Everybody wants to lose weight – and many are willing to do anything to make sure that they shed off extra pounds. When exercise and dieting do not seem to be enough, there are always diet pills like Xenical.

Xenical (also called Orlistat) is probably one of the most popular diet pills today, but does it really work? Here we explore this pill’s pros and cons, so you can decide whether it is right for you.

What is Xenical?

Xenical is essentially a weight loss pill intended for dieters who already have obesity problems, and whose progress is safely monitored by their respective doctors. The main ingredient of Xenical is Orlistat, which is categorized as a lipase inhibitor. This means that Xenical does its ‘magic’ in the intestinal tract, sending out the ‘surplus’ fat ingested through eating so that the body does not digest and store it.

Orlistat actually inhibits pancreatic lipase, which is the enzyme responsible for breaking down the triglycerides in your intestine. By doing so, Xenical, therefore, prevents triglycerides from turning into free fatty acids that your body can absorb. Xenical manufacturers say that their wonder weight loss drug can dramatically reduce – by up to 30% — the quantity of fat absorbed into the bloodstream, provided that a patient takes the

standard prescription dosage pegged at 120 mg, before meals, three times every day.

This means that Xenical can keep around 600 calories from being digested by your body every day. Losing 600 calories a day can cause you to lose about 1 pound every week.

Is it really effective

Different studies have different conclusions about the effectiveness of Xenical, but for the most part, they all seem to prove that it is effective. Some 35 to 55 percent of Xenical-taking dieters were found to have decreased their body mass by at least 5 percent, but of course, the entirety of this mass was not necessarily fat. About 16 to 25 percent were able to reduce their body mass by at least 10 percent. More importantly, though, Xenical takers seemed to have reduced type 2 diabetes instances – by around 37 percent, in fact, which is a huge difference.

Sounds good so far. But are there any drawbacks?

Yes. Like all other diet pills, Xenical is not without its side effects.

For one, it may cause diarrhea. Xenical will cause the excess fat you eat to go straight out of your body, so if you are not careful and continue to eat a high-fat diet, you may have to go to the bathroom more often than normal. Many patients experience anal leakage, bowel pain, and flatulence. Do not worry, though – there is hope. Just stick to a fat-free (or at least low-fat) diet while you are on Xenical to avoid this rather embarrassing inconvenience.

Xenical is also found to prevent the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients and vitamins, so you may need to take multivitamin tablets with vitamins A, E, K, D, and beta-carotene to compensate. Take the vitamins around two hours before (or after) you take Xenical.

Should I take Xenical?

Maybe, maybe not. If you are just a bit overweight but not obese, it may not be a good idea to take Xenical. This weight loss drug was originally intended for seriously obese patients who are also under the supervision of their doctors. Be sure to tell your doctor if you intend to take Xenical, and never buy from the black market. Your doctor can assess if it is right for your current medical condition.

Will Xenical make me thin forever?

No. Just like any other diet and weight loss pill, Xenical is not the answer to long-term weight loss. It can probably help you lose weight faster, but it cannot keep you from gaining. In fact, studies show that a lot of patients regained about 35 percent of the excess weight they have already lost when they stopped taking Xenical.

So while it is certainly helpful, Xenical is not the magic formula. You still need to alter your lifestyle choices to include exercise and a healthy diet – the two essential ingredients for successful weight management.