Alli was born over-the-counter recently. It's the old Xenical drug (Orlistat) made by GlaxoSmithKline. Have you ever tried this medication personally? I have to share. Though, I will warn you, this is definitely TMI (too much information for those of you not into text messaging, short cuts, or the current way to speak... LOL). I took Xenical when it came out. Um (blushing) embarrassed to say I bought 5 capsules from the independent pharmacy I was working for... I know I know... unethical right? ANYWAY! There's issues with loss of Vitamins A, D, E, and K absorptions and also the potential for ANAL LEAKAGE. Yep. Anal Leakage.
What is anal leakage? Well it's where you can't control the oil slick coming out of your ass. I remember being horrified thinking, "Oh oh." Ran in a heated sprint to the bathroom (luckily at home!) and immediately there was a layer of OIL that spread out in the toilet water. OIL. What in God's name???
The new nonprescription diet drug Alli is flying off store shelves, but most people who use it will lose very little weight and may experience embarrassing side effects.
• Forum: About 20% of people who use Alli will lose 10% or more of their body weight. But most don't lose much weight at all, and some suffer embarrassing gastrointestinal side effects. Will you try the pill? Join a discussion.
Pharmacies are reporting brisk sales of Alli (pronounced like the noun "ally"), which is sold by drug maker GlaxoSmithKline and is the first over-the-counter diet drug to win FDA approval. Unlike other prescription weight-loss drugs such as Meridia and the generic phentermine, Alli doesn't make you feel full, reduce cravings or curb your appetite. Instead, it prevents the body from breaking down and absorbing fat.
The active ingredient in Alli is orlistat, which is found in a higher dose in the prescription diet drug Xenical. Alli blocks about 25% of the fat you eat; Xenical blocks one-third of the fat you ingest. For instance, a half-cup serving of Haagen-Dazs ice cream has about 320 calories and 19 grams of fat. Alli, which is taken with meals, would prevent the body from absorbing about 4.75 fat grams or about 43 calories. If you consume about 2,000 calories a day and eat about 30% fat, the fat-blocking benefits of Alli would translate to about 150 calories a day. A pound of weight loss equals 3,500 calories.
Here's what users of orlistat, the ingredient in Alli, can expect from the weight-loss drug:
• One in five will lose 10% or more of body weight
• Half will lose less than 5% of their body weight
• Side effects include gas, oily discharge and loose stools
The downside of Alli is the fat it blocks can come out of your body in embarrassing ways. The Glaxo Web site, myalli.com, warns the drug can cause gas with oily discharge as well as frequent or loose stools. The site suggests it's probably a "smart idea" to wear dark pants and bring a change of clothes to work if you use Alli.
To avoid the side effects, Glaxo suggests limiting fat intake to 15 grams a meal. Many Americans consume 80 to 100 grams of fat a day. Glaxo officials concede that many people would lose weight on their own with a diet that's moderate in fat, but that the pill helps them lose more weight.
"If you'd lose 10 pounds on a diet, you'll lose 15 pounds by adding Alli to your diet,'' says Vidhu Bansal, director of medical affairs for Glaxo's consumer-health division.
If someone is consuming a diet already low in fat and high in carbohydrates, they likely won't get much benefit from Alli. However, doctors say most people are eating far more fat than they realize.
Orlistat has been used by an estimated 28 million people world-wide, and studied in 30,000 subjects in about 100 trials. In a 1999 Journal of the American Medical Association report, 1,187 dieters, who weighed an average of 220 pounds, took either a placebo or 120 mg of orlistat (twice the dose of Alli). After one year, individuals in the orlistat group lost an average of 19.27 pounds, about 50% more than the 12.8-pound average weight loss in the placebo group.
Yeah, um, I don't know about this one... I can see it now. Misinformed customers buying the drug and LOTS and LOTS of accidents in the underwear!