As with all drugs, some people experience unwanted side effects when they begin Xenical treatment. Some people experience minor side effects that are unwanted but not life-threatening. During the Xenical clinical trial, some patients experienced bowel issues, including
- loose or frequent stools,
- gas with discharge,
- urgent and increased defecation,
- and oily spotting when they took Xenical.
But some individuals experienced more serious and potentially fatal side effects that required immediate medical attention. Some serious side effects include allergic reactions and strong and persistent stomach pain.
Serious Allergic Reactions
Individuals who experience allergic reactions might notice rashes and hives all over their body and some might notice their skin to be itchy. In addition, swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or lips are all signs of a potential allergic reaction. Also, when a person experiences an allergic reaction, they might have difficulty breathing or feel tightness in the chest. While taking Xenical, you should not take any of these potentially serious side effects lightly.
Xenical side effects can also be broken down according to the body system of the side effect. Because the entire body does not absorb Xenical, patients’ side effects are usually limited to the stomach and the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, nearly half the patients who experienced gastrointestinal side effects noted the effects lasted less than one week. For a majority of the patients that experienced gastrointestinal side effects, the effects did not last longer than a month. But for some patients, the gastrointestinal side effects were persistent. Doctors observed gastrointestinal side effects in some patients for six months or longer. Gastrointestinal side effects are usually not serious, but in some patients, gastrointestinal side effects can be major.
Some patients in the clinical trials had strong adverse reactions to Xenical. For example, one woman in her early 40s experienced constipation, polyuria (excessive urine passage), polydipsia (excessive thirst), and increased lower-leg edema after taking Xenical three times a day for two weeks. These side effects went away after she stopped taking Xenical for four days. Once she resumed her Xenical treatment schedule, the side effects reappeared in just two days. The woman, of course, stopped taking Xenical after the side effects reappeared.
Rare Side Effect Occurrences
The clinical trial also observed hypersensitivity-related side effects, mostly related to allergic reactions. Examples of hypersensitive side effects included pruritus, a frustrating itch that made the person want to itch; rash; urticaria, itchy red hives or welts on the skin’s surface; angioedema, a swelling like a hive but beneath the skin; bronchospasm, asthma triggered by the sudden constriction of the muscles in the lungs; and anaphylaxis, a severe, rapid him in whole body allergic reaction. While the clinical trial did observe these hypersensitive allergic reactions, they were rare.
Some individuals in the clinical trial experienced respiratory problems. Some respiratory side effects of Xenical include influenza, upper and lower respiratory infection, and ear, nose, and throat symptoms. Some individuals in the clinical trial also experienced musculoskeletal side effects, which included back pain, lower extremity pain, tendonitis, arthritis, joint disorder, and myalgia, or muscle pain.
Nervous System Complications
Other individuals in the clinical trial experienced side effects related to the nervous system. These nervous system side effects were minor and included dizziness and headache. Some individuals also experienced skin problems, including rash and dry skin. Since the clinical trial, there were a few cases of bullous eruptions in individuals prescribed Xenical.
Additional Serious Side Effects
During the Xenical clinical trial, some women experienced genitourinary side effects, including urinary tract infections. Other side effects included vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina, and menstrual irregularities.
Some individuals reported psychiatric problems, including depression and anxiety, during the Xenical clinical trial. Other people experienced cardiovascular side effects, including pedal edema, or feet swelling, and hypertension.
During the clinical trial, other participants reported blood-related side effects, metabolic side effects, hepatic side effects (including weakness, jaundice, and abdominal pain), and renal side effects. It is important to note that the FDA has not established a causal relationship between Xenical and liver injury related to hepatitis. Other unclassified side effects included sleep disorders, otitis (ear infection or inflammation), and fatigue.