pack of Xenical 120mg capsules

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Xenical Capsules

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pack of Xenical 120mg capsules

Xenical is a weight loss pill that works by reducing how much fat from each meal your body absorbs. By taking it alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise, you should find it easier to lose weight.

You might be suitable for treatment with Xenical if you are obese or overweight and have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.

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Xenical - 1 month course £57.99
Xenical - 3 month course £169.99

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About Xenical

Xenical is a weight loss pill that should be taken alongside a balanced diet and exercise plan. It can help you to lose weight by changing how your body absorbs fat. It contains the active ingredient orlistat. 

Who can use Xenical?

You might be suitable for Xenical if you:
  • have a BMI of 30 or above
  • have a BMI between 28 and 29.9 and have a medical condition that can be affected by your weight, such as diabetes

When taken with meals that contain fat, Xenical stops around a third of the fat in the meal from being absorbed by your body. Xenical does this by attaching to an enzyme called lipase, which is found in your digestive system. It stops lipase from breaking down all the fat from your meal. This means instead of fat being digested, it leaves your body through your poo.

How long does Xenical last?

Each Xenical pill lasts for 1 meal. It can be taken before, during, or 1 hour after a meal. Each pill will work for 1 meal, so you should take a pill with every meal containing fat. You can take up to 3 pills a day. Xenical will continue working for as last as you take it for.

How long does Xenical take to work?

When you first start taking Xenical, it will take around 24 to 48 hours to change how you absorb fat. When following an exercise and diet plan, you should start to see results from Xenical within a few weeks.

How effective is Xenical?

Xenical is most effective when you reduce the amount of fat you eat and take it with every meal containing fat, up to 3 times daily. It works best when you regularly exercise and follow a diet plan. The amount of weight you lose will depend on many factors, such as your diet before taking Xenical.

Xenical should be taken with every meal that contains fat. It comes in 120 mg pills and can be used up to 3 times daily. You can take it before, during, or an hour after eating. You should take it with a glass of water. After 12 weeks of treatment, your doctor will check that you have lost at least 5% of your initial body weight. This means Xenical is working as it should. 

How long do you need to take Xenical for?

Xenical can be used for as long as you need it. Your doctor will stop the treatment if you do not lose at least 5% of your initial body weight after 12 weeks, as this means that Xenical is not working for you. 

How to take Xenical for best results

For the best results, Xenical should be taken 3 times a day with meals. If you miss meals or do not eat fat, Xenical might not work for you. Your doctor will provide information about diet and exercise that should be followed while using Xenical. You are more likely to reach your weight loss goals if you follow this. 
No more than 30% of your daily calorie intake should be from fat, and this should be spread evenly across your 3 meals. Avoid eating fat between meals, such as chocolate, biscuits, or savoury snacks. You should never take more Xenical than has been prescribed to you as this will not speed up your weight loss and could increase the risk of side effects.

You can get Xenical online through trusted and regulated sellers like Superdrug Online Doctor. Xenical needs to be prescribed, so you cannot get it over the counter. You may be able to get Xenical on the NHS, but you will need to make an appointment with your GP first. 

Can I buy Xenical online?

Yes, you can get Xenical through Superdrug Online Doctor. To place an order, you will need to complete a short medical questionnaire. One of our doctors will review this and make sure Xenical is suitable for you. Once approved, your treatment will be sent to your home in discreet packaging. 
If you have any more questions about your treatment, you can message one of our online doctors through your account at any time, for free. 

Can I buy Xenical over the counter?

No, Xenical must be prescribed as you must meet certain requirements for this medication to be suitable for you. 

Can I get Xenical on the NHS?

Yes, you may be able to get Xenical on the NHS. You must make an appointment with your GP so you can discuss this. You may be prescribed Xenical or the unbranded version - orlistat.

Xenical can have some side effects, and these are more common when you first start taking the medication. Most side effects are mild and are more likely if you eat a meal containing a high level of fat. You should speak to your doctor if your side effects do not go away after a few weeks of taking Xenical or if they bother you too much.


