Popular Weight-Loss Drugs May Lead to Liver Damage


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating a possible connection between the weight-loss drug, orlistat, and reports of liver damage. Orlistat is the active weight-loss ingredient in Xenical, available only with a prescription and Alli, which can be purchased over-the-counter in most drug stores.

At an April meeting of the Drug Safety Oversight Board (of the FDA), there was discussion regarding a connection between hepatoxicity (liver damage) and the weight-loss drugs. At the time of this writing, the Board is continuing to review reports, and any action taken by the FDA would depend on the agency’s findings.

Xenical, manufactured by Roche, was approved in 1999, and in 2008, GlaxoSmithKline’s Alli, which is a lower dose of Xenical was approved for sale in retail stores. Both drugs work by preventing the absorption of fats, which, in turn, reduces one’s caloric intake. Both Xenical and Alli have been hugely popular with the public. The former generated sales upwards of $30 million last year while Alli boasted sales of $131 million during its very first year on the market.

Some symptoms of hepatoxicity are:

Liver inflammation
Lesions on the liver
Liver failure
Necrosis of the liver

Orlistat may also increase your chances of colon cancer and breast cancer.

If you or a loved one has taken a drug and has suffered serious adverse side effects, you may have a valid legal claim. Pharmaceutical litigation attorneys are currently investigating cases of liver damage associated with the weight-loss drug orlistat, sold under the brand names Xenical and Alli.

Please contact an experienced dangerous drug attorney in your area today.