, Volume 50, Issue 9, pp 1576-1583

The Effects of Loperamide on Continence Problems and Anorectal Function in Obese Subjects Taking Orlistat

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Continence problems during treatment with orlistat (a lipase inhibitor) are caused when susceptible patients are exposed to increased volumes of loose, fatty stool. Aim: To investigate the dose-response effects of loperamide on continence and anorectal function in subjects susceptible to continence problems on orlistat. Method: Ten obese subjects enterred a randomized controlled, double-blind study of loperamide at placebo, 2, 4, and 6 mg/day in a factorial design. Continence problems during orlistat treatment were self-assessed by patient diary. Anorectal function and continence were assessed by barostat, manometry, and retention testing. Results: Loperamide increased stool consistency with dose (p = 0.07) and this effect reduced continence problems during orlistat treatment (p < 0.05). A bell-shaped dose-response relationship was present with anal sphincter function (p < 0.01) and anorectal sensitivity (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Loperamide has beneficial effects on stool consistency and continence in obese subjects taking orlistat. The effect on stool consistency appeared more important than effects on anorectal function.