Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy

Orlistat for the management of overweight individuals and obesity: a review of potential for the 60-mg, over-the-counter dosage.

PMID 17685889


Orlistat, in the 60-mg over-the-counter dose, was recently approved by the FDA. This lipase inhibitor blocks absorption of ~25% of ingested fat and has ~85% of the efficacy of the 120-mg dose for weight loss. Over 16 weeks weight loss with diet and orlistat 60 mg averages ~5% of initial body weight. The 60-mg dose is better tolerated than the 120-mg dose and the gastrointestinal side effects are minimal when individuals consume < 30% of their energy from fat. In addition to facilitating modest weight loss, orlistat use decreases serum LDL-cholesterol values by ~10%. When taken three times daily before meals, orlistat 60 mg modifies lifestyle behavior, encourages lower fat-consumption and sets the stage for other healthy lifestyle changes.

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