Bile Acid Resins

Types of medications: Colestipol (Colestid)-powder, Cholestyramine (Questran) powder, Colesevelam HCL (Welchol) capsule

Instructions for Powders

  • Take at meal times (breakfast and evening meal) with plenty of liquid
  • Powders come packaged in small packets or in a canister with a scoop.
  • Mix 8 oz liquid with 2 scoops of powder. Thin, slightly sweet liquids work best, like sugar-free Kool-Aid, Tang, or apple juice.
  • Shake for 30 seconds and refrigerate.
  • Re-shake or stir before drinking at meal time. If taken properly, most patients experience more regularity, rather than constipation.

Possible medication interaction: Other medications should be taken one hour before or at least two hours after taking powders. The powders can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb certain medicines, such as thyroid replacement, diuretics, digoxin, anticoagulants (Coumadin or warfarin), and others.

Instructions for Capsules

  • Take 6-7 capsules once a day with a meal OR 3 capsules with breakfast or lunch and 3-4 capsules with your evening meal
  • Drink at least 8 oz of liquid with the capsules

Possible medication interaction: You can take the pills at the same time that you take your other medications.

Possible Side Effects

Most people have no side effects. Side effects which may occur are limited and minor.

  • Larger stools
  • Belching
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Stomach “fullness”
  • Stomach discomfort

If you get constipated, increase the amount of fluid that you drink and add fiber to your diet.