I'm moving. Like, right now. The amount of time I have available to blog is minimal, so for today I'm going to do a dramatic, FJM-style reading / interpretation / English translation of the side effects listed on the GlaxoSmithKline website for the weight loss drug Alli. Perhaps you've seen the commercials. The company left a few things out of them.

1. what are the side effects of alli?
Most side effects are related to the way you take the product and how much fat you consume when taking alli. Not everyone experiences GI side effects (or "treatment effects"), but they can be manageable when you follow a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet.

We are eager to avoid answering that question. So "What are the side effects?" is answered with, "Well, most of the side effects come from eating fat.
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" We have also euphemistically labeled them "treatment effects" to take away some of the sting.

2. will alli affect my sleeping pattern?
No. alli is non-systemic acting and won't affect the central nervous system. You will not feel the same jitteriness or palpitations from the drug.

This isn't really your first concern when taking a digestive/metabolic drug, but we answered it first because it's the only question we get that doesn't involve a terrifying answer.

3. does taking fiber with your diet help to reduce treatment effects?
There is no conclusive scientific evidence that fiber will reduce the treatment effects of alli, although fiber has many benefits to your body. However, eating a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet will help to manage treatment effects.

Boy, I bet you're really wondering what the "treatment effects" are by now.

4. what about treatment effects?

Alright, we've tapdanced around this for as long as humanly possible.

Treatment effects are bowel changes that are most commonly caused by eating meals with too much fat while using alli capsules.
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That doesn't sound so bad! "Bowel changes" could mean having to go more often or perhaps less often.

Such effects may include oily spotting


Eating fats leads directly to "oily" "spotting." So, in essence you will be a car with no muffler. The fats will bypass your digestive tract entirely and dribble out your ass like a leaky faucet. It will be like Chinese Water Torture for your underwear. In fact we can guarantee that the fat will go from your fork to your boxers in less than 5 minutes.

loose stools

Remember taking solid craps? Yeah, forget about that. With Alli at your side and in your system, it's nothing but mudbutt from now on.

and more frequent stools that may be hard to control.

We want to emphasize that you won't just have to go more often. You literally won't be able to stop it. No pinching-it-for-a-minute-until-I-find-a-bathroom. Just pure, raw power. Your ass will be like Buckingham Fountain. We're trying to downplay this, but I think you get the picture: the first time you take Alli and have a tablespoon of alfredo sauce, the structural integrity of your o-ring is going to be tested and most likely compromised.
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alli works by blocking the absorption of a quarter of the fat in the foods you eat.

You're taking this to keep your body from digesting so much fat. That is your motivation, tubby. Remember that when you are in a public bathroom stall at a Greyhound station cursing a merciless god and re-enacting the Air Battle of Britain with your ass.

This undigested fat passes through the body naturally, and it is not harmful.

"Not harmful." In that it will not cripple you. Because, you know, explosive and intermittent diarrhea isn't technically harmful.
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It just really blows. A lot.

In fact, you may recognize it in the toilet as something that looks like the oil on top of a pizza.

This is getting really fucking gross, isn't it? Are you sure you want to take this? We're telling you – explicitly telling you – that you are going to make oil and vinegar dressing with your ass. And if you remember back a few sentences, you're going to be doing it frequently and without warning. So when you make an ill-advised decision to study the contents of the bowl after one of your 15 daily thunderbutt sessions, don't be surprised to see some floating oil. Yep.

You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.

OK, so, you're an adult. And you just explosively shat yourself in public. But, uh, if you wear dark pants no one will notice. Never mind the fact that you will smell like a rendering plant. Your friends and co-workers will say "Hmm. It sure does sound and smell like Barb just shit her pants, but looking at her dark slacks I see no visual evidence." You'll be off the hook.

Also, if you end up needing to use your "backup clothes" at work, GlaxoSmithKline accepts no responsibility for, and makes no suggestions regarding, how you are supposed to get the shit-doused clothes home.

You may not usually get gassy, but it's a possibility when you take alli. The bathroom is really the best place to go when that happens.

Holy balls, you are going to fart like a motherfucker. If you can make it to the bathroom it may spare whoever sits next to you at work the wrath of your Ass Chernobyl. Come to think of it, if you take Alli it might be wise to work, eat, and sleep in the bathroom. It's just easier that way.

