Reports: Alli Linked to Liver Damage; FDA Investigating

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/25/2009 3:06 PM   :  129 comments   :  13,725 Views

See More: news, weight loss, health, diet,
Alli, the only U.S. FDA-approved nonprescription weight-loss drug, is under investigation by the agency after more than 30 reports of liver damage in patients taking the pills.

The FDA, after much criticism over its slow public notification after problems with other drugs, now notifies consumers sooner of any reported side effects.
It's important to note that while the reports are being investigated, the FDA has not advised consumers to stop taking Alli or halted sales, as it did with the dietary supplement Hydroxycut back in May. The reports are preliminary.

According to the Associated Press:

"Regulators said Monday they have received more than 30 reports of liver damage in patients taking alli and Xenical, the prescription version of the drug. The reports, submitted between 1999 and October 2008, included 27 hospitalized patients, and six who suffered liver failure.

Alli and Xenical are both marketed by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC, though Xenical is manufactured by Swiss firm Roche.
The FDA says it has not established a direct relationship between the weight loss treatments and liver injury, and advised patients to continue using the drugs as directed."

Alli is a fat blocker. You take a pill with each meal. The main ingredient in the pill binds with the digestive enzymes that would normally break down fat from the meal that you consumed. Because Alli attaches to these enzymes, it prevents them from digesting about a quarter of the fat you just ate, allowing it to pass through the digestive system and out of the body, undigested and unabsorbed. Overall, fewer calories from dietary fat are stored as actual body fat.

(Read SparkPeople's article about Alli.)

Have you ever taken Alli? Would you?


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Comments

  • 129
    Not on your life! I got fat on my own, I lost the weight on my own. Pills are not the answer. So much healthier to change what you eat & move more. Plus, the cost!!! People will scream and holler that they don't have the money to eat healthy, but they'll drop that kind of cash on a pill??? Wow, I can't believe it! Also, the side effects are terrifying, and what about the healthy fats that your body NEEDS for good health? If I'm eating nuts, avocado, or olive oil, I WANT my body to absorb that fat! Plus we never ever know the full extent of the true side effects of a pill. Things have been on the market in the past for YEARS before you started seeing lawsuits about health problems being caused. I simply refuse to take that risk. Pharmaceuticals are dangerous, I'd rather eat the beautiful, amazing, nutritious foods that GOD provided for us to maintain our health, not these crazy schemes that humans dream up!!! - 3/23/2012   6:16:45 PM
  • TRAVELER37
    128
    I have taken Alli intermittently for awhile now. One bottle is 120 capsules. I use only 1-2 when I'm going to eat outside my daily range. I've never experienced any side effects but I don't eat horribly (donuts,fried everything)? I normally eat 1300 cal 30g fat. When I know that the meal I'm going to eat is outside (17g of fat or more) of my diet (bday party, luncheon, splurge meal etc) I take the Alli. One bottle has lasted me a really long time (4mos). I take milk thistle daily to cleanse my liver so I'm hoping I'll never experience damage? - 2/24/2012   7:39:40 AM
  • 127
    I talked to the nurse practitioner where I work about it some time back & she diswaded
    me due to the possibility of liver damage then. - 5/9/2011   6:18:52 AM
  • DIMEGIRL
    126
    YES,I take Alli as needed. I would never take Alli on a daily basis.All Alli does is allow your body NOT to absorb all the fat that you eat.Its side effects really FORCE you to pay attention to everything you do and eat.If i want to eat something i make sure& check that it is in the 15-18% fat content range,I also pay attention to my portion sizes and stop eating as soon as i feel full.
    I have a system and this is how it goes.
    I keep Alli on hand if i know that i am going to eat a more fattening meal then usual.If i plan to eat a half a pint of ice cream or go with my daughter to eat out i have them in my purse,this way i know quite a bit of this mainly unhealthy fat is on its way out!.I do not take the pills when i eat a salad or my daily Avocado,most all healthy meals that i eat i will not use the pill.I want my body to absorbed the healthy good fats.I think taking this pill 3 times a day could be taxing on your liver-its just using the drug to much in my opinion.
    When i do finally run out of the diet pills i purposely wait about a month to buy some more and get it out of my system...
    The Alli budget: Alli is not cheap,and it rarely goes on sale,but you can get it cheaper if you know what to look for.
    I have a ALLI BUDGET of $35.00-$40.00 total for 120 Alli diet pills.
    If you check the internet for store sales,Amazon on especially EBAY you can almost always get a 120 bottle for $39.99,and that is the going rate for 60 pills at the store.
    When ever I see the price i want to spend only then do i buy.Sometimes i have to wait more then a month and that is ok for my health and my pocket book.
    Other things i do to lose weight is cut out ALL foods and processed products that contain HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP or HYDROGENATED OILS.These ingredients are altered by man and do not allow your body to feel full so you do eat more.If you are going to eat something sweet MAKE sure it contains real sugar so your body CAN tell you "stop eating i am full"
    If you have a treadmill before you decide to run/walk,buy a waist wrap- tighten it as tight as you can around your waist and run in front of the TV!
    1-30 min. show later you have now ran over a mile:)
    You will also notice lots more sweat around your waist from wrap.My waist can't live without it!
    Its the corset concept,you have seen women on tv and the internet with the small waist lines due to wearing a corset.Take measurements of your waist line before you start wearing it for a couple hours a day.Then check your waistline a month later and you will see it works quite well...good luck to all! - 10/13/2010   6:44:21 PM
  • 125
    A co*worker used a generic version of Alli for several months & if he went over the suggested fat content in a meal, he had to rush to the bathroom & pronto! It did work for him but only because he had to change his diet. He also did not go to the gym during this time. He stopped using the pill and regained a small amount of the weight he'd lost but by then, his nutrition IQ & habits greatly improved.

