No Thong, No Fowl: Is Over-the-Counter Xenical Alli or Foe?

Topics: Drug Food Safety, Obesity and Weight Loss, Wellness and Health

The FDA still has to approve it as an over-the-counter medication, as its advisory panel already has.

But 60 milligrams of Alli–half of Rx-only Xenical–best known for its oily spotting in 20% of users, and uncontrolled bowel movements in one of 12 users, is probably headed to a Walmart near you…stock up on underwear while you’re there.

The good news: since the lowfat diet seems to be on its way out, the drug has a shot—it only works if you eat a fatty diet, by partially blocking the absorption of fat in the intestine (150-200 calories per meal).

The bad news: take your vitamins 2 hours beforehand: research finds deficiencies of vitamins A, E, and beta-carotene in people who take the drug…these fat soluble nutrients, and vitamin K, go out with the oily discharge(s).

Be prepared to pay $12 to $25 a week. Plus underwear.