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Alli Review - 18 Things You Need to Know

FDA-approved Alli’s only ingredient is the fat-burning orlistat, which has been around for more than a decade. The company claims it is a clinically-proven way to lose up to 5-10% of body weight, but is it safe? We were concerned when we found a long list of side effects attached to it.

Our crew is hesitant to recommend a drug that could cause anything from rashes to back pain to bowel leakage. We investigated every aspect of Alli, examining if the pros outweigh the cons. We provide you with a summary of our conclusions.

Alli can be purchased through their Official Site.

Alli Readers: Noom is offering our readers a risk-free trial, for a limited time. Click here for more information!

What is Alli?

Alli orlistat is a weight loss supplement containing 60 mg of the prescription drug orlistat, which helps dieters lose up to 50% more weight than diet and exercise alone.

Its speed is slow, as it takes about two months to see results. Dieters 18 and older who are overweight or obese can benefit from it if they are already following a low-calorie diet.

Taking Alli with meals helps your body absorb less of the fat in your food, resulting in lower calorie intake and, ultimately, weight loss. The body then excretes these fats. This FDA-approved weight loss supplement, the first of its kind, targets fat deposits in the body, improving your current dieting efforts.

It is important to remember that Alli is not a “miracle pill.” It will not cause massive amounts of weight loss in a short amount of time.

Orlistat is the over-the-counter version for managing obesity. Xenical is its prescription name.

What does science have to say about this clinically-studied weight-loss pill?

  • Nutrition & Metabolism – It looks like Alli may work best when taken with flaxseed fiber and calcium. As a matter of fact, research shows an increase in fecal fat excretion of about 100% when these two supplements are added.
  • PLOS Medicine – In one review of research, authors suggest “Reports of [Orlistat] trials seemed to have systematically understated adverse events.”
  • BMC Obesity – And while Alli may, in fact, promote weight loss, it may not be the most effective product on the market.

Alli Competitors

Relacore Extra

Alli Company Profile

  • Name: GlaxoSmithKline
  • President: Mr. Jack Bailey
  • Address: 5 Crescent Drive Philadelphia, PA, 19112, United States
  • Phone number: (800) 671-2554
  • Email: consumer.communications@GSK.com

There was some controversy over the company’s marketing and illegal actions; they received a fine from the DoJ for unlawful promotion of prescription drugs and failure to report safety data.


Alli Ingredients

The only active ingredient in Alli OTC is:

  • Orlistat

This ingredient is responsible for its fat-blocking properties. It does this by blocking the fat-breaking enzymes in the body. The body does not absorb fat that it does not break down and it thus eliminates it.

The rest of the ingredients are inactive, contributing to the appearance, stability, and taste of the weight loss supplement.


Alli Benefits

There are health benefits of using Alli. Some of the benefits include:


Alli claims to block small amounts of fat from the body by absorbing them.

Easy to Use

According to the packaging, you can take Alli up to three times a day with appropriate meals.


It may block the enzymes that cause weight gain (see research in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity).

Is It Safe

Is Alli Safe?

The FDA approved it for use by people over 18 years of age. It is best to have a BMI of at least 25 when taking Alli. Blocking fat in underweight individuals can be dangerous and can cause serious health problems.

Check with a doctor before using Alli if you are on any other medications, especially medications for weight loss.

Alli’s ingredients are simple and clinical proof supports them. Follow the instructions accordingly and never share the medication with anyone who may not need it.

What Does Alli Do?

It can help dieters lose up to 50% more weight than dieting and exercise alone.

It does this by blocking a portion of the fat in food eaten. They recommend users do not eat more than 5 g of fat per meal when using Alli.

With fat-containing ten calories per gram, this can result in significant calorie reductions.

Alli functions by interrupting fat digestion and blocking 30% of the fat users consume, leading to calorie reduction.

Does Alli Work?

When used correctly, it can help dieters lose an additional pound for every two pounds they lose on their own. It would help if you only took it with low-fat meals. It is not a “miracle pill,” allowing dieters to eat whatever they like and still lose weight.

