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Welchol is a prescription drug used to treat high cholesterol. It is an effective, safe, and convenient way to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels while at the same time increasing good cholesterol (HDL). It contains an active ingredient called Colesevelam. Colesevelam is part of a class of drugs known as bile acid sequestrants that work by trapping dietary bile acids in the intestine, preventing them from being absorbed into the body.
Welchol medication is used as an adjunct to diet and exercise. It is the only medication with a single active ingredient that has been proven to lower both high blood sugar, known as the A1C, and LDL-C levels in people with type 2 diabetes. This is crucial in preventing complications associated with high blood sugar levels such as kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper management of diabetes also lessens the risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.
Uses and Dosage
Welchol is available in tablet form to be taken orally, typically 1 to 2 times daily or as instructed by your doctor. To prevent stomach discomfort, take Welchol tablets with a meal. The medication is usually prescribed once or twice daily; follow your doctor's instructions. Additionally, make sure to take other medications as instructed by your doctor, and leave at least 4 hours between taking your colesevelam dose and any other medication. If you are unsure when to take your medications, consult with your pharmacist.
The dosage for Welchol (colesevelam) can vary depending on the condition being treated. For high cholesterol or hyperlipidemia, the typical dosage is 3.75 g per day, which can be achieved by taking six 625-mg tablets once per day or three 625-mg tablets twice per day.
For type 2 diabetes, the dosage is six tablets once daily or three tablets twice daily. However, the recommended dose may vary depending on individual circumstances, so follow your doctor's advice.
Common Side Effects of Welchol (Colesevelam):
- Flu-like symptoms
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Upset stomach
Serious Side Effects of Welchol (Colesevelam):
- Easy bruising
- Severe abdominal pain
- Trouble swallowing
- Unusual bleeding
Form and Strength
Welchol (Colesevelam) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 625 mg
- 625 mg
- Use caution in patients with a history of bowel obstruction.
- Welchol is to use it with caution in patients who are susceptible to fat-soluble vitamin deficiency, as it is a bile acid sequestrant that may affect the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
- Use caution in patients with a history of hypertriglyceridemia-induced pancreatitis.
- Welchol may decrease absorption of certain medications, so it should be taken at least 4 hours before or after other medications.
- Welchol may decrease absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, so patients may need to take a multivitamin containing fat-soluble vitamins or supplements separately from Welchol.
- Use with caution in patients with a history of major gastrointestinal (GI) tract surgery or when co-administered with a treatment that may alter bowel motility. Discuss all potential cautions and risks with a healthcare provider before starting Welchol.
- Bile acid sequestrants like Welchol may decrease the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, so caution should be used in patients who are susceptible to fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies.
- If you are taking Welchol, you should keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) since the medication may interact with other drugs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is this medication safe for children?
This drug is safe for children 10 years of age and above.
Can I take this medication for diarrhea?
At times, physicians prescribe this medication to address diarrhea among patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
When will be the best time of the day to take this medication?
It will be best to take this medication right after meals.
How long does it take Colesevelam (Welchol) to work?
Some people may start noticing some results in as little as 2 weeks. Continue to take this medication, and do not stop if you start noticing improvements unless told to do so by a healthcare provider.
It's important to purchase Welchol from verified Canadian pharmacy.