In the battle against weight loss, modern medicine has added diet pills to its arsenal. Today, the simplest way of losing weight is to take the pills and watch as the fat dissolves. However, as with anything, this weight loss technique has both advantages and disadvantages. Severe weight loss can dehydrate, fatigue, malnourish and shrivel you up like a raisin. If you use the extreme weight loss drug, Orlistat, you could be placing yourself at risk.
Xenical is the trade name that Orlistat is marketed under and it achieves its results by preventing the body from absorbing fat from whatever source. This results in reduced calorie intake and less fat, eventually leading to weight loss. When Orlistat is taken orally, three times a day before meals, it will prevent the retention of around 30% of fat that is taken in. All the bad fat passes safely through the digestive system.
The effectiveness of Xenical is questionable, since it reduces body mass by around 5%, but was only successful in around 50% of the people who volunteered for a year long clinical test. They were further disappointed when they subsequently regained the weight they lost when testing was completed and they stopped using the drug.
The common side effect associated with this weight loss drug is steatorrhea, a physical condition in which the subject suffers frequent, uncomfortable and loose bowel movements that are oily, with extra flatus. This is caused by the fat that has not been absorbed travelling through the large intestine. A long-term side effect of this drug was documented in an animal study carried out in 2006. It connected Orlistat to lesions that might lead to cancer being discovered in the colon.