The Daily Mail reports that “GlaxoSmithKline has applied for a licence to sell Alli in Britain and it could be available next year”.
For those that don’t know, Alli is the over the counter (OTC) version of Xenical.
As reported in USA Today, Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston University Medical Center and a consultant for GlaxoSmithKline, has patients on Alli and Xenical. She tells them the drugs will block about 100 to 200 fat calories a day. At that rate, they would lose an extra pound every 2½ to 5 weeks.
A 2007 study printed in the Lancet showed that Orlistat reduces weight by around 3 kg on average and decreases progression to diabetes in high-risk patients; adverse gastrointestinal effects are common.
And what are the adverse gastrointestinal side effects?
Note – This is taken directly from the Xenical website.
“Because XENICAL works by blocking the absorption of dietary fat, it is likely that you will experience some changes in bowel habits. These bowel changes are a natural effect of blocking the fat from being absorbed. They generally occur during the first weeks of treatment; however, for some people they may continue for 6 months or longer while on XENICAL”.
These changes may include gas with oily discharge, an increased number of bowel movements, an urgent need to have them, and an inability to control them, particularly after meals containing higher amounts of fat than are recommended.
An inability to control your bowel movements.
Brits will just have to decide if the benefits of Alli outweigh (no pun intended) the side effects.
Note that in the first four months that it was available for sale in the U.S., Alli sold over two million starter packages. At $60 per package, that is $120 million in sales in only four months.