Orlistat (Xenical, alli, tetrahydrolipstatin) - Lose weight by pooping terribly and uncontrollably

I'm digging this post over at Angry 365 Days a Year. Dude basically tears the drug company a new one, which is fitting, given that this is essentially what the drug they are hawking does to you.

  • antiobesity drug derived from lipstatin, a bacterial compound that inhibits pancreatic lipase
    • pancreatic lipase is an enzyme that hangs out in your small intestine (after being secreted by your pancreas) and is responsible for breaking down (by hydrolysis) fats/oils from food that you eat into monoglycerides and free fatty acids (smaller bits of fat), which can then be absorbed and used by your body
    • so essentially, this drug acts to disrupt a perfectly normal digestive process to help you potentially lose weight
  • prevents the absorption of fats/oils from food, thus reducing the number of calories you actually rack up AND causing your poo to become oily and/or loose (this is known as steatorrhea, the fats/oils have to go somewhere!)
    • oily poo is disgusting
  • you also fart a lot, have to poo more often, and occasionally poop your pants (still interested?)
  • can disrupt the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and, for some reason, cyclosporin
Bray GA, Ryan DH. Drug treatment of the overweight patient. Gastroenterology. 2007 May;132(6):2239-52.

3 chemically inspired comments:

The Mayor said...

but it will make me lose weight, right? where can I buy it?

Toaster Sunshine said...

It seems to me that one as desperate to lose weight as they'd have to be to use this drug would have already implemented or thought about even more drastic measures, like only consuming lemon-water or stomach stapling.
Also looks as though this kind of effect could enable a new kind of bulimia. For those who love fatty foods, can't stand throwing up, and feel terrible about the form of their bodies, maybe they'll start getting rid of the fat at the other end.
I dunno, I may not have the proper perspective to address this, given that I really have to struggle to keep from falling over in a stiff wind.

O'Flannabhra said...

So, basically, taking this gives you irritable bowel syndrome? Or, it's as if you are on a diet heavy in Olestra?

Anal leakage aside, this stuff has to have some dangerous long-term effects.