GENERIC NAME: CHOLESTYRAMINE, COLESTIPOL - ORAL POWDER, GRANULES (ko-less-TEER-uh-meen, ko-LESS-tip-ohl)
HOW TO USE: Take this medication before meals as prescribed. Do not take medication dry. The medication must be mixed with liquid, soups, cereals or pulpy fruits such as applesauce or crushed pineapple. Stir completely to mix and drink immediately. Rinse the glass with additional liquid and drink to ensure all the medication is taken. This medication can interfere with other medications if taken at the same time. Take other medications one hour before or 4 to 6 hours after taking this drug. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to help establish a dosing schedule if you are taking more than one medication. For best results, this medication must be used along with an exercise program and a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet. It may take a few weeks to months before the full effects of this medication are noticed.
SIDE EFFECTS: Stomach upset, heartburn, constipation, belching, gas, nausea, loss of appetite, aggravated hemorrhoids, change of taste, headache, or itching may occur. If these effects persist or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you experience: unusual bleeding or bruising, severe stomach ache, vomiting. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
PRECAUTIONS: Tell your doctor your medical history, especially: constipation, hemorrhoids, diabetes, phenylketonuria (PKU), low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism), stomach/intestinal disease, gall bladder disease, kidney disease, liver disease, unusual bleeding or bruising, any allergies. This drug should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known if this drug is excreted into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially of: digitoxin, digoxin, diuretics ("water pills"), penicillin G, phenobarbital, phenylbutazone, propranolol, tetracycline, thyroid, warfarin or other "blood thinners", vitamin A/D/E, antidepressants, hydrocortisone, estrogens and progestins (e.g., birth control pills), troglitazone. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly. Symptoms of overdose may include severe constipation.
NOTES: Your doctor may periodically perform lab tests during treatment to evaluate the effectiveness of the medication. Know what your cholesterol level is and understand what it means. Your doctor, pharmacist or nutritionist can provide you with valuable information. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.