OPTIFAST® VLCD™ must be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional such as a Pharmacist, Doctor, Specialist or Accredited Practicing Dietitian. Research has shown that having the support and guidance of a healthcare professional will make the program more successful. As a healthcare professional, you can tailor the plan to suit your patients’ specific likes and dislikes, medical conditions, nutritional needs, physical activity levels and lifestyle. If your patient has a co-existing medical condition then you may need to monitor them more closely or even adjust their medication dosage.

It is recommended that once a patient has commenced on the Intensive phase of the OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Program they should be followed up fortnightly for check-ups, weight and waist circumference monitoring, advice and encouragement.

Patients can be classified as low medical risk, or high medical risk when following a VLCD. For all patients, regular monitoring of weight, BMI, waist circumference and blood pressure is recommended during the Intensive phase of the OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Program. Regular blood monitoring is important during the Intensive phase of the OPTIFAST® VLCD™ Program for ‘high risk’ patients because of the risk of electrolyte imbalance.

Definition of risk level for patients following a VLCD

High Medical Risk Patient Low Medical Risk Patient
BMI>27 plus co-morbidities No co-morbidities
BMI>35 BMI<35
Taking prescribed medications during the VLED No prescription medications
Greater than 65 years of age Less than 65 years of age

Medical Monitoring Guidelines for all patients

Assessment Baseline Measures Fortnightly
Weight/BMI #yes #yes
Waist Circumference #yes #yes
Blood Pressure #yes #yes

Medical Monitoring Guidelines for High Risk Patients

Assessment Baseline Measures 6 weeks Completion of Intensive Phase
Electrolytes/ Creatinine #yes If required #yes
Liver function tests #yes If required #yes
Fasting Glucose #yes If required #yes
Cholesterol/ Triglycerides/ HDL #yes If required #yes
Uric acid #yes If required #yes
Full Blood Count #yes If required #yes
Iron Studies #yes If required #yes
Vitamin D #yes If required #yes
Calcium & Parathyroid (in patients on long term anticonvulsants) #yes If required #yes

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