Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has asked pharmacists to warm patients about the unpleasant side effects that may occur with a potential over- the-counter diet drug. The drug works by preventing fat from being absorbed by the body, a process that can cause oily stools, excess gas and rectal discharge.
U.S. regulators are considering Glaxo's application to sell a low-dose version of prescription medicine Xenical at retail pharmacies.
GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Brian Jones said the company is educating pharmacists to let patients know they must follow a low-fat diet and exercise to avoid these side effects. He said if a person who buys the drug keeps to a low-fat diet, that person won't notice them. But if the person continues with a high-fat diet the effects are likely to emerge.
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