A guide to drinking with Orlistat

If you’ve recently started using Orlistat, you may be wondering if you can still enjoy a Friday evening beer or glass of wine – we’ve put together everything you need to know:

The bottom line

Orlistat doesn’t interact with alcohol, so you don’t need to be concerned about any adverse effects from mixing the two. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be drinking whatever you like, as alcohol can negatively affect your weight loss efforts.


Did you know that a pint of beer can have as many calories as a large slice of pizza? Or that a large glass of white wine can have as many as an ice cream and cone? This is in part due to the nature of alcohol – it contains seven calories per gram, which is more than both carbohydrates and protein, and almost as many as a gram of fat. 

It can help to switch out beer, wine and cider for spirits, as they contain the least amount of calories. vodka, whisky, gin and tequila all come in at around 110 calories per shot. Pairing your favourite spirit with a zero calorie mixer, such as coke zero, can reduce the amount of calories you consume at the pub. Low-alcohol beers also tend to have fewer calories, which are a better option if you do fancy a beer.

Alcohol & willpower

When we have a few too many drinks, our willpower tends to go out of the window, and we give in to the slightest temptation – particularly when it comes to food. A 2017 study found this may be linked to special neurons in the front of the brain, which normally deal with hunger, that are activated during intoxication.

To avoid this, try to spread out your drinking with water – this will keep you hydrated & feeling full, meaning you’ll consume fewer calories from the alcoholic drinks. Plus, you’ll then be far less likely to get drunk, and make regrettable decisions when you’re passing that takeaway on the way home.


Scott McDougall (MPharm) is a clinical pharmacist and in addition to being Cornerstone’s senior in-house pharmacist, is the co-founder of The Independent Pharmacy, one of the UK’s leading independent online pharmacies.


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