What is Xenical?
Xenical is a prescription medication used to help people who are overweight lose weight. It may be right for you if your BMI (body mass index) is 30 or higher, or you have a BMI of 27 or higher and have other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes.
Excess weight is a problem facing an estimated 97 million adults in the U.S. Currently, about one-fifth of all U.S. adults are believed to be considerably overweight. Although people of all ages, races and ethnicity can become overweight, there are some people who are at greater risk than others. For example, women are more likely to become considerably overweight than are men, particularly in certain ethnic groups such as African-Americans and Mexican-Americans.
In studies of Xenical, almost two-thirds of people treated lost at least 5% of their body weight after 2 years. In comparison, only half of the people treated with diet alone managed to lose 5% of their weight.
When Xenical is combined with a healthy diet it also improves a number of weight-related health risks. It can:
- Decrease total and LDL cholesterol (level of low-density lipoprotein-also known as bad cholesterol)
- Improve ratio of bad to good cholesterol (LDL/HDL cholesterol)
- Reduce blood pressure
- Reduce levels of insulin (hormone that allows glucose or sugar to enter the body’s cells), high levels of which are associated with coronary heart disease
- Reduce the risk or delay the progression to type 2 diabetes in patients
How do I take Xenical?
Take one 120mg capsule orally with liquid at each main meal (that contains fat). Your meal should be nutritional and contain no more than about 30% of calories from fat. Try to evenly divide intake of fat, carbs and protein over your three main meals. You can take Xenical with meals or up to 1 hour after. If you miss a meal or eat one without fat, you can omit your dose of Xenical. Taking Xenical more than three times a day has not been shown to provide any additional weight-loss benefits.
How soon will I notice results?
People begin losing weight within 2 weeks of starting, and may continue to lose weight for 6 to 12 months, at which point weight loss usually begins to level off – even if you’re still taking Xenical. People who continue to take the medication are better able to maintain their weight loss.
The amount of weight you lose will depend on you sticking to a low-calorie diet, getting an appropriate amount of physical activity, and staying true to the prescribed Xenical regimen.
Xenical side effects
When taking Xenical you may experience some changes in bowel habits. These bowel changes are a natural effect of blocking the fat from being absorbed. You will notice these side effects during the first weeks of treatment, however, for some people, they may continue for 6 months or longer.
These changes may include gas with oily discharge, an increased number of bowel movements, an urgent need to have them, and an inability to control them, particularly after meals containing higher amounts of fat than are recommended.
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