By following a low-calorie, low-fat diet and exercise plan, and adding Alli, it could work. Although it can help you lose weight over time, it is important to remember that it is usually not significant.


Line graph depicting the difference between placebo and orlistat. Based off change in body weight and week

It would help if you used it in conjunction with a diet fitting within your weight loss goals and an effective exercise program.

It is also essential to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.

Side Effects

Alli Side Effects

Some people who use it report side effects. Loose, watery, and oily stools are one of the more common complaints.

On the official website, Alli warns of potential gastrointestinal related side effects. These effects should only occur when first starting use, though.

According to LiverTox, additional side effects from its ingredients may include:

  • Poor bowel control
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Back pain
  • Weakness
  • Dark urine
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore throat

The undigested fat deposits typically appear in stools in fatty deposits that can be orange and oily, states the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Many dieters report finding this oil staining their underwear and clothes. Overall, it can be a messy experience to use Alli, and this is more likely when you take it combined with a high-fat meal.

There is also an extreme sense of urgency to defecate when using Alli. They suggest that, if you are using Alli away from home, you bring an extra change of clothes with you for this reason.

Some people also report an increased number of bowel movements during the day. This is due to undigested fat moving through the digestive system.

If you experience any of the other above side effects, stop using Alli, and consult your doctor.

This supplement comes with some side effects related to digestion and nutrient deficiencies. It could also interact badly with some types of medication.

The company claims that the best dose is 120 mg, three times daily.

Foods to Eat & Avoid on Alli

Food List

Foods to Eat & Avoid on Alli

Just because you use Alli doesn’t mean that you have to limit the foods you eat. Some foods to eat and avoid with Alli include:


  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Low fat & fat-free milk and cheese
  • Lean meats
  • Three meals and two snacks on a day
  • Broth-based soups

Don’t eat

  • Red meat
  • Fat-heavy protein
  • Oils and butter
  • High-fat
  • Fried foods
  • Cream-based soups

Alli Alternatives

The most straightforward alternative would be to get a prescription for Orlistat from your doctor. This is a stronger version of Alli OTC.

Additional alternatives to Alli include:


Alli Cost

Since Alli is available at so many retailers, there are a couple of different price tags for the supplement.

On Amazon, you can purchase 60 and 120 count bottles for $39.94 and $52.93, respectively. On the Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy websites, you can buy a 60 count bottle for $49.99.

On Walmart’s website, you can buy the 60 count bottle for $39.94 and the 120 count bottle for $52.93. There are also a couple of different bundle options you can choose from. On the Target website, you can purchase a 60 count bottle for $39.99.

On the official Alli website, there are coupons available so you can save money. The coupons offer $5 off a 60 count pack and $10 off a 120 count pack. You can use this in-store by printing them directly from their site.

Where To Buy

Where To Buy Alli

When you click the “Buy Now” option on Alli’s official website, you see a couple of online retail purchase options.

Online, you can purchase from Amazon, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, and Target. The official website also offers a map where you can find a local store near you to buy Alli.

What About Alli Reviews?

There are many weight loss reviews for this product. To get an idea of what consumers are saying about it, we will examine some of the reviews that actual users posted.

Many of the positive reviews state that users had lost weight when they used it correctly. These users say that they are satisfied with the product and suitable for short-term use with a low-fat diet and exercise.

But there are some negative reviews online as well. Some people state the adverse side effects as the reason why they would not purchase Alli again. Some users reported severe nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal issues when taking the product.

Another reason for negative reviews is the cost. Many consumers feel that Alli is too expensive for the results they got when using the product.

The reviews are mixed and can be somewhat unfair since many people are misusing the product, such as taking it with fatty meals then reporting unwanted side effects.

These side effects don’t usually happen when you take it with meals containing less than 15 grams of fat.


Alli Directions

According to the packaging:

  • You can take the product up to three times per day with a full glass of water before a meal containing no more than 30% fat.
  • You can also take it up to one hour after eating, and it would still be useful.
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use this product. Only dieters who are 18 years of age or older and not underweight should use it.

Alli Results

Many people report satisfactory results when using weight loss pills and diet or nutritional programs such as Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem.

