Orlistat (P medicine) 

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Pharmacy guide

Orlistat 60mg capsules is licensed as a pharmacy (P) medicine and available over the counter (OTC) to aid weight loss. 

Pharmacists should be satisfied that the supply will be clinically suitable, used responsibly and appropriately in line with its marketing authorisation.

This guide covers what to consider before supplying orlistat 60mg capsules OTC. It provides information on how pharmacists can help with weight loss, and offering diagnostic screening to people, where appropriate. It also provides a summary of the product information.

However, it doesn’t cover the full list of contraindications or risk information. Further details can be found in the products individual Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC)

Updated: 23 May 2023

Sections on this page

  • Summary of product information
  • Practical advice
  • Confidence in consultation skills
  • Decision-making process for supply
  • Supply to the person’s representative
  • Counselling
  • Quantity to supply and repeat requests
  • Record keeping
  • Further information

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Supply to the person’s representative

Orlistat capsules can be supplied to a representative. However, it’s important that you only supply the product:

  • Within the marketing authorisation
  • If you’re satisfied it’s a genuine request
  • If the treatment is clinically appropriate for the person.

You will need to use your professional judgement with requests from representatives.

Consider the following:

  • Who is requesting on the person’s behalf and why?
  • How will you ensure you're satisfied that the treatment is clinically appropriate for the person needing the medicine? E.g. check contraindications, referrals, previous medical history and existing medicines
  • How can you get in touch with the person to assess suitability and determine whether the request is appropriate and genuine — e.g., by telephone?
  • Be careful not to disclose to the representative what was previously discussed, unless you have consent from the person needing the medicine to do so
  • Are you supplying the medicine within the marketing authorisation?
  • You need to ensure that the person is aged 18 or over and check their current BMI on each occasion orlistat is requested, at the time of supply (BMI must be > 28kg/m2).