    I was tempted to buy Alli just recently until I noticed the fine print at the bottom of the commercial where it showed the typical amount of weight lost in a 6 month period .... not worth the cost for me coupled with the fact that I'd rather learn to be more active and up my nutrition knowledge. - 7/23/2010   11:51:14 AM
  • 124
    I tried Alli and did lose weight while taking it. However, once I heard that it may be causing liver damage I stopped taking it. - 6/5/2010   10:55:21 PM
  • 123
    The last thing I would need is to take more pills! I also don't need to obsess about my weight. The real trick is living a healthy lifestyle, and that doesn't include diet pills in my book. - 6/4/2010   6:05:42 PM
  • LOZUKE
    122
    I know in my head it is not good for you, but if it was not so expensive I would try it. - 4/25/2010   7:34:56 AM
  • 121
    i tried it and lost about 10lbs, but i did use their website & recipes, so i think it was more from that than the actual pill. Since it wasn't a lifestyle change, i put the weight back on quickly after I became bored with it - 4/18/2010   2:36:50 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    120
    Yes, just because something is sold at Costco doesn't mean it's safe to use, just like all those shelves full of questionable supplements. - 4/1/2010   9:33:28 PM
  • 119
    I have not tired and I would not take it. Mostly becuase I have no desire to take something that could make me have an accident in my pants. - 4/1/2010   10:01:46 AM
  • 118
    I took 1 diet pill when I was 16, didn't like the side effects. Love the side effects of exercising and healthy eating. - 1/9/2010   6:26:57 AM
  • JUHOEG
    117
    No-I would not take - 12/22/2009   7:24:41 AM
  • 116
    I wouldn't today, but there have been times in the past I'd have been all over it. My uneducated guess is, it is more likely that the mistreatment of the liver and other organs BEFORE the fat blocking drug are far more likely to be the root problem.
    Years of over eating, huge portions, junk food, absolutely take their tool. Ask any doctor who has the most health problems. Including liver damage. - 11/4/2009   9:41:15 AM
  • 115
    No, I wouldn't take this. I try to put as few pills in my body as possible. - 11/4/2009   6:13:26 AM
  • 114
    No, no way, I would not take this, why would I ever put this chemical into my body? - 11/3/2009   11:12:38 AM
  • SPBECKIE2024
    113
    no i would not take it - 9/20/2009   2:22:21 PM
  • 112
    I have to admit I have considered taking it but the known side effects was bothersome. I'm a busy lady and I didn't want trouble on the road. I mean I didn't want to have to worry about bringing extra panties with me. - 9/9/2009   8:46:25 AM
  • 111
    I had thought about taking this pill. But I read the list of people who should not take it and I was in that list, apart from the fact that £50 for 1 month supply. That was way out of my pocket. No. Willpower, exercise and determination are for me. - 9/2/2009   6:22:45 AM
  • JGRANT42
    110
    I almost started to try Alli at one point, but reconsidered because of it being too expensive and because of the possible side effects. Now that the FDA is investigating the effects of the drug on users for possible liver failure, I'm so glad that I never made the decision to use it. It seems to me like the FDA is approving non prescription weight loss supplement pills like Alli and others without conducting thorough studies on the long term effects to consumers...... - 8/29/2009   10:32:10 AM
  • VALERIE5978
    109
