The FDA, in its ongoing safety review of weight-loss product orlistat (marketed as Alli and Xenical), now advises:
Between 1999 and October 2008, 32 reports of serious liver injury, including 6 cases of liver failure, in patients using orlistat were submitted to FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System. Thirty of the 32 reports occurred outside the United States. The most commonly reported adverse events described in the 32 reports of serious liver injury were jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), weakness, and abdominal pain. Hospitalization was reported in 27 of the 32 cases.
In addition to the 32 reported cases, this issue was discussed at the CDER Drug Safety Oversight Board in April 2009, and FDA is reviewing other data on suspected cases of liver injury submitted by the manufacturers of orlistat. FDA's analysis of these data is ongoing and no definite association between liver injury and orlistat has been established at this time.