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Obesity and Weight Management

Alli

06/24/2008

Question:

Has the diet "miracle" alli been tested for safety or effectiveness? If so, what are the results?

Answer:

Alli is the brand name of orlistat which is sold over-the-counter or OTC in the United States. Orlistat was originally marketed in 1999 as Xenical and was available by prescription only. The drug is used to treat obesity along with a reduced calorie, low-fat diet and exercise program.

Orlistat decreases the intestinal absorbtion of fat. The most common side effect is a change in bowel habits. Orlistat is not well absorbed into the blood stream. It works mainly in the stomach and intestinal system. Because of this, orlistat has a good safety profile.

Alli can be a very effective treatment for obesity if used along with a reduced calorie diet and exercise. Approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States for OTC use indicates safety and efficacy of Alli. 

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Response by:

Carmen M Hadley, RPh, CSPI
Formerly:
Clinical Instructor
College of Pharmacy
The Ohio State University