How does XENICAL work?

If you eat an excess amount of fat, the excess fat is then stored by the body, resulting in weight gain. When we eat fat, our bodies break fat town into its simplest components so that it can be absorbed. Enzymes in our intestinal tract, called lipases, help digest fat. XENICAL is a fat blocker. When we take XENICAL with meals, XENICAL attaches to the lipases and blocks them from breaking down some of the fat you have eaten. The undigested fat cannot be absorbed and is eliminated in your bowel movements. By working this way, XENICAL helps block 30% of the fat eaten in food from being absorbed by your body.

The most common side effect of XENICAL

The beneficial effects of XENICAL may be accompanied by side effects. Because XENICAL works by blocking the absorption of dietary fat, you will experience some changes in bowel habits generally during the first weeks of treatment. These changes may include oil spotting, gas with discharge, urgent need to go to the bathroom, oil or fatty stools, oily elimination, increased bowel movements and fecal incontinence. Due to the presence of undigested fat, the oil seen in bowel movement may be clear or have coloration such as orange or brown. Approximately 1% of patient's studies had discoloration of their feces.

These bowl changes are a national effect of blocking fat and indicate that XENICAL is working. They generally occur early in treatment particularly after meals containing higher amounts of fat than are recommended. These symptoms are usually temporary and lessen or disappear as you continue treatment and keep to your recommended diet of meal containing 30% fat. Gastrointestinal side effects may occur in some individuals over the period of 6 months or longer.

If you are concerned about these or any other side effects you experience while taking XENICAL talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

To help you get started on reducing the fat in your diet to 30%, read the labels on all the foods you buy. Foods that contain more than 30% fat should be avoided while taking XENICAL

• Limit each portion of meat, poultry and fish to 2 or 3 ounces (roughly the size of a deck of cards). Choose lean cuts of meat and remove the skin from poultry. Fill up your plate by including more grains, fruits and vegetables

• Replace whole-milk products with non-fat or 1% non-fat or low-fat dairy item.