It is best for short-term use only, and people report that it loses its effectiveness after about six months.


Alli and Weight Loss

Alli and Weight Loss

The weight loss with Alli will not be significant. Dieters report only losing a few pounds more than with diet and exercise.

Typically, many people lose about 7 lbs in six months. However, it is only suitable for short-term use and will not produce significant weight loss. The cost may outweigh the benefits. Its results are positive but minimal.

According to the Journal of Obesity, consuming Orlistat over a 6-month period could cause some weight loss and improvements in the diet. More research published in Vascular Health and Risk Management found that Orlistat could cause a small, but still statistically significant weight loss.

However, ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research found that this ingredient may not benefit public health. Additionally, Archives of Pharmacal Research research found that the use of this compound may lead to some gastrointestinal distress.

If someone has a small amount of weight to lose, and they are willing to persevere with the side effects, Alli capsules can be beneficial. However, it will not suppress appetite or increase metabolism.

For those who eat occasional high calorie, fatty meals, Alli is not useful. However, it may be an excellent choice for the dieters who can stick to a healthy meal plan to help them lose more weight than dieting alone.

Alli also offers online resources to users to help them with their weight-loss goals. When you make an account on their website, you can access healthy recipes, meal planners and trackers, food reports, and weight trackers. It is unknown whether you need to buy the product before receiving these resources.

What Users Are Saying

What Users Are Saying

“Good Product – This helps break down the fat. It is not a curb your appetite pill. It is a good product just read the directions for what you need it for before buying.”

“Had to return, the diarrhea and gas this thing gave me was EPIC, hoooo’ boy!”

“Did not suppress my appetite and took as directed. Nor did I lose one ounce or pound while using this product.”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on Alli

We like that the FDA approved Alli and that research proves the effectiveness of Orlistat. One of the main concerns related to side effects from Alli. Bowel leakage is an incredibly embarrassing situation, and we’re not sure it’s worth it when there are other available options.

We are in full support of living a healthier life, and we also know that means being at your healthy weight. Sometimes, the changes that are needed are difficult, but they don’t have to be with a clinically-proven system in place.

One of the best weight-loss apps we have seen is one called Noom. With personalized meal plans, human coaching, and extensive food logging, and more, Noom makes it easy to make healthier choices, lose weight, and understand your own eating habits.

For a limited time, Dietspotlight readers can get a free trial offer with 100% access to everything Noom has to offer.

Learn More About Noom »
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What are the side effects of Alli?

Some of the potential side effects include gas, bloating, diarrhea and bowel leakage, according to consumer reviews.

What are the ingredients in Alli?

The only Alli ingredient is orlistat. 

Does Alli work?

Yes, there is clinical evidence Alli works as claimed. It was originally approved by the FDA in a stronger version as Xenical. It will block the absorption of fat. It will not increase metabolism or decrease hunger.

How much does Alli cost?

You can expect to pay more than $50 for 120 capsules, which is a 40-day supply. There are starter kits available, as well, that can cost between $30 and $60.

How should I take Alli?

You take one Alli pill with each meal. The company suggests keeping fat intake below 15g each time. If you exceed this amount, you are at higher risk of side effects. You are also supposed to add one healthy snack in there.

Where can I buy Alli?

Alli can be purchased using their Official Site.

Can I take more Alli to increase weight-loss?

It is not a good idea to take more than the recommended amount of Alli. If you do, that may increase the risk of side effects, which are commonly gastrointestinal in nature.

Is there bowel leakage with Alli?

Yes, there have been reports of bowel leakage or spotting when Alli is used with a higher fat diet.

Can I eat healthy fats when taking Alli?

Yes, you can eat healthy fats when taking Alli as long as you keep amounts of total fat below 15g per meal.

Does Alli come with a guarantee?

There’s no mention of a guarantee. You may want to consider Dietspotlight Burn before purchasing Alli. It contains clinically researched ingredients and is backed by positive customer reviews, which we like.

Do Alli diet pills work?

Alli can help achieve weight loss by inhibiting the enzyme lipase. Lipase breaks down fat for absorption and storage in the digestive tract. By manipulating the breakdown process, Alli helps to decrease the amount of dietary fat absorbed in the intestines.

