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Cholestyramine (By mouth)

Cholestyramine (koe-le-STYE-ra-meen)

Lowers high cholesterol levels. Also treats severe itching caused by liver disease.

Brand Name(s):

Prevalite, Questran, Questran Light

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to cholestyramine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Powder for Suspension, Packet

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Take this medicine just before eating or with meals.
  • You should not use the powder in dry form. Mix in 4 to 6 ounces of water, fruit juice, or milk until completely dissolved. Drink this mixture right away. Rinse the glass with more liquid and drink that too, so you get all of the medicine.
  • You may also mix the powder medicine in thin soup, with soft fruits such as fruit cocktail or crushed pineapple, or with milk in breakfast cereal.
  • Drink several glasses of liquids each day while using this medicine.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take the missed dose as soon as possible.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using Coumadin®.
  • Cholestyramine may change the way many other medicines work. Take other medicines 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after you take cholestyramine.
  • Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you need help deciding the best time to take your medicines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have thyroid problems, diabetes, gallbladder disease, stomach problems, heart disease, kidney disease, or liver disease.
  • Questran Light® contains aspartame (Nutrasweet®). If you have phenylketonuria you should avoid using this product.
  • Before you stop using this medicine, talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine is used with diet, exercise, and weight loss in overweight patients to control high cholesterol levels. To lower and keep your cholesterol normal, all of these are important.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Rash or hives
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing.
  • Unusual bleeding such as nosebleeds or bleeding gums
  • Severe stomach pain

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Heartburn, gas or bloating

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 12/4/2014


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