Weight Loss

Weight Loss Medication

With Simple Online Doctor, our Australian registered doctor can assess whether treatment for weight loss is suitable for you. Simply fill out an assessment and our doctor will evaluate your suitability for treatment. If approved, the doctor will pass a prescription to our pharmacy team, who will fill the prescription and dispatch your medicine to your delivery address.

All medicines sourced by the pharmacy are from Australian wholesalers, who are fully licensed in Australia, so you can be confident that you are receiving genuine medication.

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Weight Loss Tablets

Weight Loss Medication

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    Further Information


Orlistat is the active ingredient in Xenical, which is a medication to help people who have a BMI over 30, lose weight.

Orlistat works by decreasing the amount of fat the body absorbs. Combined with some good diet and excercise, this can help you achieve significant weight loss.


A simplified look at the cause of obesity is when you may eat too much and don't get enough exercise to use up the calories you've taken in. Surplus energy taken on by the body, will be stored by as fat, resulting in obesity.


The energy value of food is measured in calories. The average intakes of calories are Active man - 2,500 calories / day to maintain a healthy weight Active woman - 2,000 calories / day.

Poor diet

Obesity usually gradually occurs over time, as a result of poor diet and lifestyle choices, such as:

  • Large amounts of processed or fast food – high in fat and sugar
  • Too much alcohol – alcohol contains a lot of calories
  • Eating larger portions than you need – you may be encouraged to eat too much if your friends or relatives are also eating large portions
  • Sugary drinks – including soft drinks and fruit juice, which have extremely high sugar content
  • Comfort eating


Lack of Exercise

Not getting enough physical activity is another important factor related to obesity. Office  jobs that involve sitting at a desk for most of the day can mean you don't get much exercise. Reliance on your car to get around, can also reduce the amount of time you may spend walking and getting some exercise.   The Department of Health recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. This might include cycling or a fast walk, every week. This exercise can be broken down into smaller periods, such as 20 minutes a day. If you're already obese and trying to lose weight, you may need to do more exercise than this. It can be helpful to start off slowly, and increase the amount of exercise you do each week.


There are some rare genetic conditions that can cause obesity, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, however most people should be able to lose wight with proper diet and exercise. Certain genetic traits inherited from your parents – such as having a large appetite – may make losing weight more difficult, but with some effort, you can change your habits in order to help you lose weight. Medical reasons Underlying medical conditions may contribute to weight gain. These include:

  • Underactive thyroid
  • Cushing's syndrome

If conditions such as these are diagnosed, your doctor should be able to assist you, and they should not pose a large barrier to weight loss. Weight gain can also sometimes be a side effect of stopping smoking.


The best way to lose weight is by improving your diet, and getting more exercise. However if you have tried this, and continue to struggle with weight, there are options available to help you along. You can only use Orlistat if a doctor or pharmacist thinks it's the right medicine for you. In most cases, orlistat is only available on prescription. Orlistat works by preventing around a third of the fat from the food you eat being absorbed. The undigested fat isn't absorbed into your body and is passed out with your faeces (stools). This will help you avoid gaining weight, but won't necessarily cause you to lose weight. A balanced diet and exercise programme should be started before beginning treatment with orlistat, and you should continue this programme during treatment and after you stop taking orlistat.

When orlistat should be used

Orlistat will usually only be recommended if you've made a significant effort to lose weight through diet, exercise or changing your lifestyle. Even then, orlistat is only prescribed if you have a:

  • body mass index (BMI) of 28 or more, and other weight-related conditions, such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes
  • BMI of 30 or more

Before prescribing orlistat, your doctor will discuss the benefits and potential limitations with you, including any potential side effects (see below). Treatment with orlistat must be combined with a balanced low-fat diet and other weight loss strategies, such as doing more exercise. It's important that the diet is nutritionally balanced over three main meals. If you're prescribed orlistat, you'll also be offered advice and support about diet, exercise and making lifestyle changes. Orlistat isn't usually recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Dosage and duration of treatment

One orlistat capsule is taken with water immediately before, during or up to one hour after, each main meal (up to a maximum of three capsules a day). If you miss a meal, or the meal doesn't contain any fat, you shouldn't take the orlistat capsule. Your doctor should explain this to you, or you can check the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine. Treatment with orlistat should only continue beyond three months if you've lost 5% of your body weight. It usually starts to affect how you digest fat within one to two days. If you haven't lost weight after taking orlistat for three months, it's unlikely to be an effective treatment for you. Consult your doctor or pharmacist, as it may be necessary to stop your treatment.

Taking orlistat with other health conditions

See your GP before starting treatment with orlistat if you have another serious health condition, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease, which you're taking medication for. It may be necessary to change the dose of your medicine. If you have type 2 diabetes, it may take you longer to lose weight using orlistat, so your target weight loss after three months may therefore be slightly lower. You'll have a review after you've been using orlistat for three months. If you've lost weight, your GP may suggest continuing to use orlistat for 12 months or more. They'll discuss the benefits, limitations and side effects with you.


BMI guidelines for most adults are:

  • 18.5 to 24.9 > healthy weight
  • 25 to 29.9 > overweight
  • 30 to 39.9 > obese
  • 40 or above > severely obese

BMI isn't used to definitively diagnose obesity, since some people can have a high BMI due to being very muscular, but for most people, it gives a good indication of whether or not you are a healthy weight. You can calculate BMI by using a BMI Calculator.

Information Leaflet

Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet.


How To Take Orlistat? 

Dosage and duration of treatment

One orlistat capsule is taken with each main meal (to a maximum of three capsules daily). You can take the capsule before, during or up to one hour after each meal.If you miss a meal or the meal does not contain any fat, you may not need to take the orlistat capsule; check the patient information leaflet that comes with your medication.Treatment with Orlistat (Xenical) should only continue beyond three months if you have lost 5% of your body weight. It usually starts to affect how you digest fat within one to two days.

If orlistat has not worked after three months, it is unlikely to be an effective treatment for you.

If you have type 2 diabetes, it  can take longer to lose weight using Orlistat (Xenical), so your target weight loss after three months may therefore be slightly lower.If Orlistat (Xenical) is successful after three months, your prescription may be continued for up to a year. After that, your GP will review your condition and decide whether you should continue with Orlistat (Xenical).


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