San Diego Hypnotist

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Archive for liver damage

Xenical and Alli May Cause Liver Damage, FDA Warns

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the weight loss drug orlistat, marketed as Xenical and Alli, may increase the risk of serious liver damage.

Between 1999 and 2008 the federal agency has received 32 reports of serious liver injury in people who were taking orlistat. Of those injured, 27 required hospitalization and six had liver failure.

Orlistat blocks the absorption of fat in the stomach and small intestine, and by doing so reduces calorie intake. The most common side effects of Xenical and Alli are oily spotting, flatus with discharge, fecal urgency, fatty/oily stool, oily evacuation, increased defecation, and fecal incontinence, which is another way of saying that the drug can cause uncontrollable greasy diarrhea. For those who take the drug, this side effect is a powerful incentive not to eat fatty foods. It’s also likely why orlistat has not become a blockbuster weight loss drug.

As orlistat blocks absorption of fat, it also blocks absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and beta carotene. Women who take orlistat are advised to take a multivitamin.

Early Warning Signs of Liver Damage
One of the few clear early warning signs of liver damage is jaundice, a yellowing of the whites of the eyes and the skin. Other symptoms of liver damage can include weakness, fatigue, irritability, headaches, fever, brown urine, light-colored stool, an ache under the right rib cage, and itchiness on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet.

The simplest and safest way to lose weight is free, and free of harmful side effects: eat moderate amounts of wholesome food and get regular moderate exercise.

Women taking Xenical or Alli who experience side effects should report them to the FDA’s Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

Back to Aspirin. Tylenol Is Bad News For Liver.

To help reduce the incidence of liver damage, an FDA advisory panel recommended lowering the recommended daily dose of acetaminophen (in medications such as Tylenol and NyQuil) and banning, or at least severely restricting, Vicodin, Percocet and other prescription drugs that combine acetaminophen with narcotics. The panel is recommending lowering the maximum daily dose from the current 4,000 mg to 2,600 mg. Since acetaminophen is an ingredient in more than 300 over-the-counter and prescription medications, patients must be careful to stay within the recommended dose to avoid liver complications. While the FDA is not bound to follow the advice of advisory panels, they often do so.

M. Beck, “Taking Pains with a Painkiller”, Wall Street Journal, D1, July, 7, 2009

“FDA advisers vote to take Vicodin, Percocet off market”