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What is this medicine?

CHOLESTYRAMINE (koe LESS tir a meen) is used to lower cholesterol in patients who are at risk of heart disease or stroke. This medicine is only for patients whose cholesterol level is not controlled by diet.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • blocked bile duct
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to cholestyramine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast- feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Do not take this medicine in the dry form. It must be mixed with a liquid before swallowing. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Place the powder in a glass or cup. Add between 2 and 6 ounces of fluid. This can be water, milk, pulpy fruit juice, fluid soup, or other liquid. Mix well and drink all of the liquid. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • diuretics
  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills
  • heart medicines such as digoxin or digitoxin
  • penicillin G
  • phenobarbital
  • phenylbutazone
  • phytonadione
  • propranolol
  • tetracycline antibiotics
  • thyroid hormones
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin E
  • warfarin

Take other drugs at least 1 hour before or 4 hours after this medicine, to avoid decreasing their absorption.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your blood fats and other tests will be measured from time to time.

This medicine is only part of a total cholesterol- lowering program. Your health care professional or dietician can suggest a low- cholesterol and low- fat diet that will reduce your risk of getting heart and blood vessel disease. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.

To reduce the chance of getting constipated, drink plenty of water and increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice if you are constipated.

               
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