Xenical Orlistat, consisting of the active ingredient orlistat, is one of the most commonly prescribed medications recommended for the treatment of clinical obesity. Like other anti-obesity medications, Xenical is recommended to be taken in combination with a low fat diet and adequate physical exercise. However, this popular weight loss pill cannot be taken by everyone. Doctors prescribe orlistat only for clinically obese individuals having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. It can also be prescribed if you have a BMI of 27 along with obesity-related health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Can Xenical be taken during pregnancy and breast feeding?
Weight loss might seem particularly desirable if you are obese and having a difficult time during pregnancy. However, this weight loss option may not be the right one for you. The FDA has assigned orlistat to pregnancy category B. This means that the effects of Xenical have been studied on animals but have not been found to harm the fetus. However, no well controlled or adequate studies have been conducted on pregnant women, so it is advisable to avoid taking Xenical during pregnancy or consult your doctor before taking it. Even the manufacturer Roche has not recommended the use of Xenical for pregnant women.
The effects of Xenical have not been studied on breast feeding women and no one knows whether the medication harms infants if imbibed through breast milk. But since Xenical does not pass into breast milk (it goes through the digestive tract), there is very little chance that it will be unhealthy for nursing infants. It can, however, promote vitamin deficiency – something you wouldn’t want to risk if you are a breast feeding mother. The manufacturer advises breast feeding women to take the drug only after consulting their doctors.
It’s recommended that pregnant or breast feeding women try and reduce their obesity by other weight loss methods such as exercise and diet.