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Orlistat - NICE guidance

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Summary points of the guidance on the use of orlistat for the treatment of obesity in adults:

  • orlistat should be prescribed only as part of an overall plan for managing obesity in adults who meet one of the following criteria:
    • a BMI of 28.0 kg/m2 or more with associated risk factors
    • a BMI of 30.0 kg/m2 or more
  • therapy should be continued beyond 3 months only if the person has lost at least 5% of their initial body weight since starting drug treatment
  • the decision to use drug treatment for longer than 12 months (usually for weight maintenance) should be made after discussing potential benefits and limitations with the patient
  • the coprescribing of orlistat with other drugs aimed at weight reduction is not recommended


  • rates of weight loss may be slower in people with type 2 diabetes, so less strict goals than those for people without diabetes may be appropriate. These goals should be agreed with the person and reviewed regularly


  1. NICE (November 2014). Obesity Guidance

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