From Pharmacy Drug Guide
Alli® is a nonprescription diet pill, and it is the only over-the-counter weight loss supplement currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Alli® is sold in major drug stores and other retailers, and can also be purchased online.
Alli® is a less potent version of prescription Xenical®; they both contain the same active ingredient, orlistat, but Alli® has half the amount. Orlistat blocks the absorption of some of the fat that the user consumes so that it is not stored by the body. It is used as part of a reduced-fat diet and exercise plan, and side effects such as anal leakage can occur if Alli® users consume excessive amounts of fat. Therefore, the manufacturer recommends limiting fat to 30% or less of total caloric intake, as well as avoiding high-fat meals.
|Brand name for||Orlistat|
|Phone number||877-4My-Alli (469-2554)|
|Availability||Sold at pharmacies, Target and other retailers|
|Disclaimer||The information provided by PharmacyDrugGuide.com is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.|
The key ingredient in Alli® is the once prescription-only drug orlistat, which prevents fats from being used or stored by the body. Instead, fat travels straight through the digestive system and is eventually expelled as waste. Up to 25% of fat ingested can be blocked by taking Alli®. Alli® is not an appetite suppressant, and it does not contain any stimulants.
Alli® the most studied weight loss drug in the world according to the manufacturers. It has been proven effective as a weight loss aid; however, behavioral and dietary changes are also vital to success. In addition, support programs have been shown to increase the chances of shedding pounds with Alli.
Users are instructed to take Alli® with each of the three main meals throughout the day. It is not necessary to take Alli® before meals that do not contain any fats. The FDA claims advises that fats, along with carbohydrates and proteins, should be distributed evenly among meals rather than loading up on any of these nutrients in one sitting and omitting them in the next meal.
Alli® has a website with tools to help users learn to eat right and make the lifestyle changes necessary to lose weight. The myalliplan section is a plan of actions to take for success, and includes weekly steps for Alli users to take.
Alli Effectiveness and Safety
Alli's ability to block fat absorption in the body is not in dispute, as these claims have been tested by the FDA. However, taking Alli® alone is typically not enough to cause significant weight loss; lifestyle changes are a necessary part of the program.
Consumers who take Alli® can typically expect to lose a few pounds more than they would with diet and exercise alone. Research performed on Xenical®, at double the strength of Alli, showed an average of five to seven pounds more weight lost than with lifestyle changes and no drugs.
Alli Side Effects
Alli® can cause unpleasant side effects such as gas and oily anal discharge. Other side effects include loose stools, increased need to use the restroom, abdominal or rectal pain, loss of control over bowel movements, menstrual irregularity, nervousness and headaches.
There have been complaints of serious injury to the liver among Alli® users, but it is not clear whether or not Alli® was actually the cause.
Individuals with certain medical conditions are advised to consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking Alli®. This includes people with eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia; those with kidney issues, such as kidney stones; and those with hyperthyroidism. Women are advised not to take Alli® during pregnancy, and no information is yet available on whether or not the drug is passed on to infants by nursing mothers.