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Cholestyramine Light

Generic Name: cholestyramine (koe le STYE ra meen)
Brand Name: Cholestyramine Light, Prevalite, Prevalite Packets, Questran, Questran Light, Questran Light Packets, Questran Packets

What is Cholestyramine Light (cholestyramine)?

Cholestyramine helps reduce cholesterol (fatty acids) in the blood. High cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis (clogged arteries).

Cholestyramine is used to lower high levels of cholesterol in the blood, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ("bad" cholesterol).

Cholestyramine powder is also used to treat itching caused by a blockage in the bile ducts of the gallbladder.

Cholestyramine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Cholestyramine Light (cholestyramine)?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to cholestyramine, or if you have a blockage in your stomach or intestines.

Before taking cholestyramine, tell your doctor if you have a thyroid disorder, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, or chronic constipation.

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Avoid taking other medications at the same time you take cholestyramine. Wait at least 4 to 6 hours after taking cholestyramine before you take any other medications.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Cholestyramine Light (cholestyramine)?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to cholestyramine, or if you have a blockage in your stomach or intestines.

To make sure you can safely take cholestyramine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • diabetes,

  • kidney disease,

  • liver disease, or

  • chronic constipation.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether cholestyramine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Taking cholestyramine can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins your body needs while you are nursing a baby. Do not take cholestyramine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

This medicine may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using cholestyramine if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I take Cholestyramine Light (cholestyramine)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Cholestyramine is sometimes taken up to 6 times per day. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Take cholestyramine with meals unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Mix the cholestyramine powder with 2 to 6 ounces of water or other non-carbonated beverage. You may also mix the powder with a brothy soup, crushed pineapple, or applesauce. Measure the powder using the scoop provided with your medication. Do not use any other scoop or measuring cup to measure your cholestyramine dose.

Drink extra fluids to prevent constipation while you are taking cholestyramine.

It is important to take cholestyramine regularly to get the most benefit.

Cholestyramine is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

While using cholestyramine, you may need blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store cholestyramine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe stomach pain or constipation.

What should I avoid while taking Cholestyramine Light (cholestyramine)?

Avoid taking other medications at the same time you take cholestyramine. Wait at least 4 to 6 hours after taking cholestyramine before you take any other medications.

Cholestyramine Light (cholestyramine) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • blood in your urine;

  • severe stomach pain;

  • ongoing constipation;

  • feeling short of breath;

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools; or

  • easy bruising or bleeding.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild constipation, diarrhea;

  • stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, weight changes;

  • bloating or gas;

  • hiccups or a sour taste in your mouth;

  • skin rash or itching;

  • irritation of your tongue;

  • itching or irritation around your rectal area;

  • muscle or joint pain; or

  • dizziness, spinning sensation; ringing in your ears.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Cholestyramine Light (cholestyramine)?

Cholestyramine can make it harder for your body to absorb other medications, such as:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);

  • propranolol (Inderal);

  • a diuretic (water pill);

  • thyroid hormones such as levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid);

  • birth control pills or hormone replacement;

  • seizure medicines such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or

  • an antibiotic such as amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox, others), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), penicillin (BeePen-VK, Pen-Vee K, Veetids, others), tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with cholestyramine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about cholestyramine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.09. Revision Date: 2012-03-20, 11:19:53 AM.

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