Xenical (orlistat) is manufactured by Hoffman-La Roche (Roche), a Swiss global health care company. Orlistat is also sold over-the-counter as Alli, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline. Xenical contains 120 mg of the active ingredient, orlistat. The capsules also contain the inactive ingredients microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, sodium lauryl sulfate, povidone, and talc. Alli, the over-the-counter version, contains 60 mg or orlistat. Xenical is prescribed for obesity management along with a lower calorie diet and exercise. Xenical generated sales of $30 million in 2008.
How does Orlistat Work?
Orlistat, taken orally, works by preventing the absorption of fats consumed, and thereby reduces the amount of calories taken in. Orlistat also helps reduce blood pressure, and due to weight loss, prevents the onset of type 2 diabetes. Because the use of orlistat inhibits absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, people taking orlistat should also take a multivitamin tablet containing vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene.
What are the Side Effects of Xenical?
The most common side effects of taking Xenical are fecal incontinence, oily and loose stools, flatulence, frequent and/or urgent bowel movements. Side effects are usually most severe at the beginning of treatment. The most serious side effect associated with Orlistat is liver damage, although GlaxoSmithKline has refuted this. In August 2009, the FDA said it has received 32 reports of liver injury from those taking Alli or Xenical. The FDA said the reports included six incidents of liver failure and 27 hospitalizations. There also is some evidence of a higher evidence of breast cancer in those taking Orlistat. A safety review of a direct relationship between taking Xenical and liver damage is presently ongoing. On June 4, 2009, the FDA included Orlistat in their quarterly list of drugs under investigation for potential safety issues, namely for having a potential signal of serious risk of liver toxicity.
Xenical Injury Compensation Claims: Lawsuits and Settlements
The FDA has urged consumers to report side effects from Xenical or Alli to the MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (link is provided below). Patients should also contact their doctors if they experience symptoms of liver injury: jaundice, stomach pain, fatigue or weakness, or brown urine. You may also be entitled to compensation for liver injury, liver disease or liver failure from the manufacturer of Xenical or Alli. If you experienced liver injury from taking Xenical or Alli, contact an experienced dangerous pharmaceutical lawyer for more information about orlistat injury claims and your possible rights to compensation. Monetary damages may include compensation for medical care costs, lost earnings, pain and suffering and other expenses caused by taking orlistat medications. Talk to a dangerous drugs lawyer to learn more - most provide a free consultation.
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