Changes in belief and behavior can help lose more weight in individuals taking orlistat

obesity  orlistat

The most common medication prescribed for obesity is orlistat or xenical. Orlistat reduces absorption of fat in the gut. The fat is removed from the patient's body in bowel movements. Patients taking orlistat may also need to take supplements of fat-soluble vitamins. Orlistat is recommended to be prescribed to only those patients who failed to witness any weight loss in the past through behavioral methods and can lose at the minimum 2.5kg of weight through exercise and diet in the month preceding the prescription.

Orlistat also has some side effects. As the drug removes the fat from the body, patients witness side effects like liquid stools, anal leakage and an urgency to use the lavatory. These side effects are clearly noticeable after having a fat rich meal. But orlistat also brings some additional benefits. A research by Padwal et al indicates that orlistat reduces blood pressure and cholesterol. Orlistat may be the most commonly prescribed drug but its results vary from person to person. It proves effective to a very few people. Only a few patients witness weight loss and it is not always a significant amount of weight. Patients also stop taking the drug either entirely or selectively due to its side effects. Amelia Hollywood and Jane Ogden conducted a study to explore the weight loss and the role of demographics, behavior and beliefs in predicting outcomes. A 6 month course of orlistat was followed for the study.

The study indicated that changes in the behavior and beliefs of the patients occurring during the course of the consumption of orlistat are the best predictors of the results of the medication than the baseline variables. Results indicated that the patients who lost the most amount of weight showed a decline in beliefs in a medical solution to their problem. They also showed reduction in unhealthy eating habits. The same patients also showed more confidence in treatment control and also showed an increase in an understanding that the ill effects are a result of their diet and the drug.

The results therefore indicate that the patients who witness a change in belief in the medical solution to their problem and understand the importance of their own behavior and improve their food habits shed more weight. The side effects of orlistat may be crucial factors that result in weight reduction. Patients generally tend to quit the consumption of the drug due to the side effects associated with it. Instead of seeing the side effects as unfavorable indications, the patients can get motivated from them to bring behavioral changes. Appropriate guidance from the clinicians can encourage the patients to see the side effects resulting due to consumption of high fat diet as an education. This would enable them to take extra initiative, like eating healthy to reduce their weight. Therefore, orlistat can encourage patients to bring in behavioral changes rather than believing in medical solutions to their problem and in turn switch to a healthy diet. Such changes in behavior and belief will increase the weight loss.

Reference: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989378/?tool=pmcentrez

Disclaimer: This article is written by a non-medical professional.

Date: 
Thursday, January 27, 2011