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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Cholestyramine Light, Prevalite, Prevalite Packets, Questran, Questran Light, Questran Light Packets, Questran Packets

Generic Name: cholestyramine (Pronunciation: koe le STYE ra meen)

What is cholestyramine (Cholestyramine Light, Prevalite, Prevalite Packets, Questran, Questran Light, Questran Light Packets, Questran Packets)?

Cholestyramine helps reduce cholesterol (fatty acids) in the blood. High cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis (clogged arteries).

Cholestyramine is used to lower high levels of cholesterol in the blood, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ("bad" cholesterol).

Cholestyramine powder is also used to treat itching caused by a blockage in the bile ducts of the gallbladder.

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

What are the possible side effects of cholestyramine?

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.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • blood in your urine;
  • severe stomach pain;
  • ongoing constipation;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools; or
  • easy bruising or bleeding.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild constipation, diarrhea;
  • stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, weight changes;
  • bloating or gas;
  • hiccups or a sour taste in your mouth;
  • skin rash or itching;
  • irritation of your tongue;
  • itching or irritation around your rectal area;
  • muscle or joint pain; or
  • dizziness, spinning sensation; ringing in your ears.

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 cholestyramine?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to cholestyramine, or if you have a blockage in your stomach or intestines.

Before taking cholestyramine, tell your doctor if you have a thyroid disorder, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, or chronic constipation.

Avoid taking other medications at the same time you take cholestyramine. Wait at least 4 to 6 hours after taking cholestyramine before you take any other medications.

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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