What is Welchol?
Welchol is a brand name version of the generic medication colesevelam and is used for reducing high cholesterol levels; it may also be used to treat type 2 diabetes.
These medications are bile acid sequestrants and work to lower cholesterol by increasing the removal of bile acids from the body. When the levels of bile acids decrease they are replaced by converting cholesterol from the blood into bile acids; the result of this process is a decrease of cholesterol levels in the blood. Welchol is also used in conjunction with other medications to control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes; the manner in which this medication works to treat diabetes is not known at this time.
Welchol, or colesevelam, can also be used in conjunction with other medications to help control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Certain medical conditions may require special tests or a dosage adjustment to ensure you can safely take this drug. Welchol should be taken with food and should be continued without lapsing even if you start feeling better.
The medication may also prescribed to those who suffer from IBS with diarrhea or chronic diarrhea. Welchol is not approved by the FDA for this purpose (off-label).
Welchol should be used in conjunction with a healthy living plan that includes weight loss and exercise. Frequently, your health practitioner will work with you to design a diet and exercise plan that allows you to gain the maximum benefit from this medication. Blood tests will be performed consistently while you are taking Welchol to check cholesterol and triglyceride levels; it is very important to attend all these appointments.
Welchol can decrease the absorption of certain medications into your body; talk to your doctor or pharmacist for information on how to avoid this occurrence. This medication should be used with extreme caution in children under age 10 and in girls who have not had their first menstrual period; efficacy and safety have not been confirmed in these groups.