Welchol (colesevelam) is a prescription drug that’s used to manage high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. It comes as a tablet and a powder that’s dissolved into liquid. It’s usually taken once or twice per day.

Welchol is used in combination with diet and exercise to:

It may also be used to lower LDL cholesterol in some children ages 10–17 years old with a genetic form of high cholesterol.

This medication is also available in generic form. Generic medications have the same active ingredient as brand-name drugs but usually cost less.

The active ingredient in Welchol is colesevelam. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

Welchol belongs to a group of drugs called bile acid sequestrants. This article describes the dosages of Welchol, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Welchol, see this in-depth article.

The table below highlights the basics of Welchol’s standard dosage schedule.

ConditionDosage for 625-milligram (mg) tabletsDosage for 3.75-gram (g) packets
type 2 diabetes• 6 tablets once per day, or
• 3 tablets twice per day
• contents of 1 packet once per day
high cholesterol• 6 tablets once per day, or
• 3 tablets twice per day
• contents of 1 packet once per day

Keep reading for more details about Welchol’s dosage instructions and administration.

What are Welchol’s forms?

Welchol comes in two forms:

  • a tablet you swallow
  • a powder you mix with liquid to make a suspension you drink

What strengths does Welchol come in?

Welchol comes in two strengths:

  • 625-mg tablet
  • 3.75-g powder packet

What are the usual dosages of Welchol in adults?

Before you start Welchol, your doctor may order a blood test to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They may not prescribe this drug if your triglyceride levels are too high.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosing for type 2 diabetes

The recommended dosage for type 2 diabetes is 3.75 g per day. Your doctor may have you take tablets once or twice per day, or the contents of one packet once per day (see the table above).

Dosing for high cholesterol

The recommended dosage for high cholesterol is 3.75 g per day. Your doctor may have you take tablets once or twice per day, or the contents of one packet once per day. For more information, see the table above or talk with your doctor.

What’s the dosage of Welchol for children?

Welchol can be used to lower LDL cholesterol in children ages 10 years and older. Female children can take Welchol only after they have started their period. (In this article, we use the term “female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For more information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.)

The recommended Welchol dosage for children is 3.75 g per day. Because Welchol tablets are large, the manufacturer recommends that children take Welchol powder packets instead of tablets.

Is Welchol used long term?

Yes, Welchol is usually used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine it’s safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Welchol’s dosage.

What is Welchol’s dosage for treating diarrhea?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Welchol to treat diarrhea. Because of this, there is no standard or approved Welchol dosage for treating this condition.

However, some doctors may prescribe Welchol off-label to treat certain kinds of diarrhea, including bile salt diarrhea. (Off-label means a drug is used to treat a condition other than those it’s approved for.)

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about Welchol’s dosage for diarrhea treatment.

Can I mix Welchol powder with a liquid other than water?

Yes, you can mix Welchol powder packets with 8 ounces (oz) of water, fruit juice, or diet soda to make a suspension for drinking.

Welchol is available as both a tablet and a powder for making a liquid suspension. How you take it depends on the form you’re prescribed.

Welchol tablet

Welchol tablets may be taken once daily or twice daily. Your doctor may prescribe six tablets to be taken once daily or three tablets to be taken twice daily.

Take Welchol tablets with food and swallow them with liquid. You should not chew, crush, or split these tablets. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also ask to have Welchol prescribed as a powder for making a liquid suspension.

Welchol powder for liquid suspension

Follow these instructions for preparing Welchol liquid suspension from the powder packets:

  1. Empty the contents of one packet into a cup or glass.
  2. Add 1 cup (8 oz) of water, diet soda, or fruit juice.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Drink the suspension with a meal.

Do not take Welchol powder in its dry form without mixing it with liquid.

For information on Welchol expiration, storage, and disposal, see this article.

Accessible drug containers and labels

If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print or use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Welchol in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.

If you miss a Welchol dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then take your next dose at the scheduled time. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Welchol on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Do not take more Welchol than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to serious side effects.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms caused by a Welchol overdose can include stomach issues, such as constipation.

What to do in case you take too much Welchol

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Welchol. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Welchol for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of Welchol without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Welchol exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask:

  • How long does it take Welchol to work?
  • Can I take my daily vitamins at the same time as Welchol?
  • Should my dosage change if Welchol is not working well enough for me?

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Q:

Can I take Welchol at the same time as my other medications?

Anonymous

A:

Not all of them. Welchol can prevent your body from absorbing other medications, decreasing their effectiveness. Because of this, it’s advisable to take other medications at least 4 hours before taking Welchol.

Statin drugs, which are used to lower cholesterol, may be taken at the same time as Welchol. These include:

Talk with your pharmacist or doctor if you have questions about the best time to take Welchol.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
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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 another 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.