Colestyramine helps lower your cholesterol level.
Excessive cholesterol in your body can clog up your blood vessels. This can lead to many health problems such as stroke and heart diseases, including heart attack.
Colestyramine is meant to be taken as part of a complete cholesterol management programme that should include exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Colestyramine can help relieve itch in patients with bile duct obstruction.
Colestyramine can also help relieve diarrhoea in patients with small bowel disease.
Take Colestyramine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Colestyramine may be taken with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Mix the powder with at least 150 mL of water or fruit juice. Stir to a uniform consistency before taking. Drink the mixture slowly. Do not hold the mixture in your mouth for prolonged periods as it can cause tooth decay and discolouration. Alternatively, you may also mix the powder with applesauce, pureed food or soup.
Do not take the powder in the dry form. Do not inhale the powder. You must drink plenty of fluids while taking Colestyramine.
Colestyramine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Colestyramine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Colestyramine unless instructed by your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have complete bile duct obstruction as Colestyramine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- phenylketonuria (an inherited genetic condition) since Colestyramine powder contains aspartame.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
For as long as you are taking Colestyramine, you will need to have regular blood tests to monitor your body's response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these blood tests.
Common side effects of Colestyramine include any of the following: constipation, stomach pain, nausea, bloating, wind, loss of appetite and rash or irritation of the skin, tongue and anal area.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual bruising, bleeding of the gums or blood in your stool.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Colestyramine at the same time as other medicines. Colestyramine reduces the effectiveness of most medicines if taken at the same time. If you are taking other medicines, take them 1 hour before or at least 4 hours after you have taken Colestyramine.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- warfarin (blood-thinning medicine)
- thyroid medicines e.g. levothyroxine
- medicines for heart disease or high blood pressure e.g. digoxin, hydrochlorothiazide
- birth control pills that contain oestrogens
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Colestyramine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Long-term treatment with Colestyramine may cause a deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) as well as folic acid. Ask your doctor if it is necessary for you to take vitamin supplements.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.