Colesevelam treats high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Promptly report any stomach pain or severe constipation while taking this medication.

Colesevelam Overview

Reviewed: August 19, 2013

Colesevelam is a prescription medication used to treat elevated cholesterol alone or in combination with other drugs. Colesevelam may also be used to treat type II diabetes. Colesevelam belongs to group of drugs called bile acid sequetrants which reduce cholesterol levels by binding bile acids that are then removed from your body.

The medication comes in both a tablet and packets for oral suspension that are taken by mouth either once or twice a day based on your doctor’s instructions with a meal and a liquid.

Common side effects of colesevalam are gas, constipation, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain.


Patient Ratings for Colesevelam

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What are you taking Colesevelam for?

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  • Other
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hyperlipoproteinemias
  • Hypertriglyceridemia

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Colesevelam Cautionary Labels


Uses of Colesevelam

Colesevelam is a prescription medicine use to treat:

  • elevated LDL cholesterol in adults
  • elevated LDL levels in boys and girls 10-17 years old with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia
  • elevated blood glucose levels in type II diabetes

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Colesevelam Brand Names

Colesevelam may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Colesevelam Drug Class

Colesevelam is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Colesevelam

Common side effects of Colesevelam include:

  • gas
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • weakness
  • muscle pain

This is not a complete list of this medication’s side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

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


Colesevelam Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Gengraf, Neoral)
  • glimepiride (Amaryl, Duetact, Avandaryl)
  • glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL, 
  • glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase, Glucovance)
  • levothyroxine (Synthroid, Tirosent, Levoxyl, Levo-T, Levothroid, Unithroid)
  • olmesartan (Azor, Tribenzor, Benicar HCT, Benicar)
  • oral contraceptives (birth control) containing ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Gildess, Femcon FE, Norethrin, others)
  • metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Fortamet, Glumetza, others)
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)

This is not a complete list of all drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Colesevelam Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with colesevelam and certain precautions are advised:

  • Promptly discontinue this medication and seek medical attention if severe stomach pain or severe constipation occurs, with or without nausea or vomiting.
  • Tablets can cause difficulty swallowing or esophageal (the tube from mouth to the stomach) blockage and should be used with caution.

Do not take this medication if you

  • are allergic to colesevelam or to any of its ingredients
  • have a history of bowel obstruction


Colesevelam Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of this medication, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet.


Inform MD

Before taking Colesevelam , tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to colesevelam or to any of its ingredients
  • have pancreas problems
  • have digestive tract problems
  • have trouble swallowing foods
  • have hypertriglyceridemia (high levels of a type of fat called triglyceride in the bloodstream)
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Colesevelam and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with colesevelam. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.


Colesevelam and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Colesevelam is not expected to cross into human milk.


Colesevelam Usage

Take this medication as prescribed by your doctor.

The medication comes in both a tablet and packets for oral suspension that are taken by mouth either once or twice a day based on your doctor’s instructions with a meal and a liquid.

Colesevelam Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

Colesevelam Tablets

  • The recommended dose is 6 tablets once daily or 3 tablets twice daily. Colesevelam tablets should be taken with a meal and liquid.

Colesevelam for Oral (by mouth) Suspension

  • The recommended dose is one 3.75 gram packet once daily or one 1.875 gram packet twice daily.
  • To prepare, empty the entire contents of one packet into a glass or cup. Add ½ to 1 cup (4 to 8 ounces) of water, fruit juice, or diet soft drinks. Stir well and drink. Colesevelam oral suspension should be taken with meals. To avoid esophageal distress, colesevelam oral suspension should not be taken in its dry form.

Colesevelam Overdose

If you take too much this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.


Other Requirements

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from moisture.
  • If you are being treated for diabetes or for high cholesterol levels, eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, and be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitcian.
  • Kepe this and all other medications out of the reach of children.