According to a recent study researchers say the drug orlistat (Xenical) could help keep the weight off for at least a year without major side effects in overweight teens. Orlistat acts by decreasing the ability of the intestines to absorb fat by up to 30 percent. However some amount of fat consumed by people taking orlistat passes through the body without being digested resulting in mild- to moderate-intensity gastrointestinal problems.
Long-term research has shown that people who are overweight in their teens often continue to be overweight into adulthood with a high risk of cholesterol and diabetes and also a decreased quality of life. Thus researchers concerned with helping teens maintain weight loss decided to do a study to analyze the benefits of the drug orlistat . For the study researchers studied two groups of children between ages 12 and 16, all of whom were considered obese. For one year, 357 of the subjects were given120 milligrams of orlistat three times a day, and 182 children received a placebo three times a day. Both groups were given instructions on how to lose weight, exercise, and eat healthier.
Results of the study showed that both groups were able to drop pounds in the first 12 weeks of the study. However at the end of one year, patients taking orlistat had increased their weight by just a little more than one pound, while patients taking the placebo gained nearly seven pounds and body mass index (BMI) decreased by .55 on orlistat and increased by .31 with placebo.
In conclusion researchers say that orlistat can indeed help teens maintain weight loss without any major adverse medical problems.