Worst Pills
orlistat (ALLI, XENICAL)

Drug and Dietary Supplement Profiles

A comprehensive review of the safety and effectiveness of this drug. If the drug is not a Do Not Use product, information on adverse effects, drug interactions and how to use the medication are included.
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  • orlistat (ALLI, XENICAL)
    We list this drug as a Do Not Use drug because it has not been shown to cause long-term health benefits.

Disease and Drug Family Information

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  • Diet Drugs [hide all summaries]
    The FDA has set the bar too low for the approval of diet drugs. Instead of requiring that diet drugs be proved to prevent the long term consequences of obesity (none ever has), diet drugs can be approved if they show a modest weight loss over a relatively short period.

Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles

Search results below include Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Articles where your selected drug is a primary subject of discussion
  • Study Uncovers Serious Underreporting of Harms in Orlistat’s Trials [hide all summaries]
    (June 2017)
    For many years, we have designated the weight-loss drug orlistat (XENICAL, ALLI) as Do Not Use because it exposes patients to serious risks that greatly outweigh its minimal benefits. In this article, we describe data from a new study showing that orlistat’s side effects were seriously underreported in published medical journal articles for the clinical trials that the drugmaker conducted to support the drug’s approval.
  • FDA Should Remove Weight-Loss Drugs ALLI and XENICAL From the Market [hide all summaries]
    (October 2011)
    Following our April 2011 petition to the FDA to have weight-loss drug orlistat removed from the market, we review the serious adverse effects associated with its over-the-counter and prescription forms.
  • Severe Liver Toxicity Added to Already Lengthy List of Risks for Diet Drug Orlistat (XENICAL, ALLI) [hide all summaries]
    (July 2010)
    New evidence of severe liver failure, sometimes fatal, caused by orlistat (over-the-counter as ALLI, prescription version, XENICAL) adds to the many other reasons why no one should use this drug. They include Do not use orlistat. This drug has a meager effect on weight, but its potential to cause serious side effects, including pre-cancerous lesions of the colon (aberrant crypt foci), liver damage and pancreatitis, is significant. The most common side effects of orlistat include oily spotting, gas with discharge, fecal urgency, fatty/oily stools and fre­quent bowel movements. The article lists symptoms of liver failure.
  • The Diet Drug Orlistat (XENICAL) and Gallstones [hide all summaries]
    (June 2007)
    Yet another problem has been detected with this diet drug whose approval we opposed and that we have been attempting to get banned. The FDA found 37 cases of gall stones in patients using orlistat. This, in addition to inhibiting the absorption of important vitamins such as A, D, E and K as well as evidence that the drug can cause pre-cancerous abnormalities in the colon of animals, further emphasizes why this barely effective drug should not be used, either in the prescription version called Xenical or the about-to-appear over-the-counter version, Alli.
  • Public Citizen Asks FDA to Immediately Remove Orlistat (XENICAL) from the Market [hide all summaries]
    (June 2006)
    Public Citizen petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Apr. 10, 2006 to immediately remove the diet drug orlistat (XENICAL) from the market. The basis for the petition is the fact that orlistat can cause pre-cancerous changes in the lining of the intestines called aberrant crypt foci (ACF). You should not take orlistat. There is no evidence that this drug can reduce the health risks associated with obesity and inactivity, and the drug's minimal effectiveness for weight loss-coupled with both the real and theoretical risks of orlistat-outweigh any known benefit for the drug.

Additional Information from Public Citizen

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