NZ Formulary



What does it do?

Orlistat is used to help you lose weight by reducing the fat you absorb from food. It should be used with a low fat diet.

How should you take it?

Take orlistat as directed with each main meal. Take with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

Should an occasional dose be missed it need not be taken later.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Abdominal pain


Diarrhoea, oily bowel motions

More common when you first start. Reducing the amount of fat in your meals will help. Tell your health professional if troublesome.

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your health professional if you have gallbladder, or bowel problems, diabetes, or if you have ever had kidney stones.
  • Tell your health professional if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You may need to take a multivitamin while taking orlistat. Talk to your health professional.