Using of Welchol

Brand Name(s): Welchol

Generic Name Colesevelam

What are colesevelam tablets?

COLESEVELAM (Welchol®) absorbs and combines with bile acids, which increases removal of cholesterol from the body through the stool. It lowers bad cholesterol for patients who are at risk of getting heart disease or a stroke. This medicine is only for patients whose cholesterol level is not controlled by diet. It is not a cure. Generic colesevelam tablets are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I take colesevelam?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bleeding problems
  • constipation
  • difficulty swallowing
  • gall bladder disease
  • hemorrhoids
  • recent surgery
  • stomach problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to colesevelam, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

How should I take this medicine?

Take colesevelam tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take the tablets with liquid and a meal. Swallow one tablet at a time whole with a drink of water; do not cut, crush or chew the tablets. Drink a total of at least 4 ounces (half a glass) of water with each dose of colesevelam. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you are taking colesevelam twice a day and miss the first dose, you can take the total daily dose with the next meal. If you miss an entire days dose of colesevelam, do not take double or extra doses the next day. Take only your normal dose for that day.

What drug(s) may interact with colesevelam?

  • ezetemibe
  • ursodiol
  • verapamil
  • vitamin K products or phytonadione

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking colesevelam?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • bloody or black, tarry stools
  • severe stomach pain with nausea and vomiting

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

  • constipation
  • heartburn or indigestion
  • stomach upset

What should I watch for while taking colesevelam?

Colesevelam will not cure your condition, but taken regularly it will help lower your cholesterol level. Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Do not stop taking colesevelam, except on your prescriber's advice.

Colesevelam is only part of a total cholesterol-lowering program. Your physician 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.

Drink plenty of water while you are taking colesevelam, to reduce the chance of getting constipated. Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for advice if you are constipated.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

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

(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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