Eating a low-fat diet that consists of 15 grams of fat per meal on average can lower the chance of experiencing these treatment effects. Additionally, the alli program can help you reduce the likelihood of having treatment effects.

Look, this stuff is going to fuck you up but good. That said, you stand a half-decent chance – something like 30% – of reducing your need to have bathroom carpet-bombing missions if you eat right. 15 grams per meal isn't a lot. But it's what you can have. 16 grams and you will shit like a geyser. 15 grams. No more.

In closing, Alli forces you to eat less fat with vicious negative reinforcement. As a pharmaceutical it doesn't really make you thinner. It just makes you have violent assplosions every time you eat something that isn't good for you. It is the guardian angel on your shoulder. By "angel" we mean "bastard" and by "shoulder" we mean Lower GI tract. Because really, who wants to waste time eating good food and enjoying life when you could be power-shitting your way into a smaller dress size?



    My chortles turned to chuckles which became audible giggles until I hit the very last phrase:

    …when you could be power-shitting your way into a smaller dress size?

    And then I just screamed with laughter. I'm taking the rest of the day off…

  • And let's just do a bit of math here, shall we? If you follow their guidelines, and limit yourself to 45 grams of fat per day, Alli will block the absorption of 11.25 grams of that fat. At 9 calories per gram, you're saving yourself a whopping 101.25 calories per day! The caloric savings of taking the stairs instead of the elevator! You could lose one pound every 35 days at that rate! Woo hoo! Assplosions all around!

  • I seem to recall a similar thing when some 'non-fat' fat replacement was released for use in foods a while ago. I can't remember the name of it, but I do remember almost driving off the road in tears of laughter as my teenage son and I explored the idea of airline pilots experiencing the listed side effects, which seem remarkably similar, but were expressed with a delicacy rarely encountered ion this modern age. I guess you had to be there.

  • What a godsend you are Ed. With oh only about 105 things on your plate right now you still make time to write a post for us, and a damn good one at that.

  • O.K., which is more convienient way to lose weight:
    a) eat right and excercise.
    b) turn your asshole into a soft- serve machine.

  • JohnR, the product is Olestra and it caused anal leakage. My wife made the mistake of buying some low-fat chocolate with Olestra in it and she sharted herself.

  • JohnR, the product was called Olestra, or Olean, and the side effect was dubbed "anal leakage" by the masses. That made it widely unpopular, even though you'd have to consume a lot of it to experience something that bad.

    So where is it now? According to Wikipedia, Olestra "is currently used as a base for deck stains and a lubricant for small power tools, and there are plans to use it on larger machinery."

  • But Comrade X, they recommend you eat less _while_ taking the pill, and side effects will make you run to the bathroom frequently. See, the pill works!

    This seems like a good case study for causation/correlation fallicies…

    Have fun moving Ed!

  • Okay, wait – Alli causes weight loss by diverting consumed fat directly out your asshole instead of bothering with the entire pesky digestive system. But the "treatment effects" of Alli are such that you are really much better off if you don't eat the fat to start with.

    I think what we have here is GSK's version of Antabuse. Another victory for revulsion – er, I mean aversion – therapy.

  • Holy loose stools, that was funny. Thank you, Ed. I may be far from my beloved swamp, trying to eke out a crust so I can continue paying rent and my fucking pointless yet exhorbitantly expensive health insurance, but you made my night.

  • OK, there some funny writers on teh intertoobs but if you can reduce me tears when your time for writing is "minimal," I'm a little concerned about what will happen when you've had time to sit down and hone in on subject.

  • Sounds just like the good old days with Olestra chips and watching tubby idjits sh*t their brains out after chomping down a fill bag of chips without knowing the side effects…

  • I had to laugh silently, as my poor sick husband is sleeping. But I was doing a lot of heavy breathing and my eyes experienced significant leakage: Do you think I can lose any weight that way?

  • Olestra is still for sale as a fat replacement in potato chips and still tastes fantastic. See Fat Free Pringles and Lays "Light" brand. If you read the whole story, the claims of what became popularly known as "anal leakage" were extraordinarily rare to the point that they were not significantly above placebo. In fact, so rare were the actual side effects that the FDA eventually lifted the requirements to have a warning on the label. It was a case of being marketed to the public too soon and getting a bad first impression. If they would have waited for more studies to get a better picture of the side effects, it might be a lot more popular than it is.

