Posted

    Whilst dry skin can appear at any stage in life - and probably thinning hair too it may just be co-incidental of course...time will tell.
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  • Posted

    Hi everyone, I have not taken orlistat myself but my brother took the prescription xenical for 4 to 5 weeks last year in october and unfortunitely he developed bad stomach pain consipation and become very ill in the weeks that he was taking it. He was later diagnosed with nuroendocrine pancreatic cancer which had spread to his liver,spine and other bones in his body. Now when mentioned to doctors weather orlistat may have triggered some kind of reaction they all say no. But considering he had no signs of the illness previous to taking orlistat its hard to come to the conclusion it didnt have some involvement. My advice would be to take this drug with extreem caution.
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    • Posted

      Hello family guy,

      My mother just recetly passed away of neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer at the young age of 57. She had also been taking the drug Orlistat, and I am also convinced that the drug played a rold in the development of her cancer. I am currently trying to seek out others with the disease who may have taken the drug. Are you aware of anyone else who has had similar experience?

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    • Posted

      Hi family guy and Tiffany. I was prescribed recently with orlistat, bought it, and then came across your post. I was sorry to hear about your losses. Ive looked online about it being banned in the USA (saw a couple of articles) and asked my pharmacist about it. She doesnt know much, and im planning to ask my doctor next week. I just wanted to know if youve found any more information around the severe affects of orlistat, or its relation to this type of cancer? Maybe how many cases have been reported, or if theyve confirmed this was a cause of orlistat?

      Thanks in advance

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  • Posted

    Hi Family Guy, I was very sorry to hear about your brother. I doubt that there is any way of ever knowing whether Orlistat may have been instrumental in your brothers illness, anything is possible but then it is equally likely that it was just a coincidence that he had started taking these at the time when he developed symptoms of his illness. Being overweight puts you at risk of many health problems so when deciding whether to take Orlistat or not it is perhaps a case of weighing up the small risk of side effects against the possible consequences of obesity. I was offered gastric band surgery but chose to take Orlistat instead as to be honest I was so overweight and unhealthy that I would have been terrified of having a general anaesthetic.
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  • Posted

    Yes i agree there is no way of knowing whether orlistat was to some degree involved but my brother who died in july was convinced it was, and when youve got the likes of public citizen in the usa calling for it to be band because of seriuos side effects such as liver damage and pancreatitis i just think a drug like this should reviewed with a potental of being pulled from the market.
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  • Posted

    I am wondering if we could all help each other to get through this battle we are having - please let us have

    your tips for low fat foods - I do love coleslaw but even reduced fat in the supermarket is loaded so decided

    to make my own....grate carrots and white cabbage...and onion if you like it, I don't - then I keep this in a bowl in the fridge (a few days or so) - when I want coleslaw I take out a portion for each person and add just

    enough lighter than light Hellman's mayonnaise to bind it together - I think the carrots and cabbage keep

    better if you don't add all the mayo at the beginning...but that may just be me - would love to hear how others

    manage to keep the fat content down.

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  • Posted

    I make my own potatoe salad in the same way and it is nice although not as nice as that made with the "proper" mayonnaise but I think after a while the taste buds become acclimatised to eating lower fat products
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  • Posted

    Ithink you are absolutely right Ellied100 - some things do taste just too rich and sweet for me - can hardly believe I'm saying that!
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  • Posted

    I have just mentioned on our "old" thread (regarding orlistat being out of stock) that one of the big food changes ive made is switching to quorn for lots of everyday meals .. once the mince has had seasoning, tinned tomatos, herbs etc added it makes a great substitute in many mince dishes ..

    I noticed the difference it made when I had speg bol last night with the lean minced steak I used to use and this morning had a rush to the loo.

    Quorn also have substitutes for diced chicken, burgers, sausages, and new lamb flavour strips for stir fries (not tried these yet but have them in freezer)

    Yes they taste a bit different but acceptable and tasty in their own way if you want to keep low fat and control weight.

