Xenical Doses

What is in Xenical?

Each capsule of Xenical contains 120mg of orlistat, the active ingredient. Be aware that although the over-the-counter medication Alli also contains orlistat, Alli has a lower dose of orlistat than Xenical does.

The inactive ingredients in Xenical include:

  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Sodium starch glycollate
  • Povidone
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Talc
  • Capsule shell containing gelatin, indigo carmine, and titanium dioxide
  • Printing ink containing shellac, industrial methylated spirits, purified water, lecithin, 2-ethoxyethanol, dimethicone and iron oxide black

How Xenical works

Orlistat blocks the action of lipases, enzymes from the stomach and pancreas that break down dietary fats (called triglycerides) in the intestines. In people who take Xenical, about 30% of the dietary fat goes through the digestive system undigested and is excreted as oil in the stools. The remainder of the dietary fats are absorbed inside the intestines.

When you are taking Xenical your body breaks down less dietary fat in the intestines and stores less of the broken down fat in it’s tissues and certain organs. So, when your body needs to break down fats for energy beyond the dietary fat you are eating, your body will break down some of the stored fat.

Dosing of Xenical

Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking Xenical. Familiarize yourself with the directions on how to take Xenical that are described in the prescribing information (also called package insert) from the manufacturer of the medication. Often the printed prescribing information is given to you when you pick up your Xenical tablets. Alternatively, ask your pharmacist to give you a copy of the prescribing information. If you have any questions about how to take Xenical, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

In general, one capsule of Xenical should be taken with a glass of water at every one of the three main meals that contain fat every day. The Xenical capsule may be taken one hour before, during or within one hour after each main meal. So, the daily dosage of Xenical is 360 mg of orlistat.

If you skip a meal, or if you eat a meal that does not contain fat, you do not need to take a capsule of Xenical with that meal.

If you miss a dose of Xenical, take the Xenical capsule as soon as you remember it, but no later than one hour after eating your last meal.

Taking more than three capsules of Xenical daily has not been proven to work any better than taking one capsule of Xenical with each of the three main meals per day.

Xenical can block the absorption of dietary, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). So, a daily multivitamin supplement is recommended. Every day, the multivitamin should be taken at least two hours before or two hours after taking Xenical, or at bedtime.

Dietary advice

When taking Xenical, a low-fat diet (with up to 30% of calories coming from dietary fat) is advised for Xenical to be effective and to avoid experiencing side effects. Divide the overall calories you are eating each day between each of your three main meals.


  1. Accessed at http://www.newyou.com.ph/xenical-frequently-asked-questions
  2. Accessed at http://www.firstmed.co.uk/xenical-faqs.php
  3. Accessed at drugs.com/xenical.html