Colesevelam oral suspension

Colesevelam oral suspension is a medication that lowers cholesterol if you’re at a high risk of heart disease or stroke. Cholesterol is a type of fat that helps your body perform many important functions. Too much cholesterol in your blood is bad for your health.

What is this medication?

COLESEVELAM (koh le SEV e lam) is used to lower cholesterol in children and adults. It is also used to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. This medicine should be used in combination with diet and exercise

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): WelChol, Welchol Powder


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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

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.
  • Phenylketonuria.
  • 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 medication?

This medicine is mixed in water and taken by mouth. DO NOT take this medicine in the dry form. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Empty the granules into a glass and add 4 to 8 ounces of water, fruit juice, or diet soda. Stir well and drink. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 10 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.


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 medication?

  • Birth control pills.
  • Cyclosporine.
  • Insulin.
  • Medicines for diabetes like glimepiride, glipizide, and glyburide.
  • Medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin.
  • Metformin.
  • Olmesartan.
  • Thyroid hormones.
  • Verapamil.
  • Vitamins.
  • Warfarin.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your healthcare provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.


What should I watch for while using this medication?

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 dietitian 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.

This medicine may cause a decrease in folic acid. You should make sure that you get enough folic acid while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care professional.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

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.

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

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.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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