Role of the Healthcare Professional 

Medical monitoring

OPTIFAST VLCD must be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional such as a Pharmacist, Doctor, Specialist or Accredited Practising 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 level 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 Level of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program.

Regular blood monitoring is important during the Intensive level of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program for ‘high risk’ patients because of the risk of electrolyte imbalance. Please see below for the recommended blood tests and medical monitoring during the Intensive Phase of the OPTIFAST VLCD Program.

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 prescribe 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
Waist Circumference
Blood Pressure


Medical Monitoring Guidelines for High Risk Patients

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