Welchol

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|Welchol

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COLESEVELAM (Oral-Local)

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Welchol

Not commercially available in Canada.

Category

  • Antihyperlipidemic

Description

Colesevelam (koh-le-SEV-e-lam) is used to lower high cholesterol levels in the blood. This may help prevent medical problems caused by cholesterol clogging the blood vessels.

Colesevelam works by attaching to certain substances in the intestine. Since colesevelam is not absorbed into the body, these substances also pass out of the body without being absorbed.

This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral
  • Tablets

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For colesevelam, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to colesevelam. Also, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Colesevelam has not been studied in pregnant women. However, colesevelam has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether colesevelam passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of colesevelam in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—This medicine has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of colesevelam. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bowel obstruction or
  • Difficulty swallowing or
  • Major gastrointestinal surgery (recent) or
  • Severe gastrointestinal motility disorders—Colesevelam may make these conditions worse
  • Hypersensitivity

Proper Use of This Medicine

Dosing—Before prescribing medicine for your condition, your doctor will probably try to control your condition by prescribing a personal diet for you. Such a diet may be low in fats, sugars, and/or cholesterol. Many people are able to control their condition by carefully following their doctor"s orders for proper diet and exercise. Medicine is prescribed only when additional help is needed and is effective only when a schedule of diet and exercise is properly followed.

Also, this medicine is less effective if you are greatly overweight. It may be very important for you to go on a reducing diet. However, check with your doctor before going on any diet.

Make certain your health care professional knows if you are on any special diet, such as a low-sodium or low-sugar diet. Most medicines contain more than their active ingredient.

The dose of colesevelam will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of colesevelam. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are taking colesevelam .

  • For high cholesterol:
    • Adults—6 tablets a day. This may be taken as one dose or divided into two doses. The dose should be taken with a meal and liquid.
    • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

Your doctor will want to check your progress at regular visits . This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly to lower your cholesterol levels and to decide if you should continue to take it.

Do not stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor . When you stop taking this medicine, your blood cholesterol levels may increase again. Your doctor may want you to follow a special diet to help prevent this from happening.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common

Congestion; cough; dryness or soreness of throat; hoarseness; muscle aches or pain; trouble in swallowing

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Acid or sour stomach; belching; constipation; indigestion; stomach discomfort, upset, or pain

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 08/14/2000
Revised:

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Typical mistypes for Welchol
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