Welchol

Generic Name: Colesevelam (KOE-le-SEV-e-lam)Brand Name: Welchol

Welchol is used for:

Reducing high cholesterol levels. It may be used alone or with other medicines, in addition to diet and exercise. It is also used along with other medicines to control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Welchol is a bile acid sequestrant. It works by increasing the removal of bile acids from the body. As the body loses bile acids, it replaces them by converting cholesterol from the blood to bile acids. This causes the blood level of cholesterol to decrease.

Do NOT use Welchol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Welchol
  • you have a history of bowel blockage
  • you have very high triglyceride levels or a history of inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) caused by high triglyceride levels

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Welchol :

Some medical conditions may interact with Welchol . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of high triglyceride levels, trouble swallowing, or other intestinal disorders (eg, major intestinal surgery, motility disorders)
  • if you have a vitamin K deficiency or nutrient absorption problems, or if you take warfarin
  • if you have type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Welchol . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines.

Ask your health care provider if Welchol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Welchol :

Use Welchol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Welchol by mouth with plenty of fluids and a meal.
  • If you also take glyburide, birth control pills, phenytoin, or thyroid hormone replacements (eg, levothyroxine), take them at least 4 hours before you take Welchol
  • Continue to take Welchol even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Welchol , take it with a liquid at your next meal. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Welchol .

Important safety information:

  • Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
  • Diabetes patients - Be sure to test your blood sugar regularly as directed by your health care provider.
  • It may take several weeks for Welchol to begin working.
  • If Welchol causes constipation, check with your doctor or pharmacist for ways to lessen this effect.
  • Diabetes patients - Welchol may cause low blood sugar. Low blood sugar may make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also make your heart beat faster; make your vision change; give you a headache, chills, or tremors; or make you more hungry. It is a good idea to carry a reliable source of glucose (eg, tablets or gel) to treat low blood sugar. If this is not available, you should eat or drink a quick source of sugar like table sugar, honey, candy, orange juice, or non-diet soda. This will raise your blood sugar level quickly. Tell your doctor right away if this happens. To prevent low blood sugar, eat meals at the same time each day and do not skip meals.
  • Lab tests, including a lipid profile, may be performed while you use Welchol . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Welchol should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Welchol while you are pregnant. It is not known if Welchol is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Welchol , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Welchol :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Constipation; indigestion; muscle aches; nausea; sore throat; stomach pain or discomfort; weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); choking; difficulty swallowing; severe constipation; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; severe stomach pain with or without nausea and vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Welchol :

Store Welchol at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Welchol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Welchol , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Welchol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Welchol . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Welchol Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Welchol Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Welchol Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • WelChol Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)