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XENICAL - WONDER DRUG OR NOT?

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16.11.2005 (07.02.2006) Diamond review

Advantages:
helps you lose weight, good support programme

Disadvantages:
nasty side effects !  !  !  !  !  !  !  !  !

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Taste

Effectiveness

Price level

Why did you buy it?Recommendation 

29 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (38%):
  1. k992061
  2. bibby29
  3. vichar68
and 16 other members
very helpful by (60%):
  1. ladymisskat
  2. Rach01484
  3. starlight_xx
and 27 other members
helpful by (2%):
  1. Mrs.Incredible

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Personal update:

Since being on the Xenical it has helped me to lose another stone since restarting it in December. The side-effects still occur if i eat the wrong thing, but generally speaking it is worth it and i am losing weight safely and slowly and eating healthily as well. I would still recommend Xenical.

I would also like to thank everyone for reading this and rating it and getting me my first diamond. thanks.

ORIGINAL REVIEW
+++++++++++++++

My nurse says that I need to lose weight in order to reduce my blood pressure and also my sugar levels to avoid getting diabetes. I have tried Weightwatchers, which is very good, but felt that I needed something extra as well to help me along the way.

My doctor had discussed Xenical with me previously, but there are some quite bad side effects and having suffered from Irritable Bowel in the past I was very wary of taking it. However, my mother-in-law was prescribed it by her doctor and she did not suffer many effects so I thought I would give it a go.

Xenical can only be prescribed if you are clinically obese and you must lose a certain amount of weight within a certain time, in my case 5% of my body weight, which was 8 kg in three months. Then in order to stay on Xenical I needed to lose another 7.8kg in three months. This was the figure that my doctor came up with when I went to see him. He was very happy to put me on Xenical as long as I was checked each month by the nurse. Also, if you do not lose enough weight, then they stop prescribing the tablets. The tablets must be reviewed each month, they will not give you an endless prescription for them.

I am clinically obese, I am only 5'3 and currently weigh 20 stone. I have already lost 2 stone through weightwatchers and have decided to use Xenical to give me that extra boost that I need to keep going.

TECHNICAL STUFF ABOUT XENICAL
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Xenical is a fat absorbing tablet - When you eat, the fat from food is either converted into energy or stored for later. What Xenical does is to absorb around 30% of the fat that you eat, and takes it right out of your body via your bowels so that your body has less fat to store. So by following a low fat diet and taking Xenical, you force your body to convert the fat stores into energy which means that you should lose weight.

BEFORE YOU START THE TABLETS
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Before you start to take Xenical, you have to have the following health checks:

BMI
Blood Pressure
Blood Tests
Weight
Waist measurement

These tests are a check to ensure that you can take Xenical and also they are done regularly to ensure that you are losing weight and to see the effect that this has on your body and system.

TABLET
++++++

Xenical is also known as orlistat. It is manufactured by Roche.

Each tablet is a little green capsule. It is made by Roche and is usually prescribed in 28 day doses. You take three tablets a day, one with each meal, although they do say that there is no need to take it if there is no fat in the meal, for example, if you eat an apple for breakfast then there is no need to take it.

You take the tablet with your meal, or up to an hour before or after you have eaten.

WHAT REALLY MAKES THE TABLETS WORK
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In order to get the best from the tablets, you need to follow a low-fat diet, so the tablets are really about encouraging you to change your eating habits as much as anything.

You should eat foods with no more than 3g of fat per 100g and no more than 30-40g of fat per day, with around 10-12g fat per meal so that it is spread out throughout the day. Xenical state that no more than 30% of your daily diet should be fat.

I find myself checking the labels on everything now and you just know that if you eat that forbidden food, ie, cheese, then you will suffer for it, (but more of that later.....)

Xenical encourage you to eat snacks between meals, such as breadsticks, snackajacks, fruit or low-fat cheese triangles.

They also actively encourage exercise, as the more you do, the quicker you will lose the weight. They prefer swimming and aerobic/cardio exercises.

I have got a Gazelle Elite (reviewed elsewhere) which is a great training machine and it really tones you up as well. I also try and swim twice a week too.

Xenical recommend that a safe and sensible weight loss is 1-2lb per week and this is best for optimum maintenance of weight.

SUPPORT GROUP - XENICAL MAP
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Once you have received your first box of tablets, you can ring a telephone number on the box to join the Xenical MAP support scheme. Apparantly MAP stands for Motivation, Action and Proactive.

