Obesity refers to an excessive amount of body fat. Most health care professionals agree that men with more than 25 percent body fat and women with more than 30 percent body fat are obese. Most available weight-loss medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are appetite-suppressant medications. However, Orlistat is one drug that works in a different way. Canadian Orlistat works by reducing the body’s ability to absorb dietary fat by about one third. It does this by blocking the enzyme lipase, which is responsible for breaking down dietary fat. When fat is not broken down, the body cannot absorb it, so fewer calories are taken in.
Prescription weight-loss medications should be used only by patients who are at increased medical risk because of their weight. They should not be used for “cosmetic” weight loss. Prescription weight loss drugs are approved only for those with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above, or 27 and above if they have obesity-related conditions, such as high blood pressure, dyslipidemia (abnormal amounts of fat in the blood), or type 2 diabetes. BMI is a measure of weight in relation to height. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy.
Approved for long-term use
Only 2 medications have been approved for long term use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Orlistat is one of them. Obesity is a chronic disease that affects many people and often requires long-term treatment to promote and sustain weight loss.
When considering long-term weight-loss medication treatment for obesity, one of the concerns is the potential for abuse and dependence. Currently, all prescription medications to treat obesity except orlistat are controlled substances, meaning doctors need to follow certain restrictions when prescribing them.
Weight-loss medication for children and teens
Canadian Orlistat is currently approved for use in teens age 12 or above. Other weight-loss medications are not approved for use in children under the age of 16, although studies in children and teens are ongoing.
Some side effects of orlistat include cramping, intestinal discomfort, passing gas, diarrhea, and leakage of oily stool. These side effects are generally mild and temporary, but may be worsened by eating foods that are high in fat. Also, because orlistat reduces the absorption of some vitamins, patients should take a multivitamin (Vitamin D,E,A and beta-carotene) at least 2 hours before or after taking orlistat.
Please be reminded that the above information is for informational purposes only and it is not intended to replace any health care services you need. The information provided is strictly not meant to diagnose medical conditions, offer medical advice, or endorse specific products or services. Do not rely upon the information provided alone for medical diagnosis or treatment. Kindly consult your doctor about any personal health concerns.
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