    I've never taken Alli... too expensive and not worth it. I've taken numerous diet pills in the past with no results... go figure, we'd all be thinner! - 8/29/2009   6:50:51 AM
  • 108
    I second TREADMILLQUEEN. I just don't trust any pill at all! - 8/28/2009   10:15:02 PM
  • 107
    I did take Alli, not because I thoguth it would be a miracle pill, but because I have hypothyroidism and I thought it might help my body process some of the fat more efficiently. It was a little too efficient becasue even though I followed the directions and the low-fat plan, I was still having 'leaking' issues. I stoppped pretty fast after starting them and have refused to try trend pills ever since. Now if I can just get my doctor to give me the right dose of meds... - 8/28/2009   6:54:09 PM
  • 106
    I don't eat much fat, so it really wouldn't do anything for me. Now if it blocked carbs.... =P - 8/28/2009   3:36:13 PM
  • MEOWSER2
    105
    I have heard true horror stories about the loss of bowel control at restaurants. ummmmm no thanks - 8/27/2009   3:46:18 PM
  • 104
    A few years ago, my doctor had prescribed Xenical for me and I did have some success with it. I have also taken Alli, but like another member said, it was hard to remember to take with each meal and I had changed my diet to be pretty low in fat to begin with, so there was really no benefit for me. However, after reading this article, I threw away the remaining pills left in the bottle that I still had. It seems I am doing fine without it, and with this potential risk, it just seems like a waste of money! - 8/27/2009   2:09:57 PM
  • 103
    Thanks for this article.... A friend suggested that I tried Alli, and I did, but quickly decided that I did not like the side-affects...... Pills are not the answer for me; focus, dedication and consistency is..... - 8/27/2009   9:37:46 AM
  • TREADMILLQUEEN
    102
    Did we all need a pill to make us overweight??????????????? - 8/27/2009   1:50:19 AM
  • 101
    I did try Alli and in truth it did not seem to do anything thing for me.
    But I eat very low fat to begin with so I guess there was not enough fat in my diet for Allie to help me.
    It was a very expensive weightloss drug. - 8/27/2009   1:35:17 AM
  • 100
    I never had interest in Alli for several reasons. These include the potential for diarrhea, cost, and the general feeling that you can do it on your own. After reading this article, I am more convinced than ever that Alli is not the way to go. - 8/27/2009   12:09:36 AM
  • 99
    I've never taken it and its too expensive for me to buy. - 8/27/2009   12:09:27 AM
  • SUZIE_Q3
    98
    I tried Xenical and Alli. Nether one worked for me. My body seems to digest fats just fine. I never had any side effects and I did not lose any weight. I have now given up on pills. Its calories in and calories burned. Less food -- more exercise! - 8/26/2009   11:54:26 PM
  • SUZIE_Q3
    97
    I tried Xenical and Alli. Nether one worked for me. My body seems to digest fats just fine. I never had any side effects and I did not lose any weight. I have now given up on pills. Its calories in and calories burned. Less food -- more exercise! - 8/26/2009   11:54:17 PM
  • 96
    Nope. I've always been skeptical of this and any other diet pill. It was only a matter of time before there were reports of nasty side effects and complications. None for me, thanks! - 8/26/2009   10:09:41 PM
  • CEDWARDS4
    95
    I've taken Alli in the past. It did work as described. My only problem was remembering to take it with every meal. Also, the side effects were very real. In the end, it was just another "fad" and I financial saw it as an excess. Thanks to the recession, it was one of the first expenditures to go! - 8/26/2009   9:39:06 PM
