Xenical, Alli (Orlistat) Side Effects Linked to Liver Failure

In August 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was investigating reports of liver injury and liver failure associated with the weight loss drug, orlistat. The FDA received 32 reports of liver problems in orlistat users, including 27 reports of hospitalization and six reports of liver failure.

Orlistat is marketed by Roche Pharmaceuticals under the name Xenical, and by GlaxoSmithKline under the name Alli — the first and only FDA-approved, non-prescription weight loss drug.

Alli and Xenical Side Effects Include Liver Damage

The prescription brand of orlistat, Xenical, and its over-the-counter counterpart, Alli, work by blocking the absorption of fat in the digestive tract to help patients absorb fewer calories, and subsequently lose weight.

Xenical prescriptions can only be obtained through a physician who has determined that patients meet the criteria to be considered clinically obese, including a body mass index that exceeds 30. Alli can be purchased at any retail store and boasts more than four million users worldwide, serving as a billion-dollar product for GlaxoSmithKline.

From 1999 to 2008, the FDA has received 32 reports of liver damage with the most common symptoms including jaundice, stomach pain and weakness. The FDA is investigating the link between orlistat and liver damage; however, it states that “no definite association between liver injury and orlistat has been established at his time.”

Physicians and consumers are urged to maintain regular use of the product unless they demonstrate symptoms of liver damage.

Patients taking Alli or Xenical should monitor their health for the following liver damage side effects, including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Brown urine
  • Fatigue
  • Light-colored stool
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)

Filing a Xenical or Alli Lawsuit

The manufacturers of Xenical and Alli, Roche Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline, receive billions of dollars in sales from these weight loss drugs. Many victims who have endured injury and damage as a result of these defective drugs are often able to receive compensatory damages to offset the costs of medical bills, lost income and other financial burdens caused by Xenical or Alli.

After speaking with the skilled defective drug attorneys at Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz, victims often file defective drug claims against manufacturers to receive the compensation they deserve. To learn more about filing an Alli or Xenical lawsuit, contact AWKO Law at (844) 794-7402.