    And I can say as a frequenter of Lays Light chips that Olestra/Olean fried chips have never made my bowel movements any different.

    On the other hand, my wife tried Alli and holy hell do those "oily spots" stick around. I mean like four flushes later and it's still there! She finally stopped taking it after realizing it wasn't doing anything except making her uncomfortable.

  • Of course, one might gain weight by overcompensating – food wise – for the emotional insecurity of becoming a walking, breathing liquid-shit factory. Sometimes I am thankful I cannot afford health insurance.

    Have a nice move, Ed. Say hi to Loco's for me. The amazing chicken wings there will give you ass-blasters without a prescription. But it is worth it and you'll come back for more.

  • "….Remember that when you are in a public bathroom stall at a Greyhound station cursing a merciless god and re-enacting the Air Battle of Britain with your ass."

    Ha ha hya ha ha…it's encouraging to cop a laugh when there's so much fascism in the air. Thanks.

  • According to Wikipedia, Olestra “is currently used as a base for deck stains and a lubricant for small power tools, and there are plans to use it on larger machinery.”

    I bet it's the Space Shuttle. Nothing on Earth has a bigger explosion coming out of its ass.

  • Brilliant post. Five years ago I suffered a collapsed lung…I think you may have caused a relapse. (Good thing I have universal healthcare!)

    Thanks, and good luck moving.

  • Not only will you lose the calories from the fat that passes through unmetabolised, but every minute you are in the bathroom is a minute you aren't likely to be shoving food of ANY kind into your mouth. Unless you have a really strong stomache, that is.

  • I have to agree…this is the BEST thing I've read to date. I had to share the link with my husband as I was laughing too hard to explain it.

  • HAhahahahaa.

    Oh, man. Poop jokes/posts never stop being funny, do they?

    I hope the settling in/unpacking/etc is going well.

  • The universal rate of winner of these weight loss plans which are incessantly contending with each other is more or less the one. And the most funny part is that these programmes all fail at the one vault in cattiness of making really tall demands. This happens because the torso gets accustomed to the grimness through which it is order and corrects itself to the new routine and the metabolic process slows down. You have to be brainier than nature to be able to prank the body into turning a loss weight. Without pursuing this step then you will perpetually curiosity why you cannot lose weight unit.

  • Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  • I am crying. I am laughing and crying and my husband is staring but holy balls!

    Please let me say also that NPF as well as your other blog posts are fabulous discussion topics with my colleagues (we teach high school, so true discussions that don't involve a Polyvision board, long pauses to encourage speaking, and me saying "stop touching him" at least twice are, needless to say, fanfuckingtabulous).

  • Alright, let me just say that I was not a complete lard ass, BUT I did try the alli thing. I have a self-control problem. I can eat right and exercise but when I see a: piece of cake/chocolate/thai food/sushi/etc. I have a hard time saying no. Taking alli was like someone holding a gun to my head to force me to eat right. There was no way I was going to cheat on a diet if it meant I would shit myself.
    Only once did I give in and have a spoonful of peanut butter. The next day, my second day at a new job, I was talking to my new boss when I felt a distinct and unpleasant gurgle. Mid-sentence I turned and ran to the bathroom. I made it just in time to squirt what looked, and smelled, like straight fish oil out my ass. I did that for two days in a row. I completely destroyed several pairs of underwear and a decent pair of jeans. I did not cheat again. But I looked like a nut running to the bathroom every five minutes to fart the most noxious and loud assplosions for the next month.
    Lesson learned? Being thin is worth a lot, even finding your own damn will power. (Seriously, nothing tastes as good as being thin!) And even though being fat is worse than SHORT term loss of bowel control, best to skip that if you can.
    Thank goodness my new boss had a really sick sense of humor. Turns out, I fit right in.

  • Uh oh. Here is a very similar blog post that I read a couple of years ago when Alii came out.. I haven't read yours yet Ed, but intend to later tonight. How was LOL, so I fully expect yours to be LOL ROFL.

    Compare and contrast, people! :)

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