Colestid is a prescription medication used to lower high cholesterol levels. It contains the active ingredient micronized colestipol hydrochloride. Colestid belongs to a class of drugs called Bile Acid Sequestrants. It works by binding to and removing bile acids from the intestines. Bile acids are normally produced by the liver and help digest fats in the small intestine.
Colestid may be used alone or in combination with other medications. When Colestid is taken orally, it attaches to bile acids in the intestines and forms an insoluble complex, which is then excreted from the body through bowel movements. As a result, the liver needs more cholesterol to make new bile acids, which decreases cholesterol in the bloodstream, particularly LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol. By reducing the levels of cholesterol in the blood, Colestid helps lower the risk of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.
Uses and Dosage
Colestid is typically taken orally in tablet form, with or without food. The tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be crushed, chewed, or broken. Take Colestid exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional, and to follow the specific administration instructions on the medication label.
Typical dosing for Colestid involves a starting dose of 2 grams taken orally once or twice daily. Depending on the individual’s response, the healthcare provider may increase the dose every 1 to 2 months, up to a maximum of 16 grams per day. The medication can be taken all at once or in divided doses throughout the day. Follow the dosing instructions provided by your healthcare professional.
Common Side Effects of Colestid (colestipol hydrochloride):
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Gas or flatulence
- Rectal irritation
Serious Side Effects of Colestid (colestipol hydrochloride):
- Chest pain or pressure
- Severe abdominal pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle or joint pain
- Loss of appetite
Form and Strength
Colestid (colestipol hydrochloride) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 1 g
- Colestid should be used with caution in patients with a history of constipation or bowel obstruction.
- Colestid may interact with certain medications, including thyroid hormone supplements, birth control pills, and vitamins. Patients should talk to their doctor about all medications and supplements they are taking before starting Colestid.
- Colestid may decrease the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, such as fat-soluble vitamins and calcium. Patients taking Colestid should talk to their doctor about the need for supplementation.
- Colestid should not be taken in its dry form, as it may cause inhalation or esophageal distress. Granules and flavored granules should be fully dissolved in a liquid before being taken.
- Colestid may interfere with the absorption of other medications, such as antibiotics and beta-blockers, separate dosing times or adjust the dosing schedule under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
- Colestid may not be recommended for patients with hypertriglyceridemia or extremely elevated levels of cholesterol.
- Colestid should be used with caution in patients with liver or kidney disease.
- Colestid may cause a decrease in vitamin K absorption, which can be a concern for those taking blood thinners.
- Colestid should not be taken by patients who have difficulty swallowing, as it may cause choking or inhalation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can colestipol (Colestid) be cut in half?
You should not cut, crush, or chew the colestipol (Colestid) tablets, because this might affect how the medication works.
Can I stop taking colestipol (Colestid)?
You should not stop taking this medication without first checking with your healthcare provider. If you stop taking this medication, your blood cholesterol levels might go up again and you may be at a greater risk of heart attack and strokes.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
What should I avoid while taking Colestid?
Taking this medicine can make it harder for your body to absorb certain drugs, making them less effective. Take your other medicines at least 1 hour before or 4 hours after you take this medicine.