colesevelam, Welchol (cont.)

GENERIC: No

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablet: 625 mg, white.

STORAGE: Colesevelam should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and light, and out of the reach of children.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Colesevelam is used to treat high blood cholesterol levels, especially high levels of LDL-cholesterol ("bad cholesterol"). It does not lower cholesterol as much as the statin class of drugs, but when used in combination with a statin, it lowers cholesterol levels further than the statin alone. Colesevelam is used in combination with other drugs for treating type 2 diabetes such as metformin, sulfonylureas, or insulin to further lower blood sugar levels.

DOSING: Colesevelam usually is taken one or two times daily with a meal.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Colesevelam reduces the absorption of cyclosporine, glyburide (Micronase, DiaBeta, Glynase, Prestab), levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, Unithroid), and oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol or norethindrone by binding to them in the stomach and preventing their absorption into the body. Colesevelam also may reduce the activity of phenytoin (Dilantin) and warfarin (Coumadin). Drugs that interact with colesevelam should be administered four hours before the administration of colesevelam and, when possible, drug levels should be monitored.

PREGNANCY: Although colesevelam has not been studied in pregnant women, it has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether colesevelam passes into breast milk, but very little colesevelam is absorbed from the intestine and is available for secretion in breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breastfeeding. Colesevelam may decrease the absorption of certain vitamins, which are important during breastfeeding. Mothers who are taking colesevelam and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.



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