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Drug Information For:


Ingredient Name:

CHOLESTYRAMINE (koe-less-TEER-a-meen)

Drug Manufacturer:


Common Uses:

This medicine is a bile acid sequestrant used to lower blood cholesterol levels. It is used along with changes in diet. This medicine is also used to relieve itching caused by partial biliary obstruction. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Before Using This Medicine:

Some medicines or medical conditions may interact with this medicine. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you are also taking leflunomide or mycophenolate. ADDITIONAL MONITORING OF YOUR DOSE OR CONDITION may be needed if you are taking anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), deferasirox, digoxin, digitoxin, diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), estrogens, hormonal contraceptives (eg, birth control pills), penicillins (eg, amoxicillin), phenobarbital, phenylbutazone, phosphate supplements, progestins (eg, medroxyprogesterone), spironolactone, tetracyclines (eg, doxycycline), or thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine). DO NOT START OR STOP any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval. Inform your doctor of any other medical conditions, including heart disease (eg, heart blood vessel problems); constipation; hemorrhoids; stomach or bowel blockage; gallbladder problems; blood, bleeding, or clotting problems; high blood triglyceride levels; poor absorption from the intestinal tract or other intestinal problems; kidney problems; phenylketonuria (PKU); diabetes; underactive thyroid; liver problems; dehydration; low blood volume; allergies; pregnancy; or breast-feeding. Tell your doctor if you are addicted to alcohol. USE OF THIS MEDICINE IS NOT RECOMMENDED if you have a complete blockage of your biliary tract, severe constipation (eg, impacted feces), or high blood chloride levels. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about taking this medicine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. TAKE THIS MEDICINE by mouth at mealtime as directed, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Do NOT take this medicine in its dry form. Always mix with water or other fluids before taking. ADD THE PRESCRIBED AMOUNT OF MEDICINE to 2 to 6 ounces (60 to 180 mL) of water or other non-carbonated liquid. Stir until well mixed (it will not dissolve). After you drink this medicine, rinse the glass with more liquid and drink it to be sure that all medicine is taken. ALTERNATIVELY, THIS MEDICINE MAY BE MIXED with soups (chicken noodle, tomato) or fruits (applesauce, crushed pineapple) that contain plenty of fluid. DO NOT SIP THIS MEDICINE OR HOLD IT IN YOUR MOUTH for a long period of time. This may cause tooth changes such as discoloration, decay, or erosion of enamel. Be sure to use good oral hygiene while you are using this medicine. DRINK SEVERAL GLASSES (8 ounces/240 mL) of water or other liquid daily, unless directed otherwise by your doctor. THIS MEDICINE MAY DECREASE THE ABSORPTION OF OTHER MEDICINES. Take other medicines at least 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after you take this medicine. Check with your doctor if you have any questions about how to take your other medicines along with this medicine. IF YOU ARE ALSO TAKING anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), or thyroid hormones (eg, levothyroxine), ask your doctor how you should take them with this medicine. STORE THIS MEDICINE at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), away from heat, moisture, and light. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. KEEP THIS MEDICINE out of the reach of children and away from pets. IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE, take it as soon as possible. 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.


DO NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE if you have had an allergic reaction to it or if you are allergic to any ingredient in this product. LABORATORY AND/OR MEDICAL TESTS, including triglyceride and cholesterol levels, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Keep all doctor and laboratory appointments while you are taking this medicine. BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY MEDICAL OR DENTAL TREATMENTS, emergency care, or surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine. THIS MEDICINE MAY CAUSE DIZZINESS OR DROWSINESS. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this medicine. Using this medicine alone, with other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks. IF YOU EXPERIENCE CONSTIPATION while taking this medicine, talk to your doctor about increased fiber intake and use of a stool softener to help relieve this side effect. THE COLOR OF THE POWDER may vary from batch to batch. This is normal and does not change the effect. PHENYLKETONURIA (PKU) PATIENTS - Some of these products contain phenylalanine. If you must have a diet that is low in phenylalanine, ask your pharmacist if it is in your product. BEFORE YOU BEGIN TAKING ANY NEW MEDICINE, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. CAUTION IS ADVISED WHEN USING THIS MEDICINE IN THE ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine, especially constipation. CAUTION IS ADVISED WHEN USING THIS MEDICINE IN CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine, especially high blood chloride levels. FOR WOMEN: HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using this medicine. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms). IF YOU BECOME PREGNANT, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. IF YOU ARE OR WILL BE BREAST-FEEDING while you are using this medicine, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible Side Effects:

A SIDE EFFECT that may occur while taking this medicine is constipation. If it continues or is bothersome, check with your doctor. CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience black or bloody stools; irritation of the skin, tongue, or anal area; severe or persistent constipation; severe or persistent nausea; shortness of breath; sluggishness; stomach pain; unusual bruising or bleeding; vomiting. AN ALLERGIC REACTION to this medicine is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your healthcare provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


IF OVERDOSE IS SUSPECTED, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include constipation or feeling of fullness.

Additional Information:

DO NOT SHARE THIS MEDICINE with others for whom it was not prescribed. DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE for other health conditions. IF YOU WILL BE USING THIS MEDICINE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, be sure to obtain necessary refills before your supply runs out. CHECK WITH YOUR PHARMACIST about how to dispose of unused medicine.

Copyright 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


- This information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Be sure to contact your physician, pharmacist or other health care provider for more information about this medication. By searching these web site pages, you agree to our terms and conditions of use.