The very common side effects of Xenical include:

  • stomach pain or discomfort
  • headache
  • changes to your stools, such as diarrhoea and fatty or oily stools
  • needing to poo more frequently or urgently
  • wind
  • oily discharge
  • low blood sugar, which is more likely if you have type 2 diabetes
  • nose or throat infections or influenza

The common side effects of Xenical include:

  • soft stools
  • pain or discomfort in your rectum
  • bloating
  • tiredness
  • changes to your menstrual cycle
  • problems with your teeth or gums
  • bowel incontinence, which means you have trouble controlling your bowels 
  • urine and chest infections
  • anxiety

Some other side effects of Xenical have not been reported frequently enough to include as common or very common. These include:

  • an allergic reaction
  • skin blisters
  • changes in blood test
  • liver problems
  • gallstones
  • pancreatitis
  • kidney problems
  • bleeding or inflammation of the bowel

How long do Xenical side effects last?

Xenical side effects are more likely at the start of your treatment until your body gets used to the medication. This could be a few days or a few weeks. If they continue or you can’t manage them, speak to your doctor.

What to do if you get Xenical side effects

If you get side effects from taking Xenical, speak to your doctor if they bother you too much or do not go away after a few weeks of treatment. To reduce the risk of very common side effects, you should stick to eating low fat meals when taking Xenical. If you continue your treatment, most side effects will go away on their own. 
For serious side effects such as an allergic reaction, severe stomach pain or bleeding from your back passage call 999 or visit A&E straight away.
If you have certain medical conditions or take some medications, this could interact with Xenical. This means Xenical may not work for you, will be less effective, or potentially unsafe. Speak to your doctor before using Xenical if you have other health conditions or take any medications. 

Contraindications

You should not take Xenical if you:
  • are breastfeeding
  • are allergic to orlistat
  • have a liver disorder called cholestasis
  • have chronic malabsorption syndrome, which means you have problems with absorbing nutrients
  • are under 18
Xenical is not recommended if you are pregnant. For any other medical conditions, speak to your doctor. 

Medications that interact with Xenical

You should tell your doctor about any medications before taking Xenical. Certain medications, such as diabetes medication, may need to be adjusted when you lose weight. 
Women can still take the contraceptive pill whilst using Xenical, but this could affect how it works if you get severe diarrhoea. You may want to use a condom while taking Xenical or discuss other forms of contraception with your doctor. 
Xenical could interact with certain medications, especially:
  • medication for mental health disorders, such as depression
  • amiodarone, a heart medication
  • HIV treatment
  • anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin
  • ciclosporin, often used for rheumatoid arthritis 
  • iodine salts and/or levothyroxine, used in the treatment of hypothyroidism
  • medication for epilepsy
  • acarbose, used in the treatment of diabetes

Superdrug Online Doctor currently offers 4 treatments for weight loss. These range from other tablets to weight loss injections such as Saxenda. You may also be able to get other weight loss treatments through your GP. 

Xenical vs orlistat

Xenical is the branded version of orlistat. This means they both contain the same active ingredient and work in the same way. 

Xenical vs Mysimba

Mysimba tablets work differently than Xenical. Instead of changing how you absorb fat, Mysimba changes the signals that your body sends to your brain about appetite and energy levels. This can help you to feel less hungry and stop craving food. Mysimba contains 2 active ingredients, which are naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride. Mysimba is taken once or twice a day.

Xenical vs Saxenda

Saxenda is an injectable pen rather than a pill. You can be trained to use Saxenda at home and it is taken once a day. The active ingredient is liraglutide. Instead of changing how you absorb fat, liraglutide can affect the receptors in your brain that control appetite as well as reducing the rate your stomach digests food. This can reduce feelings of hunger, making it easier to lower your calorie intake. 

Xenical vs Alli 

Alli can be found over the counter and contains the same active ingredient as Xenical, which is orlistat. Instead of coming in 120 mg pills, Alli can only be found in 60mg capsules. You should not take more than three 60mg capsules daily. If you need a larger dose of orlistat, you should speak to Superdrug Online Doctor, as you may be suitable for Xenical.
Obesity (2019) NHS (accessed April 2022)
Xenical 120 mg hard capsules (2017) EMC (accessed April 2022)
Obesity: identifcation, assessment and management (2014) NICE [Accessed May 2022]

About Online Doctor

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Reviewed by: Dr Clair Grainger in line with the Superdrug Online Editorial Process.

GMC no. 7041314

Dr Grainger studied at the University of Edinburgh and worked in hospitals before becoming a GP. She has an interest in respiratory, and sexual and reproductive health.

Last reviewed on: 18/05/22