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colesevelam (cont.)

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking colesevelam (Welchol)?

You should not use colesevelam if you are allergic to it, or if you have a bowel obstruction or if you have ever had pancreatitis caused by high triglycerides.

To make sure you can safely take colesevelam, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • trouble swallowing;
  • a stomach, intestinal, or digestive disorder;
  • a history of major stomach or bowel surgery; or
  • if you have a vitamin A, D, E, or K deficiency.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Taking colesevelam can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins. These vitamins are important if you are nursing a baby. Do not take colesevelam without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Colesevelam should not be given to a child younger than 10 years old, or to a girl who has not yet started having menstrual periods.

The liquid form may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of colesevelam if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I take colesevelam (Welchol)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medicine with a meal and a full glass of water or other liquid.

You may have to take several tablets at a time each time you take colesevelam. Follow your doctor's instructions. Tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing the tablet whole.

To use the colesevelam powder, empty 1 packet into 4 to 8 ounces of water, fruit juice, or a soft drink. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

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.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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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