All About Alli: Is it Right for You?

Alli, the first FDA approved weight loss medication, has caused a storm of press and controversy. A reduced strength formula of the prescription drug Xenical (Orlistat), it is intended to block the absorption of fat in the body. Originally formulated by Roche, rights were purchased by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to market Alli in the United States.

The claims are that this pill will block about 25% of a typical dieter’s daily fat intake. With more than 65% of Americans classified as overweight or obese, it sounds like the magic little pill everyone has been looking for.

The current buzz about this product is certainly noted, like commercials, online communities, and dieting buddies are all talking about Alli. The ease of purchase (online or in drugstores), and no prescription needed to make this product accessible for many Americans looking to shed those pounds.

But some users have complained of the side effects, namely, uncomfortable gastrointestinal changes and vitamin deficiency. Add that in along with the cost, and some consumers are just saying no to this product. This is why you can tend to a much reliable and safe method without any side-effects that is Coolsculpting. You will be getting slimmer arms and quick results with this weight-loss method.

Clinical trial

Over a 6 month period, the dieters’ loss an average of 12.4 pounds. The clinical trials have shown Alli to affect the body mass index of the patient almost immediately. The majority of patients, however, lost between 5-10 pounds in a 6 month period. The website contains more information on the usage of Alli in combination with a lower fat, reduced-calorie diet, along with a daily exercise program.

How Alli Works

The active ingredient (Orlistat) in Alli helps to decrease the production of enzymes in the digestive tract that absorbs fat into the body. The remaining food elements not absorbed are passed out of the body during a bowel movement (pure fat). The information from their website likens the oily discharge to that of “oil on top of a pizza.”

Dosage and How to Take

Dosage: 1 60mg capsule 3 x daily taken with a fat-containing food

It is recommended that the user eat a reduced-calorie and lower-fat diet (a nonfat diet would defeat the purpose of this medication), and ingest preferably no more than 15 grams of fat during one meal. This amount has shown to help decrease gastrointestinal side effects.

It is also recommended that Alli be used in conjunction with a reduced-fat diet and moderate exercise program. Alli is marketed to be a weight-loss aid, not a cure for obesity. A daily multivitamin is also recommended, as the effects of Alli will interfere with vitamin absorption, specifically, Vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta carotene. As this product blocks fat absorption indiscriminately, this will obviously affect the ability to absorb and use some essential and beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids, found in certain heart-healthy foods such as fish.

Alli is approved for use by adults over the age of 18.



It contains 60 60mg capsules, Shuttle Carrying Case, Daily Diet Journal, a pamphlet on Alli and its use, Calorie and Fat Counter, info on healthy food choices, tips for snacking and portion control.

Refill pack:

$69.99 for 120 tablets

Are You Losing It?


A comprehensive book on Alli, weight loss in general, healthy eating and lifestyle changes. The proceeds from this book go to help combat childhood obesity.

Alli products are available online at stores such as, and drugstores such as Walgreens. Most notably, Walgreens has recently airing television commercials promoting the product that is sold in their stores.

Side Effects


These effects are actually referred to by the company as “treatment effects”, as they are not harmful, just uncomfortable. These effects include:

Oily stools- As the medication blocks fat absorption, any excess fat in the intestines will be removed during a bowel movement. Stools may be more frequent, loose, and maybe oily with an unpleasant odor. To reduce these effects, it is recommended that you lower your fat intake during a meal.

Flatulence- Taking Alli may increase flatulence, cause a lack of bowel control, and may cause gas with an oily discharge. Again, these effects will be lessened by following a lower-fat diet.

Vitamin Deficiency

By blocking the absorption of fatty consumed during a meal, certain vitamins found in fatty material will not be absorbed by the body while taking Alli. Therefore, it is recommended that the user take a daily multivitamin during the course of using this product.

Who Should Not Use Alli

Do Not Use Alli If You:

Are pregnant    Under the age of 18    Have ever had gallbladder problems, kidney stones, or pancreatitis    Are taking cyclosporine    Have malabsorption problems    Taking warfarin, thyroid, or diabetes medication (dosage may need to be adjusted)    Are allergic to any ingredients in the product  Have had an organ transplant (will interfere with anti-rejection medications)    If you are taking any other prescription medications, check with your pharmacist or physician before beginning Alli

The Benefits

The ingredients in Alli will not cause jitters, sleeplessness, or heart palpitations. This medication works in the intestines, and will not cause any of the typical side-effects found in other over-the-counter diet medications.

This product has been FDA approved. This means that through a series of test trials and research, the Food and Drug Administration has found this product to be safe and effective when used as directed. Alli will aid in the user losing additional weight when combined with lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. Alli is available nationwide over-the-counter, with no prescription needed.

The Lowdown

While bathrooms jokes abound, the truth is Alli does just exactly what it says it does: helps someone to lose weight safely. Obviously, the message here is buyer beware; some of the side-effects may not be worth it to others, considering the amount of weight loss the product helps to establish. In fact, another Alli promotional website,, sums it up for many consumers: “Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it’s probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.” Buyer beware indeed.