What is in Alli?

Alli can help overweight individuals that are 18 and older lose weight better than dieting alone. Studies have found that the over-the-counter medication can help lose more weight when paired with a low-fat and reduced calorie diet.

What are the side effects of Alli weight loss pills?

Some possible side effects include pain in the lower back, bloody urine, decreased frequency of urination, drowsiness, confusion, changes in mood, increased thirst, body swelling, and shortness of breath. If these side effects occur, it’s important to stop taking Alli and call a doctor.

How do I take Alli?

At most, three capsules of Alli can be taken per day. It’s also recommended to take a daily multivitamin at night. To see results, you need to eat 3 balanced meals with reduced calories and 1 snack per day. There should be approximately 15 grams of fat in each meal. The fat shouldn’t make up more than 30% of the meal’s calorie content.

What is the active ingredient in Alli?

The active ingredient in a 60 mg capsule of Alli is Orlistat. It’s available in the United States in doses of 120 mg with a medication prescription only. The prescription version was approved by the FDA in 1999 after intense clinical studies.

How much does Alli diet pill cost?

The cost of Alli diet capsules vary based on the package size. 60-count bottles are priced at roughly $42 while 120-count packages cost approximately $63.

How should you take Alli?

Alli should be taken within the hour after you’ve eaten a meal with fat. The meal’s calorie content shouldn’t be made up of more than 30% fat. To see success, you need to follow a strict diet, exercise regime, and medication schedule. Each day, your intake of carbohydrates, protein, and fat should be spread proportionately throughout all meals.

How many Alli diet pills do you take a day?

The most Alli capsules you should take per day is 3. They need to be spread out throughout the day with at least 2 hours between each dose. Capsules can be taken with meals that have at least 15 grams of fat.

Is Orlistat and Alli the same thing?

Orlistat is the name of the active ingredient. Alli is the over-the-counter capsule with a 60mg dose. The prescription version of Orlistat is called Xenical. It comes in a 120mg capsule. Both have the same recommended dosage of one capsule with a meal up to three times a day.

328 Alli Reviews

  • I have been taking Alli for one week and have lost 4.5 lbs
    Molly (Verified Purchase)

    I have been taking Alli for one week and have lost 4.5 lbs, coupled with a diet adjustment but have not exercised at all. Have had a few episodes of greasy stool after eating pizza or something with high grease but nothing bad, no uncontrolled bowel problems. No other negative effects either. So far I am loving it. It also motivates you to eat healthier.

    • gettingmybeyonceback

      I have been taking Alli for a week. I have lost3lbs!I eat oatmeal for breakfast(with splenda)spinach salad with grilled chicken for lunch & either grilled salmon or chicken with spinach salad for dnr! desert is normally Activa w/fiber or fat free sherbert & I drink warm green tea and eat lots of strawberries,baby carrots, and grapes through out the day! Good luck everyone! I walk for 30mins e.o day Im reall happy with my progress! And no accidents to date! Alli Rocks!

    • maryanne

      I agree with you. It motivates you to eat healthy or plan to go to restroom. I made the mistake of eating a bologna sandwich with 1 slice ch, is slice bologna and a few Doritos. NASTY!!! LOL Otherwise no side effects.

  • Love it Love it Love it this weight loss plan is for life
    Jill (Verified Purchase)

    This is the third day, and first time I noticed “treatment effects” but nothing unmanageable. Best part is the awareness of a healthy caloric intake and fat grams per meal. It motivates you to follow this diet plan to make the money worthwhile! So far, eating under 1400 cal/day and have lost a pound a day. Yay!

    • latonya


  • Alli Review
    Elisabeth (Verified Purchase)

    I am eating healy(salad,cheerios, and meat) yet I still have greasy stool

    • leslie

      how much salad dressing are you using?

    • linds

      look how much grams of fat are you eatting? you do realize you can only have, about two TABLESPOONS of dressing before you hit the 15 gram of fat mark. And red meat is fatty, try eatting some roasted nuts instead.

