Xenical helps you lose weight. May cause gas and even a oily discharge. Eating foods high in fat can make these side effects worse. Read all food labels and avoid foods that have more than 30% fat.

Xenical Overview


Xenical is a prescription weight loss medication. Xenical belongs to a group of drugs called lipase inhibitors, which work by preventing the absorption of fat in your body. 

This medication comes in capsule form and is taken up to 3 times daily with each fat-containing meal. A lower strength is also available without a prescription.
Common side effects include oily spotting, stomach pain, and gas with oil or stool discharge.

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What are you taking Xenical for?

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  • Other
  • Obesity

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Xenical Cautionary Labels


Uses of Xenical

Xenical is a prescription medicine used to help obese people lose weight and keep this weight off. Xenical should be used together with a reduced-calorie diet that your doctor will recommend. 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. 

Xenical Drug Class

Xenical is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Xenical

Because Xenical works by blocking the absorption of dietary fat, it is likely that you will experience some changes in bowel habits. These generally occur during the first weeks of treatment; however, they may continue throughout your use of Xenical.
These changes may include

  • oily spotting
  • gas with discharge
  • urgent need to go to the bathroom
  • oily or fatty stools 
  • an oily discharge
  • increased number of bowel movements
  • an inability to control bowel movements 
  • Due to the presence of undigested fat, the oil seen in a bowel movement may be clear or have a coloration such as orange or brown.

These bowel changes are a natural effect of blocking the fat from being absorbed and indicate that Xenical is working. They generally occur early in treatment, particularly after meals containing higher amounts of fat than are recommended. These symptoms are often temporary and may lessen or disappear as you continue treatment and keep to your recommended diet of meals containing no more than about 30% fat. However, these side effects may occur in some individuals over a period of 6 months or longer.

  • In obese adolescent patients treated with Xenical, the side effects reported were similar to those observed in adults.
  • If you are concerned about these or any other side effects you experience while taking Xenical, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Xenical Interactions

Be sure to discuss with your doctor all medications (including herbal products) you are currently taking, including medicines you can get without a prescription (over-the-counter), to determine if Xenical can be taken in addition to these medications.

  • If you are taking cyclosporine, Xenical and cyclosporine should be taken at least 2 hours apart.
  • If your cyclosporine levels are being measured, more frequent monitoring may be necessary. 
  • If you are taking levothyroxine, Xenical and levothyroxine should be taken at least 4 hours apart.

Xenical Precautions

You should not use Xenical if you:

  • consistently have problems absorbing food (chronic malabsorption); or
  • have gallbladder problems; or
  • are pregnant or are breastfeeding a child; or
  • have ever had an allergic reaction to Xenical or any of the inactive ingredients in Xenical 

Xenical has been shown to reduce the absorption of certain vitamins. You should take a multivitamin containing vitamins D, E, K, and beta-carotene once a day at least 2 hours before or after the administration of Xenical, such as at bedtime.

Some patients taking Xenical may develop an increased risk for the development of kidney stones. Promptly report any symptoms of back pain or blood in the urine.

Some patients prescribed Xenical may already be at increased risk for the formation of gall stones. Weight loss with Xenical can increase the risk of gall stones. Promptly report any symptoms of pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen. The pain may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

There have been rare reports of severe liver injury in patients taking Xenical. Promptly discontinue Xenical and contact your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms suggestive of liver impairment, such as loss of appetite, itching, yellowing of the skin, dark urine, light colored stools, or right upper quadrant pain.

Xenical Food Interactions

You should use Xenical together with a nutritionally balanced, mildly reduced-calorie diet that contains no more than about 30% of calories from fat.

Read all food labels and avoid foods that have more than 30% fat.

Inform MD

Before beginning treatment with Xenical, make sure your doctor knows if you are:

  • allergic to any medicines, foods, or dyes
  • taking any other weight-loss medication
  • taking cyclosporine
  • taking thyroid medicine
  • taking any other medicines (including those not prescribed by your doctor)
  • taking any dietary supplements, including herbal products
  • planning to become pregnant
  • anorexic or bulimic

This information will help you and your physician decide if the expected advantages of Xenical are greater than any possible disadvantages.

Xenical and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Xenical should not be used during pregnancy as it may harm your unborn baby.

Weight loss offers no potential benefit to a pregnant woman and may result in fetal harm. A minimum weight gain, and no weight loss, is currently recommended for all pregnant women, including those who are already overweight or obese, due to the obligatory weight gain that occurs in maternal tissues during pregnancy. 

Xenical and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Xenical is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Xenical Usage

  • Xenical comes as a capsule to be taken with liquid at each main meal that contains fat.
  • You can take Xenical in conjunction with a mildly reduced-calorie diet up to 3 times a day.
  • Each time you take Xenical, your meal should contain no more than about 30% of calories from fat. 
  • Take Xenical during meals or up to one hour after a meal. If you occasionally miss a meal or have a meal without fat, you can omit your dose of Xenical. 
  • You should use Xenical together with a nutritionally balanced, mildly reduced-calorie diet that contains no more than about 30% of calories from fat. 
  • You should evenly divide your daily intake of fat, carbohydrates, and protein over 3 main meals.
  • You should try to follow a healthy eating plan such as the one developed by the American Heart Association. 
  • Following this eating plan will help you lose weight while decreasing some of the possible gastrointestinal effects you may experience while taking Xenical.

Xenical Dosage

Take Xenical exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The recommended dose is one 120 mg capsule by mouth with liquid at each main meal that contains fat. You can take Xenical in conjunction with a mildly reduced-calorie diet up to 3 times a day.

  • Doses greater than 120 mg three times a day have not been shown to provide an additional weight loss benefit.
  • The use of Xenical for more than 4 years has not been studied. You and your doctor should discuss how long you should use Xenical.

Xenical Overdose

If you take too much Xenical, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store at 20 - 25°C (68 - 77°F).
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Protect drug from excessive light, humidity and temperatures over 30°C (86°F).