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Alli (Over- the- Counter Orlistat)

THE SKINNY: I reported on Alli when it became available at drugstores in 2007, no prescription required. With the prescription version (Xenical), up to 30 percent of fat from food is blocked; with the lower- dose OTC formulation, 25 percent of fat is blocked. Alli contains 60 milligrams of orlistat per capsule, taken three times daily with meals; Xenical is prescribed at 120 milligrams three times daily with meals. The amount of fat calories blocked will depend on how much fat you eat, but most patients block 100 to 200 calories per day.

So, how does that play out in pounds? Subjects who took Alli for six months lost 50 percent more weight? say, 15 pounds versus 10?than those who only dieted. If you decide to take Alli alone, without undertaking a weight- loss program, you?re going to be disappointed. The drug doesn?t work unless you follow a healthy, lowfat diet and do some regular exercise. A starter pack of Alli includes a month?s supply of pills, dietary guidelines, a calorie and fat counter, and a food journal.

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