The group inform your health centre that you have joined up, and then they telephone you every 2-3 weeks to see how you are getting along and send out mailings once a month. So far I have received a body tape measure, a pedometer, a fat/calorie book (which is really useful) and mailshots on exercise and fat content of foods.

The callers always seem to be American and they are typically "go-girl, you can do it" kind of attitude, which can get a bit annoying. They do help you to stay focused on it though. I have been away for nearly 3 weeks what with getting married and they wrote me a letter asking me to call to ensure that everything was OK!

SIDE-EFFECTS
+++++++++++++

Now for the not-so-fun bit. As with all medications, there are side-effects. They can be quite nasty if you overdo your fat intake. I personally have suffered from bright orange diarrohea, bright orange oily discharge, floating stools (again bright orange) and oily spots floating on the water. It can also give you severe wind. I am being totally honest here!!! BUT the thing to remember is that you bring this on yourself. If you eat too much fat then this WILL happen. It has happened to me after eating too much cheese, or fish and chips, or Pizza Hut!!! So the thing to do is stick to the diet and everything will be ok.

Xenical can also affect the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, including vitamins A, D, E and K and beta-carotene, so it is important to take a supplement for these. I take a multi-vitamin with iron every day and a separate beta-carotene one. I have found Boots have the best range of vitamins. You should take your vitamin in the evening as it cant be taken with a Xenical tablet as this could stop the absorbtion of the vitamin.

RECOMMENDED FOOD
+++++++++++++++++++

Anything with a fat content of 3g per 100g is fine. A Weightwatchers meal with around 6-7g of fat is fine if that is all that you are eating. Really you need to stick to healthy foods like chicken, salads, vegetables, cereal, rice, pasta.

Like I said before, the Xenical ideal is that you condition yourself to a new way of eating and cut out the crap basically, like crisps, chocolate, pasta sauces (sob) and anything with a high fat content.

MY STORY SO FAR
+++++++++++++++

I have been a bit unlucky whilst being on it as I have had a major stomach upset which stopped me eating for 3 days. At first I thought it was the Xenical, but my husband got it as well, so I know that it was a stomach bug for sure. Also, I got married and the doctor advised against taking it before the wedding and while on honeymoon, so I haven't been able to take it properly to see the proper result. However, combined with following a Weightwatchers diet, low fat of course, and taking the Xenical and exercising, I have now lost a further 1.5 stone in four months. My doctor and nurse are extremely pleased with me and I am pleased with myself also.

It is however, very easy to cheat on these tablets, say if I am going shopping and I dont know what I am going to be eating and when, then I will not take the tablet as I do not want to be caught short whilst in town! So it is very easy to eat the wrong food and not take a tablet, although the side-effects can last a couple of days, so you can still be affected by an earlier tablet.

COST
+++++

A NHS prescription is £6.50 for 28 days worth of tablets. DO NOT buy these tablets over the internet as they could be fake and you need a full medical checkup before buying them. I belive that they may soon be available from Boots and suchlike over the counter, but will cost a lot more money with no medical support from your doctor.

PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

It is a good tablet, if you stick to the low-fat eating plan. It punishes you if you are naughty - side effects - and it does help you to change the way that you eat permanantly. I would recommend signing up with Xenical MAP for extra goodies and support also.

FURTHER INFORMATION
++++++++++++++++++++

www.xenical.com - this is the website of the tablet and it gives a lot of good advice and information on it

www.drugs.com/xenical - this website gives some very good information on Xenical - it details clearly the side effects and other drugs that cannot be taken with Xenical.

www.roche.com - this is the website of the makers of Xenical

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Comments about this review »

starlight_xx 14.01.2008 03:28

Great review. Glad youve found them a help. I tried them last year and they did nothing at all :(

bibby29 03.06.2007 22:06

I have been on these but since my car accident i have stopped, so dont know if doc is going to give me more. clair x

vichar68 18.04.2007 21:45

Great review. I am just about to start these and your review has given me an idea what I am in for. My doctor is a stick thin woman so has very little knowledge about being overweight. Thanks - Vicki

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Review Ratings »

This review of Xenical has been rated:

"exceptional" by (38%):

  1. k992061
  2. bibby29
  3. vichar68

and 16 other members

"very helpful" by (60%):

  1. ladymisskat
  2. Rach01484
  3. starlight_xx

and 27 other members

"helpful" by (2%):

  1. Mrs.Incredible

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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