Orlistat has been shown to cause mild side effects in some individuals. Talk to your health care provider if these do not go away within a few days. If you begin to experience more serious effects, seek medical attention immediately.
Common side effects of orlistat use include:
- Gas/ flatulence
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal pain
- Increased number of bowel movements
- Urgent need for a bowel movement
- Oily stools
- Oily spotting on underwear and clothes
- Loss of appetite
- Nervousness/ anxiety
More serious side effects include:
- Skin Rash
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe stomach pain
- Dark urine
- Back pain
- Side pain
If you experience any of these side effects, seek medical attention immediately. These are symptoms of a serious adverse reaction–or allergic reaction–to this medication and require treatment right away.
Orlistat has been shown to affect the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E and K). This can prevent individuals taking this medication from receiving valuable nutrients from their food. Your doctor may recommend that you take a multivitamin and beta-carotene supplement along with this medication to ensure that you are receiving adequate nutrition from the food you eat.
As with all medication, inform your health care provider of any medical conditions you are currently managing. Let them know if you have or ever had kidney stones, diabetes, liver disease, gallbladder disease, thyroid disease, or an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia). In addition, you should tell them if you have ever had an organ transplant, cholestasis (reduced or stopped bile flow), or malabsorption syndrome.
Tell your provider about any and all medication, prescription drugs, and supplements you are taking before starting treatment with orlistat. Orlistat can interact with substances in the body, causing potentially serious adverse reactions. Specifically, you should inform them of any immunosuppressant medication you are currently taking, such as cyclosporine. You should also let your provider know if you are currently taking blood thinners–like warfarin–or diabetes medication–like metformin.
In addition, let your doctor know if you are planning to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding before starting treatment with this medication.