Medication, Devices & Supplements


How does Xenical work?

Xenical works if your diet contains fat, as it works by eliminating undigested fat from your body.

Therefore, if you skip a main meal or if you eat foods that do not contain fat, Xenical does not need to be taken.

Examples of meals with no fat include those that contain only fruits or vegetables, soft drinks or sugary sweets.

How to take Xenical?

Always take Xenical exactly as your doctor/pharmacist has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

Xenical should be taken with each of the three main meals per day i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner. It can be taken immediately before, during a meal or up to one hour after a meal. The capsule should be swallowed with water.

While taking Xenical you should aim to be eating a balanced healthy diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables. Following the healthy plate model ensures your diet is balanced and contains all the food groups you need; including the recommended intake of ~30% of the calories from fat.

Your daily intake of fat, carbohydrate and protein should be distributed over the three meals. To gain optimal benefits avoid the intake of food containing fat between meals, such as biscuits, chocolate and salty snacks.

One of the side effects of Xenical is diarrhea which can occur if you have oily foods or a “heavy meal” e.g. biryani or saloona (made with lots of oil) as this is how Xenical eliminates the undigested fat from your body.

It is a common misconception that Xenical only works if you have diarrhea as it flushes the fat out. If you are having diarrhea when taking Xenical this means you are not on track with making necessary dietary changes and you need to reduce your fat intake.

Xenical may reduce your body's ability to absorb Vitamins D, A, E and K from your food so you need to make sure you get enough of these from your diet and ensure you have a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, otherwise please see your doctor/dietitian who may advise you to take a multivitamin supplement. (If a multivitamin supplement is recommended, it should be taken at least two hours after taking the Xenical).

© Copyright 2017 Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. All rights reserved.

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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