alli is a weight loss treatment that can help you to lose weight when combined with a healthy lifestyle. Each alli tablet contains 60mg of the active ingredient orlistat.
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Being overweight or obese are common health issues that affect around 63% of adults in the UK. Being overweight or obese makes you more likely to develop health conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
But losing weight isn’t easy and many people find it difficult with diet and exercise alone.
alli is an over the counter medication for overweight adults. It can help you lose weight when used in combination with a reduced calorie diet and regular exercise.
You can request alli from Asda Online Doctor by filling in a short medical questionnaire. A doctor will review your answers to make sure alli is right for you. If alli is not the right medication for you, our doctor might recommend an alternative treatment.
84 capsule(s) - £39.99
alli is a medication that can help you lose weight if taken while following a calorie controlled diet. It is used to treat adults over 18 years of age with a body mass index (BMI) of 28 or above.
alli is the brand name for the generic medication orlistat. Orlistat is also available at a higher dose of 120mg under the brand name Xenical which is only available on prescription.
alli works by stopping some of the fat you eat from being absorbed by your body. It does this by blocking the action of an enzyme called lipase that breaks down fat. When lipase is blocked, around 25% of the fat you eat isn’t absorbed and passes out of the body with your stools (poo).
Always take any medications exactly as your doctor or pharmacist tells you to, or follow the instructions on the packaging or patient information leaflet
To take alli, swallow one 60mg capsule whole with water before, during, or up to one hour after a meal. This will normally mean taking one capsule three times a day with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you skip a meal, or your meal does not contain any fat, you do not need to take alli.
Do not take more than 3 capsules daily. If you take too many alli capsules, or someone else takes your medication, contact your doctor or healthcare provider.
You should avoid eating a lot of fat while taking this medication. Aim for around 15g of fat per meal. If you do eat a high fat meal do not take more than your usual dose of alli.
If you forget to take your dose of alli and it's less than an hour since your last meal, take your medication as usual. If it is more than one hour since your last meal, skip that dose and continue your medication with your next meal.
alli can affect the absorption of some fat soluble vitamins including beta carotene and vitamins A, D, E, and K. If you’re taking multivitamins, or supplements, make sure you take them at least 2 hours after taking alli, such as before you go to bed.
alli is suitable for most adults over 18 years of age with a body mass index (BMI) of 28 or above.
Like all medications, alli can cause side effects in some people. The most common side effects of alli are caused by undigested fat passing through the body. You can reduce these side effects by eating a lower fat diet. It is also better to split your daily fat intake evenly between meals than to eat a lot of fat in one go.
Most side effects go away on their own after a few weeks, but if your side effects are unpleasant, getting worse, or not going away, talk to your GP or pharmacist.
Always read the patient information leaflet carefully before taking any medication.
Common side effects of alli include:
- flatulence (wind)
- fatty, oily stools
- oily discharge from the anus
- more frequent or urgent bowel movements
- abdominal (stomach) pain
Less commonly alli may cause:
- changes to your menstrual cycle (period)
- back pain
- cold-like symptoms
alli can affect the results of some blood tests. Tell your doctor you are taking alli if you have a blood test.
Rarely, serious side effects can occur when taking alli. These include:
- severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Symptoms include swelling of the face, lips, tongue, itchy rash, fast heart rate, difficulty breathing, and collapse.
- bleeding from the rectum (back passage)
- inflammation of the large intestine (diverticulitis). Symptoms include inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can include severe abdominal pain that may radiate to the back, as well as nausea, vomiting, and fever
- blistering of the skin
- gallstones. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting
- inflammation of the liver (hepatitis). Symptoms include yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, itchy skin, dark coloured urine, right sided pain under the ribs, and loss of appetite
- kidney stones. Symptoms include severe back or flank pain, painful and frequent urination, blood in the urine, and fever
If you experience any of the above symptoms stop taking your medication and seek immediate medical attention.
alli isn’t suitable for everyone. Always tell your doctor about any other medical conditions or allergies you have, as well as any other medications you are taking.
Do not take alli if you:
- are under 18 years of age
- are allergic to orlistat, Xenical, alli, or any of the other ingredients in alli*.
- are a healthy weight
- have a condition that stops you from absorbing food properly
- are pregnant
- are breastfeeding
- have cholestasis (a liver condition)
*alli ingredients include microcrystalline cellulose (E460), sodium starch glycolate, povidone (E1201), sodium lauryl sulphate, talc, gelatin, indigo carmine (E132), titanium dioxide (E171), sorbitan monolaurate, black ink (shellac, iron oxide black or E172), propylene glycol, polysorbate 80 and indigo carmine (E132).
Talk to your doctor before taking alli if you have, or have ever had:
- heart problems
- thyroid problems
- gallbladder problems
- kidney stones
- seizures (fits)
- irritable bowel syndrome
alli may interact with some other medications which may change the way they work or make your side effects worse.
Medications that may interact with alli include:
- cyclosporin (a medication that suppresses your immune system after receiving an organ transplant)
- anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin
- some thyroid medications
- some medications used to treat epilepsy
- oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
- antiretroviral medications used to treat HIV
- fat soluble vitamins
- amiodarone (a heart medication)
- some antidepressants and antipsychotics
When combined with a calorie controlled, low fat diet and regular activity alli is an effective weight loss aid. Studies have shown that on average people taking alli lose between 5 and 10% of their starting weight after one year. alli has been shown to help people lose 50% more weight than dieting alone.
No, you can buy alli from pharmacies and online doctors without a prescription. Your pharmacist or online doctor will ask you some questions about your general health to check that alli is safe and suitable for you to take.
alli starts working as soon as you start taking it. If you follow a low calorie, reduced fat diet and take regular exercise, you may see results within a few weeks. Most people taking alli lose weight within the first 6 months.
Currently, there are 3 medications licensed for weight loss in the UK, Saxenda, Orlistat, and Mysimba.
alli contains a lower dose of orlistat and is the only medication for weight loss available without a prescription.
Saxenda (liraglutide) is a prefilled injection that is given once a day. It works as an appetite suppressant and makes you feel less hungry so that you eat less than you usually do. Like alli, Saxenda works best when combined with a calorie controlled diet and regular exercise. Saxenda is only available on prescription.
Orlistat, also known by the brand name Xenical contains the same active ingredient (orlistat) as alli, but in higher amounts. Orlistat contains 120mg of orlistat, whereas alli contains 60mg.
Orlistat works by blocking the action of the enzyme lipase which stops your body from absorbing some of the fat you eat. To work properly, orlistat needs to be combined with a calorie controlled, low fat diet and regular exercise. Orlistat is only available on prescription.
Mysimba (naltrexone hydrochloride/bupropion hydrochloride) is a tablet that works by making you feel less hungry and keeping you feeling fuller for longer so that you eat less. It needs to be taken in combination with a calorie controlled diet and regular exercise. Mysimba is only available with a prescription.
Dr Kathryn Basford
Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.Meet our doctors
Article created: 24 Jun 2022
Last reviewed: 24 Jun 2022
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NHS: Treatment. Obesity May 16th, 2019, Accessed May 30th, 2022
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PubMed: BMJ. Orlistat over the counter December 8th, 2007 Accessed May 30th, 2022
Cancer Research UK: Overweight and Obesity Statistics Accessed May 30th, 2022