colestipol, Colestid

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GENERIC NAME: colestipol

BRAND NAME: Colestid

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Colestipol is an oral cholesterol-lowering drug that is not absorbed from the intestine into the body. Rather, it works by binding to bile acids in the intestine and promoting the elimination of bile acids in the stool. Bile acids are formed in the liver from cholesterol, secreted into bile and with the bile enter the intestine. Most of the bile acids are reabsorbed from the intestine back into the body to be cycled again through the liver and bile. By promoting the elimination of bile acids, colestipol forces the liver to convert more cholesterol into bile acids in order to replace the lost bile acids. This reduces the levels of cholesterol within the body. Colestipol works similarly to cholestyramine (Questran). Colestipol was approved by the FDA in 1977.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Colestipol is used together with dietary modifications for the treatment of high blood cholesterol levels. Other less common uses include treatment of diarrhea due to increased intestinal bile acids after some types of intestinal surgery and treatment of itching associated with partial obstruction to the flow of bile due to liver disease. The itching is believed to be due to the accumulation of bile acids in the body.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/24/2015

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