Generic Name: cholestyramine (koe le STYE ra meen)Brand Names: Cholestyramine Light, Locholest, Locholest Light, Prevalite, Questran, Questran Light
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 other purposes not listed in this medication guide.What is the most important information I should know about Questran (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.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Questran (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 this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
a thyroid disorder;
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take cholestyramine.FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Taking cholestyramine can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins your body needs while you are nursing a baby. Do not take cholestyramine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
This medication may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using cholestyramine if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Cholestyramine is sometimes taken up to 6 times per day. Follow your doctor's instructions.Take cholestyramine with meals unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Mix the cholestyramine powder with 2 to 6 ounces of water or other non-carbonated beverage. You may also mix the powder with a brothy soup, crushed pineapple, or applesauce. Measure the powder using the scoop provided with your medication. Do not use any other scoop or measuring cup to measure your cholestyramine dose.Drink extra fluids to prevent constipation while you are taking cholestyramine.
It is important to take cholestyramine regularly to get the most benefit.
Cholestyramine is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.Store cholestyramine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include severe stomach pain or constipation.
blood in your urine;
severe stomach pain;
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. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Cholestyramine can make it harder for your body to absorb other medications, such as:
a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);
digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);
a diuretic (water pill);
thyroid hormones such as levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid);
birth control pills or hormone replacement;
seizure medicines such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or
an antibiotic such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, others), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), penicillin (BeePen-VK, Pen-Vee K, Veetids, others), tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with cholestyramine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.