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Generic Name:

colestipol, Oral suspension

All Brands

  • Colestid
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for colestipol

Oral suspension
1

Colestipol is used to decrease high cholesterol levels. Specifically, it lowers the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol in your body.

2

This drug comes in the form of an oral tablet that you take by mouth. It’s also available in granules. These are mixed with fluids to make an oral suspension.

3

Colestipol is available as a brand-name drug called Colestid. It’s also available as a generic drug.

4

Common side effects of this drug include constipation, stomach pain and cramping, heartburn, and diarrhea or loose stools.

5

Colestipol interferes with the absorption of fat from your digestive tract. You may not be able to absorb folic acid and certain vitamins (Vitamin A, D, and K) as well.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Vitamin absorption

Colestipol interferes with absorption of fat from your digestive tract. You may not be able to absorb folic acid and certain vitamins (Vitamin A, D, and K) as well.

Bleeding risk

This drug may increase your risk for bleeding. Your doctor may give you vitamin K to help prevent bleeding.

Constipation

Colestipol may cause or worsen constipation. Your doctor may increase your dose more slowly to reduce this your risk.

What is colestipol?

Colestipol is a prescription drug. It’s available in these forms: oral tablet and granules for oral suspension.

Colestipol is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. Talk to your doctor to see if the generic version will work for you.

Colestipol may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications to manage your high cholesterol.

Why it's used

Colestipol is used to decrease high cholesterol levels. Specifically, it lowers the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol in your body.

How it works

Colestipol belongs to a class of drugs called bile acid sequestrants. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Colestipol belongs to a class of drugs called bile acid sequestrants. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Colestipol combines with bile acids in your digestive tract and removes them through your stool. Your body responds to this by making more bile acids, which uses up cholesterol.  This means that less cholesterol is available to enter your bloodstream. This causes lower cholesterol levels.

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SECTION 2 of 5

colestipol Side Effects

Oral suspension

Most Common Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects that can occur with use of colestipol include:

  • constipation

  • stomach pain and cramping

  • heartburn

  • diarrhea or loose stools

  • nausea and vomiting

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • blood in your stool

  • blockage of your esophagus (esophageal obstruction). Symptoms can include:

    • trouble swallowing
    • pressure or discomfort in your throat
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug may cause constipation. Ask your doctor how to prevent this. Following these tips can also decrease constipation:

  • increase your fluid intake
  • eat foods high in fiber
  • use a stool softener medication

Colestid doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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colestipol May Interact with Other Medications

Oral suspension

Colestipol can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Heart drugs

Colestipol may reduce how well your body absorbs heart and blood pressure drugs. This means that your blood pressure or heart rate may not be as well controlled.

These drugs include:

  • digoxin
  • propranolol
  • chlorothiazide

Organ transplant prevention of rejection drugs

Colestipol can reduce how well organ transplant drugs work. This may increase your risk for organ rejection.

These drugs include:

  • mycophenolate

Other drugs

Colestipol can reduce how well other oral medicines are absorbed by your body. You should take other medications at least one hour before or four hours after taking colestipol.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Colestipol warnings
high triglycerides
People with high triglycerides

Colestipol can increase your triglycerides, a type of cholesterol. If your triglycerides are too high, then this drug may not be right for you.

phenylketonuria
People with phenylketonuria (PKU)

Flavored colestipol granules contain 18.2 mg of phenylalanine per 7.5- gram dose. Colestipol tablets and unflavored colestipol granules don’t contain phenylalanine.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t assigned a pregnancy category to colestipol. It’s not expected to cause harm to the fetus when used at recommended doses. This is because colestipol stays in your digestive tract and very little is able to reach the bloodstream. However, this drug may reduce the absorption of vitamins needed during pregnancy.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Colestipol should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Colestipol isn’t taken up into the body and doesn’t pass into breast milk. However, babies who are breastfed may not get the vitamins they need if this drug causes low vitamin levels in their mothers.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

for children
For children

Colestipol hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children under the age of 18 years.

allergies
Allergies

Colestipol can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • skin rash
  • hives
  • swelling of the skin

Call your doctor right away if you have these symptoms.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take colestipol (Dosage)

Oral suspension

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

High cholesterol

Brand: Colestid

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 1 g
Form: Granules for oral suspension (nonflavored)
Strengths: 5 g
Form: Granules for oral suspension (flavored)
Strengths: 7.5 g
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • Oral tablets: The starting dose is 2 g taken by mouth once or twice a day. Your doctor may increase your dose up to 16 g per day taken once or twice a day.
  • Oral suspension (granules): For colestipol, one dose is 1 packet or 1 level teaspoon. For flavored colestipol, one dose is 1 packet or 1 level scoopful. The starting dose is one dose (packet) taken by mouth once or twice a day. Your doctor may increase your dose up to 6 doses (packets) per day taken once or twice a day.
    • Mix the granules with at least 3 ounces of water or other beverage, soup, hot or cold cereal, applesauce, or pulpy fruit (such as crushed pineapple or pears).
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Colestipol hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children under the age of 18 years.

Special considerations

People who currently have constipation: Your doctor will increase your dose more slowly to make sure your constipation doesn’t get worse

Warnings

The oral suspension granules should always be mixed with water or other fluids before taking your dose. If you take it in its dry form, you may accidentally inhale it or irritate your throat.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Colestipol comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If You Stop Taking the Drug or Don’t Take It At All

Your cholesterol level may rise. If your cholesterol is high and not controlled for a long time, this can lead to heart disease.

If You Miss Doses or Don’t Take the Drug on Schedule

Your medication may not work as well.

If You Take Too Much

You could develop severe constipation that could block your digestive tract. If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local Poison Control Center, or go to the nearest emergency room.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

You may not feel any different when taking this medication. If this drug is working, your cholesterol should be lower. Your doctor will monitor your cholesterol levels to make sure the drug is working for you.

Colestipol is a long-term drug treatment.

Don’t cut, crush, or chew Colestipol oral tablets

The tablets must be swallowed whole and taken one at a time.

Store at room temperature from 68–77°F (20–25°C)

Keep it away from high temperatures.

Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Self-management

Mix the granules with at least 3 ounces of water or other beverage.

Clinical monitoring

You’ll need to have your cholesterol levels monitored while you take colestipol. This will help make sure you’re meeting your target cholesterol goals set by your doctor. It will also tell if your medication is working.

Your diet

Colestipol interferes with absorption of fat from your digestive tract. Your body may not be able to absorb folic acid and certain vitamins (Vitamin A, D, and K) as well.

Your doctor may suggest that you eat a healthy diet to help lower your cholesterol. Ask your doctor or nutritionist about this type of diet.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does colestipol Cost?

Oral suspension

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Lowest price for colestipol

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Target (CVS) $29.02
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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for colestipol on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for colestipol on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on August 25, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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