Dr Fox now supplies prescription weight loss medication, orlistat, for people with a BMI over 28 kg/m². Orlistat has been available in the UK since 1998 and has helped millions of people to lose weight successfully.
The following orlistat preparations are available from Dr Fox:
- Orlistat 120mg (generic)
- Xenical 120mg (orlistat)
- alli 60mg (orlistat)
Health implications of overweight and obesity
Being overweight or having obesity has lots of health implications. Some cancers including breast and bowel cancer are linked to having excess weight. Long-term conditions like coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, and dementia are all linked to being overweight or obese. General mobility and quality of life are often affected and there can be depression and low self esteem. If overweight or having obesity, any amount of weight lost will lead to health benefits in the long term.
Weight loss with orlistat
Weight loss is not easy. It usually involves sustained effort and a commitment to lifestyle change with new healthy eating patterns and more exercise! Orlistat is not a wonder drug, but it works alongside your own efforts and supports you in losing weight. It does this by restricting the amount of fat which is absorbed into your system from the food which you eat. You do need to continue with a low calorie, low fat, nutritionally balanced diet. Orlistat prevents up to a third of any fat which you do eat from being absorbed. The fat remains in the gut and passes straight through the system. This fat can cause unpleasant oily stools which is the main side effect. However, if you cut back on the amount of fat in your diet you will reduce the problem.
Orlistat from Dr Fox
Dr Fox supplies orlistat as 120mg or 60mg, hard capsules. The 120mg dose is for people with Body Mass Index (BMI) – BMI calculator – over 30kg/m², and the 60mg dose is for those with BMI over 28kg/m². Orlistat is usually taken three times a day with your meals, but a dose is missed if a meal is skipped or contains zero amounts of fat.
Weight loss injections
Weight loss injections were originally developed to treat abnormal sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. The injections contain a synthetic glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) which mimics the body’s natural glucagon. Glucagon, together with insulin, regulates blood sugar levels.
However, when prescribed for diabetic patients, it soon became apparent that the GLP-1 injections also lowered appetite, slowed food digestion, and reduced hunger and food cravings, leading to a reduction in weight and body fat.
The first GLP-1 injection licensed for weight loss was liraglutide, a daily injection marketed as Saxenda. More recently, the once-weekly injection of semaglutide or Wegovy, has been licensed for weight loss. Wegovy has now (March 2023) received NICE approval to be used within the NHS in specific circumstances to treat overweight and obesity.
As with all weight loss medication, the injections will only work alongside sustained lifestyle changes with new healthy eating patterns and more exercise! Semaglutide has been shown to be more effective than liraglutide.
NHS semaglutide injections are only available through specialist weight management services, for those with a BMI over 35 kg/m² or over 30 kg/m² with an additional weight-related condition. The dose is gradually increased over a 16 week period and the maximum length of a course at present is 2 years.
In the future it is hoped that GLP-1 in tablet form will prove to be effective both for diabetes and also for weight loss.
Dr Fox is unable to prescribe weight loss injections.