Orlistat is (S)-2-formylamino-4-methyl-pentanoic acid (S)-1-[[(2S, 3S)-3-hexyl-4-oxo-2-oxetanyl] methyl]-dodecyl ester. Its empirical formula is C29H53NO5, and its molecular weight is 495.7. It is a single diastereomeric molecule that contains four chiral centers, with a negative optical rotation in ethanol at 529 nm. The structure is:
Orlistat is a white to off-white crystalline powder. Orlistat is practically insoluble in water, freely soluble in chloroform, and very soluble in methanol and ethanol. Orlistat has no pK within the physiological pH range.
XENICAL is available for oral administration as a turquoise hard-gelatin capsule. The capsule is imprinted with black. Each capsule contains a pellet formulation consisting of 120 mg of the active ingredient, orlistat, as well as the inactive ingredients microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, sodium lauryl sulfate, povidone, and talc. The capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide, and FD&C Blue No. 2 with black printing ink containing pharmaceutical grade shellac, propylene glycol, strong ammonium solution, potassium hydroxide and black iron oxide.