Alli and Xenical May Cause Liver Damage

Alli and Xenical May Cause Liver Damage

In August 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that it was reviewing new safety information regarding liver injuries suffered by patients taking orlistat, a weight loss drug. This medication is available as a prescription, known as Xenical, and as an over-the-counter drug, known as Alli.

Xenical was approved by the FDA in 1999 as a prescription medication designed for obesity management in conjunction with a reduced calorie diet and to lower the risk of regaining weight after weight loss. Alli was approved in 2007 by the FDA as an over-the-counter drug used for weight loss in adults in combination with a low calorie and reduced fat diet.

There have been 32 reports of serious liver damage among patients taking this weight loss medication received by the FDA. Twenty seven of those cases were so severe, that the patients were hospitalized. What is even more frightening is that six cases actually led to liver failure.

If you are taking Alli or Xenical, you need to watch out for signs of liver injury. Some of these signs include:

  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes
  • Weakness
  • Stomachache

The FDA was reviewing information submitted by the makers of orlistat on suspected cases of liver damage. In April 2009, the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Drug Safety Oversight Board also discussed the possible effects of this drug.

Xenical is marketed by Roche. A spokesman from this company stated that there had been no causal relationship established between Xenical and liver injury.

According to Deborah Bolding, communications manager for North America with GlaxoSmithKline, the marketer of Alli, “there is no evidence that Alli causes liver damage.” Bolding went on to say that Alli is “minimally absorbed in the blood and works locally in the gastrointestinal tract. There is, therefore, no obvious biological mechanism to suggest liver damage with Alli.”

If you or a loved one has taken Alli or Xenical and have experienced liver problems, you should consult with an Orlando injury lawyer to learn your rights. You may be able to hold the manufacturer responsible and could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The Law Offices of Lilly, O’Toole & Brown, LLP will be able to review your case to determine if you have a claim. Contact us today at (863) 683-1111 today for a free consultation.