Welchol (Colesevelam)

Welchol is a cholesterol-lowering drug that lowers the “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which is also called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Along with diet and exercise, Welchol lowers LDL to reduce the risk of hardened arteries, which can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and circulation problems. Welchol is also used to improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.

How to take

Children 10 to 17 years are only recommended oral suspension as one 3.75-gram packet once daily with meals, or one 1.875-gram packet twice a day with meals.

  • Take with a meal and plenty of liquid. It can be taken at the same time as other cholesterol-lowering medicine known as statins.
  • Prepare the oral suspension by emptying the contents of a packet into a glass or cup and add ½ to 1 cup of water. Stir the mixture well and drink right away.

Avoid eating foods that contain a high amount of cholesterol and fat to ensure the maximum cholesterol lowering results.

If you miss a dose, take it with a liquid at your next meal. If it almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the regular dose schedule. DO NOT TAKE TWO DOSES AT ONE TIME.

Tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications before starting Welchol. Let the doctor know the complete medical history of the patient, especially diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis, vitamin K deficiency, thyroid problems, liver or kidney disorders, trouble swallowing, or stomach or intestinal problems.

Possible side effects

  • Side effects may include: abdominal pain, accidental injury, back pain, constipation, diarrhea, flu syndrome, gas, headache, infection, nausea, runny nose, sinus pain, upset stomach, indigestion, muscle aches, weakness.
  • Welchol may also cause low blood sugar, which can make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also cause rapid heartbeat, vision changes, headache, chills, or tremors; or increased appetite.
  • Welchol may cause constipation and should be used with caution if you have stomach or intestinal problems, or if you have had major stomach or intestinal surgery. Stop taking and call doctor if severe abdominal pain or severe constipation occurs.
  • Stop taking if symptoms of acute pancreastitis take place. These symptoms may include severe abdominal pain with or without nausea and vomiting.

Contact your doctor if any of these symptoms occur.