    • Anonymous

      maybe the type of meat try just chicken,fish turkey

  • I was having hair loss. No other side effects so far
    Nikki (Verified Purchase)

    Took only one pill last night and already noticed that I was having hair loss. No other side effects so far but I have thin hair to begin with and was not comfortable with the amount of hair loss I experienced with just 1 pill!

    • lulu30xxx

      Impossible to have hairloss from only one tablet. Anyway hairloss is a symptom after dieting very strictly for a long time. In fact what happens is when you restrict your diet your hair stops falling out and when you resume eating again the hair you were due to lose anyway falls out over a week or so, thus seeming like hairloss…No worries necessary

    • latonya

      maybe you were experiencing hair loss before you took the pill. And just noticed it afterwards. I don’t think that could happen only after 1 pill… :)not trying to be mean or rude… just common sense..

    • NYmom

      I used Alli last year and it worked,I lost 23 lbs in 3 months. I stopped take the pills but continued to stay on the low fat diet after my weight loss. I did not take my multivitamin daily as I should have and experienced a dramatic hair loss. Not Alli’s fault, totally my own. If you are going to take it be certain to take your vitamin.

      • gagirl

        thanks because i have been taking alli for two weeks and just took my first vitamin yesterday

      • Ruth

        Hi I read your comment about the need for multivitamins when taking Alli. I also didn’t take a multivitamin and my hair is falling out rapidly. It’s a bit scarey – would you mind telling me if yours returned to normal quickly please.

        • Carolyn

          Last week I was crying in my kitchen because my hair is thinning out and I didn’t know why. Alli is the only big change and I am bummed because I had NO other bad symptoms. I wasn’t taking multi vitamin though. And now I am taking the vitamin but scared to take Alli. I have almost a whole bottle of it!

      • MILLIE1CMR


        • art27

          @MILLIE1CMR – I have done almost every diet out there. Weight watchers is the one that gives long lasting results. It is not a quick fix but it works!! ALLI is a pill/supplement Weight watchers is about changing lifestyle. you can do it!!

        • Brianne

          NO it is not… I am taking alli with weight watchers which as been effective in helping me lose my last few pounds, but weight watchers works AMAZINGLY with no bad side effects. I wouldnt be using alli if i didnt need extra help losing the last 5 pounds.

      • Anonymous

        O boy I used ally four years ago. Went from 170 to 117 in around five months. I was very happy. I did not take the vitamins after I stop taking allI my ha. Fell so much that I was I deprecion and I never realized that it was because did not take the vivitamin.

      • Kelly

        Hair loss comes with shocking the body after a quick weight loss , lack of vitamins and lacking something in your diet, eating less carbs is a big factor in hair loss

    • Anonymous

      I am 5’2 166lbs and need to get to 135. Do you think alli will work for me?

    • Dawn

      I have taken Alli for two months and just started noticing hair breaking and my hair stylist said the shine was gone and noticed other breakage and thining. She swore me to stop taking Alli! I threw it away as soon as I got home…I was totally freaked out as that was the only change I have done.

    • jean

      you are absolutely right. i too have thin hair and the longer i used alli the more my hair fell out until i was afraid i’d end up bald. i finally, through the process of elimination, traced it to alli. i think that if one has the tendency toward thin hair, this will finish the job. just before i tried stopping alli i was so balding i thought i’d have to purchase wigs. in the three days since I stopped alli, my fallout has decreased dramatically.

    • jean

      your experience is not impossible. i know this firsthand, but have difficulty getting this comment accepted because i keep getting the message “duplicate comment,” so this is all i can say, but this problem is not caused by lack of nutritional supplements, because i took them all the while i took alli. you can actually feel the fallout and then find the evidence on the floor.

    • Nancy McGoldrick

      My daughter who is 18, wanted to get on the pill so I purchased it for her and she was taking the pill, following a healthy diet & exercising. She became anemic, & weak, even with taking her vitamins nightly. Advised to stop taking them which she did.

    • Anonymous

      For me, i got a multivitamin and take it before bed. I weugh almost 300 pounds. So what would i rather be, thinning or obese. Ill chose thinning.

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