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All about: Welchol

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Generic Name: Colesevelam (KOH-leh-SEV-eh-lam)
Brand Name: Welchol

Welchol is used for:

Reducing high cholesterol levels. It may be used alone or with other medications, in addition to diet and exercise.

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 bowel blockage

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 trouble swallowing or other intestinal disorders (eg, motility disorders, major intestinal surgery)
  • if you have a vitamin K deficiency

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Welchol . However, no specific interactions with Welchol are known at this time.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 be used with extreme caution 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:

Accidental injury; back pain; constipation; diarrhea; flu-like symptoms; gas; headache; indigestion; infection; muscle aches; nausea; pain; runny nose; 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).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or 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/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Welchol :

Store Welchol at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container. 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.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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