Pharmaceuticals/Xenical?

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Question
Patricia
My husband, 55, has finally been able to lose a little weight with the help of Alli, the OTC form of Orlistat/Xenical. He has had no side effects except some loose poops, which is normal.
Now he wants to get a prescription for Xenical, as it would be even more effective, and covered under are health plan.
Here is my worry. He is a drinker, and although he drinks less than he used to, he still drinks too much. I think the booze is part of his weight problem, especially his big hard belly. He counts calories, but he doesnt count the booze calories and on weekends often binges.
He doesnt have cirrhosis or diabetes (yet) although he does have high blood pressure, and I know he lies to the doctor about his drinking.
I have read that Xenical can affect the liver, and his liver is probably stressed out now. If anything he should stick to the milder Alli formulation.
What do you think?

Answer
Susan,
I wouldn't be afraid to go ahead and have him take the Alli, however, if your insurance program covers Orlistat and Xenical then maybe he should request these. It would be more affordable. I realize he is not honest with his physician, however, within a month of two the doctor will probably (if he is a competent physician) have him come in for blood work, including a metabolic screening. These should show if his liver enzymes have changed at all. If they have, then he probably would need to discontinue the Rx form and go back to the OTC brand. Actually, I know very little about Alli. I know it is supposed to be safe, with few side effects. Personally, I have seen people lose great amounts of weight from just giving up beer for a few months! However, he may not be willing to do so. Its a lot easier to advise someone than it is to actually do it! So, even if he isn't honest with the dr, the lab tests will be revealing, and should tell you if his liver enzymes change. That's what to look for. And, so sorry it took me so long to get to you!






Susan,
I have your question, and need a few more days. My husband was diagnosed with pneumonia a few days ago. He will be fine, but things are hectic around here. I appreciated your honesty with your question and information, and will get back to you very soon. I apologize for such a delay. Even doctors and nurses and families get sick!

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Patricia Morrow

Expertise

I would like to bring a nurse's perspective to this area. If someone has a question about a medication, and feel more comfortable directing it to a nurse than a doctor or pharmacist, then I'll try my best to help. PLEASE NOTE: I DON'T USUALLY PROVIDE ANSWERS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT TIL SAT NIGHT AS THIS IS THE JEWISH SABBATH.

Experience

Graduate in 1976 from nursing school. Taken extra courses in pharmacology due to great interest in this field. Actually considered going to pharmacy school for a number of years.

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Have volunteered with AllExperts in this field before, a few years ago.

Education/Credentials
Graduated nursing school, have taken extra CEU (continuing education units) in pharmacology due to interest in subject.

Past/Present Clients
only from volunteering with AllExperts before.

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