  • 94
    I would stay away from Alli because there is no magic bullet to weight loss. Alli's side effects would cause life style changes so why not just make the changes you needed to make in the first place? - 8/26/2009   6:20:33 PM
  • 93
    Yes, I have used all of them, meridia, xenical and alli and hydroxycut, just a big guinia pig, I am, never had any sucess with any of them. - 8/26/2009   4:51:22 PM
  • 92
    I have read way to many negative reviews written by people who have taken Alli. - 8/26/2009   4:28:49 PM
  • 91
    I haven't and I wouldn't. I have swallowed too many "miracle-pills" in the past to know that this is not the answer to fitness and health. - 8/26/2009   4:08:04 PM
  • 90
    Drugs are never the answer. - 8/26/2009   3:23:48 PM
  • 89
    I bet those people reporting liver damage were taking MUCH more than was given to be the dose or they had other health problems being obese. It is amazing how many people do NOT follow directions on medicines. - 8/26/2009   3:10:07 PM
  • JOJOMORRIS
    88
    I would think the side affects alone would be enough to turn anyone away let alone everyone knows the answer is not in a pill. - 8/26/2009   3:07:52 PM
  • 87
    I had thought about taking them when they first came on the market and showed the information sheets to my doctor who shook his head and said no, ma'am! As far as I'm concerned Alli's just another sheming-scamming diet pill. On the positive side, they do make a great calendar! - 8/26/2009   2:52:57 PM
  • 86
    Oh puh-leeeeeeeze. Is anyone really surprised?!? Eat whole foods, cook from scratch, do everything in moderation, exercise daily. As they say in Kungfu Panda - there is no secret ingredient! - 8/26/2009   2:41:13 PM
  • 85
    No have never taken it; but did consider it at one time. Now I hear all the hype about "Healthy Trim" and I am tempted again to get "high school skinny"...lol...but it comes down to knowing that I truly don't need to spend the money to get there - no I don't think I'll ever get "high school skinny"....I will settle for healthy and in decent shape for a 48 year old mom. - 8/26/2009   2:19:02 PM
  • 84
    I'm not surprised that this product and so MANY others including Rx's are related to organ damage. Look at the inserts of a drug or most pills and read the fine print and then the very fine print which are usually pages long/double sided of the side-effects, it's terrible.... most antibiotics and pain relievers cause some form of kidney dysfunction, I know this through extensive research, I lost a kidney in a rock climbing accident in 2003 so I have to review every label and every product that I consume. - 8/26/2009   2:08:19 PM
  • MRSBEANS57
    83
    If you stop and think about it, if you are eating in such a way to avoid the unpleasant side effects of this medication, i.e. a low-fat diet, then you are already eating healthily and don't need this stuff! Sounds like a no-brainer to me . . . - 8/26/2009   1:04:53 PM
  • 82
    Eating properly and exercising is easier and cheaper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 8/26/2009   12:54:06 PM
  • 81
    When Alli first came out, I asked my physician about it and after being educated on the potential side effects, I declined to take it. It may have been a good choice for other reasons as well. - 8/26/2009   12:11:08 PM
  • TENAJ99
    80
    I have never taken any diet supplaments. I don't think that I would, since I know that they are generally very bad for your body. - 8/26/2009   11:12:11 AM

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