Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

OTC orlistat

Orlistat will shortly be available to purchase from community pharmacies following a successful application to regulatory authorities. This product launch has gained significant media attention (BBC).

Each Alli® capsule will contain 60mg of orlistat and is recommended for people who are overweight (BMI > 28), want to lose weight, and will commit to healthier eating. The product is expected to retail for approximately £50 for a months supply.

This over-the-counter (OTC) product is half the strength of the prescription only version (Xenical®) but concerns have been raised about the potential for side effects if lifestyle changes are not implemented.

Action: Clinicians should be aware of the wider availability of this product.

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