You might be considering taking a prescription or over the counter based pill that contains Orlistat, but are worried that you may be faced with problems like hair loss or severe depression if you do end up taking them. In this article, I will aim to look at some possible myths about Orlistat and look at any alternatives that might be available that have less severe side effects.
Why Would I Be Prescribed Orlistat?
You may be given Orlistat in it's branded form (e.g Xenical or Alli) and there are fairly strict criteria in place that you must meet if you are to be prescribed Orlistat (or one of it's brand names) in most countries.
These include having a BMI of 28 and over, or being so overweight that your health is at danger. After all, obesity comes with it's own side effects that could mean you are at risk of:
- Heart attacks
These, of course, could be life-threatening by themselves, which is what drives doctors to prescribed pills like Orlistat.
Even if you get prescribed Orlistat, you can't stay on it for a long time without meeting more criteria such as losing 5% of your weight or more in the first 3 months. In short, you may have to jump a few metaphorical hoops in order to get Orlistat medication.
Can Orlistat Cause Depression?
Unfortunately, many people have reported depression as a side effect while taking an Orlistat based pill. There is a lack of scientific study to back up these claims though.
One of the reasons which could stop you from choosing to take Orlistat is because you already have depression and are concerned that it may make your mental health worse, or even that it will interfere with your antidepressant medication. I'd advise caution in these instances, particularly because Orlistat was known to interfere with over 150 different medications at the time of writing (1).
Can Orlistat Cause Hair Loss?
Doctors monitor patients who take Orlistat carefully for side effects such as losing a significant amount of hair. This might be caused because the medication stops the absorption of some of the fat you eat, and as many vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining healthy hair are fat-soluble if you reduce the fat absorbed you cut down on the number of essential vitamins you then take in as a result.
In summary, yes Orlistat is known to cause hair loss in some people, particularly those that are lacking in minerals and vitamins prior to taking this medication.
Is There A Better Alternative?
I'm not against fat binders entirely, in fact, I feel that there are some really good examples of this type of pill which are easily available to buy now.
Proactol XS is a shining example of a great, effective fat binder that acts in a similar way to Orlistat but doesn't require a prescription to use and has shown itself to have a gentler effect on your system, hence less side effects.
It also happens to be my top-rated overall diet pill because of it's proven ingredients, good side effect profile and superior weight loss results when compared to the other pills I have reviewed over the years.
Hi, I'm Aileen, the owner of Diet Pill Judge. I have personally tried loads of diet pills over the years and found that only a few of them really work.
My background is in science, so I set out to find supplements that have scientific evidence behind them and which I can confidently recommend.