Xenical vs. Alli: Fat Busters!

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Difference between Xenical and Alli

Obesity is a medical condition diagnosed when excessive fat accumulates in the human body and leads to health issues and which may lead to premature death in some cases. Obese people tend to develop heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes or osteoarthritis. Children and adults may become obese if they have unhealthy dietary habits, don’t engage in physical exercise or have a genetic predisposition to the disease.

Various programs are available worldwide to create awareness in te communities about the risks of obesity. The TV program The Biggest Loser has been very effective at getting the word out about the dangers of obesity. Aside from a strong motivation to lose weight, adopting good nutritional habits and an active lifestyle, there are anti-obesity drugs on the market which can help, today we’ll look at Xenical and Alli.



Xenical is the brand name for the prescription anti-obesity drug Orlistat produced by the pharmaceutical company Roche and marketed in the United States.

Alli is the brand name for the over-the-counter anti-obesity drug Orlistat produced by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and marketed in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

Working Principle

The working principle behind Xenical and Alli is to prevent fat from being absorbed in the metabolic process. The drug blocks the action of gastric and pancreatic lipases. As such, the triglycerides contained in the food are not hydrolyzed and transformed into absorbable fatty acids. They are excreted in an undigested form.

It takes 120 mg of Xenical three times a day after each meal to prevent the absorption of 30% fats. 60 mg of Alli taken three times a day after each meal prevent the absorption of 25% fats.

Xenical and Alli also prevent the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and nutrients. For the a person to get adequate amounts of vitamins A, D, E, K and beta-carotene, a doctor’s recommendation for the patient may be to take a multivitamin tablet during treatment.

Side effects

Xenical and Alli can cause gastrointestinal issues such as steatorrhea which means that there is a certain amount of excessive fat in the feces. Fecal incontinence or frequent bowel movements may also occur during the treatment. To avoid these side effects, producers recommend that the diet contains as little fat as possible. In 91% of the cases, side effects are predominantly seen in the first years of the treatment according to a XENDOS study. After four years, the percentage decreases to 36%. This is an attainable objective if the patient eats low fat meals.

In rare cases, after using Xenical, people reported severe liver damages. This information was included in the category for safety instructions in line with the policy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Similarities and Differences

  • Xenical and Alli are the brand names for the anti-obesity drug known by the medical term of Orlistat.
  • The working principle for Xenical and Alli is to prevent absorption of fats.
  • During the treatment with Xenical or Alli, patients might experience side effects as steatorrhea, fecal incontinence or frequent bowel movements. In rare cases, Xenical has caused severe liver damage.


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