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Obesity and Weight Management




Has the diet "miracle" alli been tested for safety or effectiveness? If so, what are the results?


Alli is the brand name of orlistat which is sold over-the-counter or OTC in the United States. Orlistat was originally marketed in 1999 as Xenical and was available by prescription only. The drug is used to treat obesity along with a reduced calorie, low-fat diet and exercise program.

Orlistat decreases the intestinal absorbtion of fat. The most common side effect is a change in bowel habits. Orlistat is not well absorbed into the blood stream. It works mainly in the stomach and intestinal system. Because of this, orlistat has a good safety profile.

Alli can be a very effective treatment for obesity if used along with a reduced calorie diet and exercise. Approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States for OTC use indicates safety and efficacy of Alli. 

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Response by:

Carmen M Hadley, RPh, CSPI
Former Clinical Instructor
College of Pharmacy
The Ohio State University