Xenical and Alli lawsuits are expected as the number of liver damage cases related to these drugs increases. In late August, the FDA publicly noted that its Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) has received reports of 32 individuals who suffered liver damage after taking Xenical. Alli is an over-the-counter, lower-dose version of Xenical (a prescription drug), and both Xenical and Alli lawsuits have been considered as a means of obtaining compensation for injured patients.

Lawsuits against Roche and GlaxoSmithKline

The CDER reported that 27 patients who had been prescribed Xenical were hospitalized for liver problems, and six suffered liver failure. Xenical and Alli have the same active ingredient — orlistat — and Xenical/Alli plaintiffs’ lawyers have been asking for more information from the CDER and from the makers of the two drugs, Roche Holdings (Xenical) and GlaxoSmithKline (Alli).

In fact, orlistat was on a June 2009 list of drugs being investigated by the FDA for possible safety problems. Orlistat was described as having a ‘Potential Signal of Serious Risk’ of liver toxicity, based on the CDER reports and other data.  Before Alli was approved by the FDA in 2007, the respected consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen called the release of over-the-counter orlistat (Alli) “a dangerous mistake” and “the height of recklessness.”

Orlistat Side Effects

Orlistat is the most widely prescribed obesity drug in the world, available throughout Europe, the U.S., Australia, and elsewhere. The Xenical dosage of orlistat is 120 milligrams; the Alli dosage is half that. Orlistat works by blocking the body’s absorption of fat, thus reducing a user’s calorie intake.

The commonly experienced gastrointestinal side effects of orlistat (i.e., Xenical and Alli) are well known and rather unpleasant:

  • an oily discharge from the anus
  • loose stools (diarrhea)
  • intestinal gas
  • hard-to-control bowel movements
  • more frequent bowel movements

In fact, some users have nicknamed Alli “diarrhea in a bottle.” However, these side effects don’t rise to the level of liver damage, and it is not known how Alli or Xenical could cause liver injuries.

Find Out Whether a Xenical or Alli Lawsuit Is Right for You

Individuals who have suffered Xenical liver damage, Alli liver damage or another serious side effect of Xenical or Alli may benefit from a lawsuit. If this has happened to you, discuss your concerns with an experienced product liability attorney at Bernstein Liebhard to determine whether a Xenical/Alli lawsuit is an appropriate step to take.

Published November 17, 2011 by