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Colesevelam Hydrochloride Oral tablet

It is used to lower cholesterol in patients who are at risk of heart disease or stroke

Generic Name: colesevelam

Brand Names: Welchol

What is this medicine?

COLESEVELAM (koh le SEV e lam) 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. It is also used in combination with diet and exercise to help lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.

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

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • constipation or bowel obstruction
  • high triglyceride levels
  • history of pancreatitis caused by high triglyceride levels
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to colesevelam, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with at least 4 ounces (half a glass) of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. Because of the tablet size, it is recommended that children use the oral suspension.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can with your next meal. 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?

  • birth control pills
  • cyclosporine
  • insulin
  • medicines for diabetes like glimepiride, glipizide, and glyburide
  • medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
  • thyroid hormones
  • verapamil
  • vitamins
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your blood sugar and other tests will be measured regularly.

This medicine is only part of a total cholesterol or blood sugar-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.

If you are taking this medicine for diabetes, wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medicine and dosage times.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • breathing problems
  • muscle pain
  • nausea, vomiting
  • severe stomach pain

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • heartburn or indigestion
  • stomach upset

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


Last Updated: September 21, 2010
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