Orlistat first became available (as 120mg capsules [Xenical]) around 10 years ago as a prescription-only treatment for obesity.1 Earlier this year, orlistat 60mg capsules (alli – GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare) became available for sale without a prescription to the public in the European Union. Orlistat 60mg is available in the UK as a Pharmacy (P) medicine and so can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) from pharmacies. OTC orlistat is promoted as a new weight loss aid, “boosting weight loss by 50%” when added to a reduced calorie, lower-fat diet. Here we review the place of OTC orlistat in tackling obesity.
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