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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Welchol

Generic Name: colesevelam (Pronunciation: KOE le SEV e lam)

What is colesevelam (Welchol)?

Colesevelam is a cholesterol-lowering drug.

Colesevelam lowers "bad" cholesterol in the blood, which is also called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Lowering your LDL cholesterol may reduce your risk of hardened arteries, which can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and circulation problems.

Colesevelam is sometimes used together with another cholesterol-lowering medication such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), or simvastatin (Zocor).

Colesevelam is also used to improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. This medication is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Do not take colesevelam if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

Colesevelam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of colesevelam (Welchol)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using colesevelam and call your doctor at once if you have severe constipation or stomach pain.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild constipation;
  • nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, gas, indigestion;
  • feeling weak or tired;
  • headache;
  • muscle pain; or
  • runny nose, sore throat, flu symptoms.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about colesevelam (Welchol)?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to colesevelam, or if you have a bowel obstruction or if you have ever had pancreatitis caused by high triglycerides.

Before taking colesevelam, tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing, or if you have a history of major stomach or bowel surgery, a vitamin deficiency, or a blockage in your stomach or intestines.

Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Colesevelam will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.

Do not take any other medications within 4 hours before or after you take colesevelam. Colesevelam can make it harder for your body to absorb certain other medications.

Stop using colesevelam and call your doctor at once if you have severe constipation or stomach pain.

Colesevelam is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Do not change the dose or timing of any other cholesterol or diabetes medications without your doctor's advice.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Use the pill finder tool on RxList.



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