The cost of Orlistat can vary from £18-£49 per month, depending on the type of Orlistat you purchase and where you purchase it from.
Orlistat comes in two strengths:
- 60mg (brand name Alli): This is the cheaper form, and you can purchase it over the counter for around £18 per month.
- 120mg (brand name Xenical, but also sold as Orlistat): This is the more expensive form, and you’ll need a prescription. It will cost around £49 a month.
Did you know?
Second Nature is launching a medication-supported programme when semaglutide becomes available in the UK.
To join our waiting list, click here.
What is Orlistat?
Orlistat is a lipase inhibitor. Lipases are gut enzymes that break down fat from food, enabling the gut to transport fat into the body to be burnt for energy or stored in our fat cells for later use.
Orlistat blocks lipases, preventing some of the dietary fat from our meals from being digested. This leads to fewer calories being absorbed, which can support weight loss.
Orlistat is a prescription medication produced by two pharmaceutical companies in the UK:
- GlaxoSmithKline: Alli, 60 mg and available over the counter (no prescription)
- Roche: Xenical, 120 mg and available with a prescription
- Orlistat is also sold unbranded under its active ingredient name, ‘Orlistat’, and comes in the 120mg form
However, it’s recommended that you consult with a healthcare professional or a pharmacist before purchasing weight-loss medications.
How much weight will I lose on Orlistat?
Orlistat (Xenical/Alli) has been shown to lead to a weight loss of 4% of body weight after three months and around 8% after one year. It’s generally well-tolerated, with fewer than 10% of people stopping the medication due to adverse effects.
However, research has shown that other weight-loss medications lead to significantly more weight loss, with orlistat often performing worse than other medications, such as liraglutide (Saxenda).
In a review comparing orlistat with four other weight-loss medications, including liraglutide, orlistat was found to be the least likely to lead to more than 5% weight loss.
At the same time, a clinical trial with 237 participants investigated the impact of orlistat in a real-world setting to determine adherence to the medication and whether they were well tolerated.
The results showed that participants lost around 4% of body weight after three months. 80% of participants reported being satisfied with the drug due to its positive effect on weight loss.
This suggests that despite its modest effects on weight loss, the medication’s tolerability may support some people to stay on it for longer and change their diet and lifestyle.
Where can you buy Orlistat?
You can purchase Orlistat online from registered and regulated clinics and pharmacies in the UK.
You need a prescription to buy Orlistat 120 mg, which you can complete using a simple online form. But you can purchase Orlistat 60 mg (Alli) over the counter.
How do you get an Orlistat prescription?
You need to complete an online form outlining some of your medical history, weight, and other medications you’re currently taking.
A pharmacy will then confirm within 48 hours whether your application for an Orlistat prescription has been approved.
The exact eligibility criteria for an Orlistat prescription are kept confidential for patient safety.
Should you buy Orlistat?
Lipase inhibitors like Xenical and Alli can lead to weight loss of 4-8% after one year, alongside changes to diet and lifestyle.
They’re also well-tolerated, with human clinical trials indicating less than 10% of people stop taking the medication due to adverse effects.
However, all medications come with risks and rewards, and not everyone is suitable for weight-loss medications like Orlistat.
Deciding to start a new medication is a highly personal choice. So, ultimately, it depends on whether you believe it’s the best decision for your health going forward.
All weight-loss medications are designed to be taken alongside changes to your lifestyle. Without this, the effects of the drug will not last, and you’ll likely regain any weight you lose in the future.
Did you know?
Second Nature’s new medication-supported programme will launch soon to provide the extra support some people need to lose weight for good.
On our programme, you get:
- Daily support from a registered dietitian or nutritionist
- An evidence-based programme developed by nutritionists, dietitians, and psychologists
- Peace of mind that your weight-loss injection is from the only private company also trusted by the NHS to provide weight-loss services
If you’re interested, click here to join our waiting list.