    Im not sure how children would take to these but my OH has said he actually prefers quorn mince now.

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  • Posted

    Hi i started on this drug 2 days ago and today i had an accident today because of it. Disgusting orange oily stuff all over my trousers, luckily i was wearing a red tartan and i managed to wash it immediately so it shouldn't stain or be noticeable. I am a vegetarian and I tend to eat a lot of quorn stuff. For example today was my sister’s birthday so I ate 3 quorn mini sausages, 2 sausage roll pieces, a tiny piece of veggie quiche, a few crisps and a low fat potato salad. I didn’t really think there was all that much fat in it and it was the only thing I have eaten today and yet I had the accident.

    Another think I will have to say is that I have an auto immune disease that effects my legs a lot so I walk with a stick and I have to use a wheelchair when I am out and about. I am having to use these meds because I have put on weight due to my poor mobility which is getting worse every day. Because of today incident I am now terrified of going out just in case I have an accident. Are these accidents common? I am scared that I will have an accident in my chair as I won’t be able to get myself to the loos in time. I didn’t even feel the need to go to the loo when it happened it just suddenly happened.

    Are these things quite common when you start out on the drug? Is there any tips anyone could give me on how they coped with it?     

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    • Posted

      Morning Enary - hope I can help you make a better start on the blueys....but first of all I have to confess that it has been a while since I was on them and although I lost 2 stone but  I have put some of it on again because my GP and I agreed that I would try and stick to the regime without the tablets but no, taking the tablets is the deterent I needed  to be disciplined.

      First of all it is well known that GP's give out these tablets without much information as to how they work and it is only by the experience one has that one learns the right way.  I was able to tell my GP how they worked as he hadn't a clue.

      It is not a miracle tablet as some think it is, it is hard work keeping to the regime but it does work, at least for me it did.

      First of all one needs to study (yes, seriously study) the foods which you are eating and read the packages in the supermarket which should tell you the amount of fat per 100 grams of that food.  If it is over 5 grams then you are in trouble so reject that food.

      I made a list of the foods I eat and wrote down all the fat content of each one.  You can find fat content on the net or buy a book which tells you calorie and fat values...guessing is not the way to go.

      Then I suggest that you remove the offensive food from your fridge, that is if you are not cooking for others.

      If I were you I would now stop the blueys for  2 or 3 days and prepare your body before starting them again.  During this time you must only eat the right food with the right amount of fat in it.....do your homework beforehand, aim for 25 grams of fat each day and you should be safe (although each body is different)....now you will soon realise that 25 grams of fat per day is not a lot....no, it is very little but you will live with it.

      In the first week try to not be away from home a lot....and no occasions for 'allowing' yourself to celebrate someone else's birthday.  In my humble opinion what you ate at your sister's 'do' was way above the limit....sausage rolls hmmm...lots of butter loaded pastry, quiche, whether veggie or not is made up of fat loaded crust and eggs to bind it all together...not right...crisps, forget them....low fat coleslaw is not really anywhere near your fat limit.  What I am saying may sound harsh, not meaning to be that at all but you have to realise if this is going to work for you you must educate yourself as to what you can eat.  If you do have an occasion to go out for a meal you must not take a bluey and you can eat a little 'normal' food but don't go overboard....then get back on the regime again.

      Given a few weeks you will soon know what you can and cannot eat....measuring will be a thing of the past and life will return to some kind of normality but as with any 'slimming' regime you will have to think way ahead about what you are going to eat so you can be within your limit.  It is hard work for the first few weeks but you will get to know your limit.

      In time I was able to eat 2 low fat sausages without any effect...and a boiled egg....I particularly got to like bread toasted with banana on it...no butter.  Look at the fat content of bread, it is high if it has seeds in it so watch that....plain salad, veggies, tomatoes are your best friends....in a few weeks you will feel good....it will be worth the effort, believe me...when your clothes start getting loose and you have that wonderful feeling of well-being it is certainly worth the effort.

      So, persevere....all the very best on your journey.

       

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