Welchol Side Effects
Generic name: colesevelam
Note: This document contains side effect information about colesevelam. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Welchol.
Some side effects of Welchol may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to colesevelam: oral powder for suspension, oral tablet
Along with its needed effects, colesevelam (the active ingredient contained in Welchol) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking colesevelam:Less common
- blurred vision
- cold sweats
- cool, pale skin
- dry or sore throat
- fast heartbeat
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- increased hunger
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
- muscle aches or pain
- pounding in the ears
- runny nose
- slow or fast heartbeat
- slurred speech
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- trouble with sleeping
- trouble with swallowing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- voice changes
- Bleeding after defecation
- darkened urine
- difficulty with swallowing
- pain or discomfort in the chest
- pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
- pressure in the stomach
- severe stomach pain
- swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
- unable to swallow saliva
- uncomfortable swelling around the anus
- yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects of colesevelam may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Acid or sour stomach
- full or bloated feeling
- pain or cramping in the abdomen or stomach
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- Lack or loss of strength
- stuffy nose
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to colesevelam: oral powder for reconstitution, oral tablet
Cardiovascular side effects including hypertension, myocardial infarction, aortic stenosis, and bradycardia have been reported in 3% of patients.
Gastrointestinal side effects have included flatulence (12%), constipation (8.7% to 11%), dyspepsia (3.9% to 8%), diarrhea (5%), and nausea (3% to 4%). Bowel obstruction (in patients with a history of bowel obstruction or resection), dysphagia or esophageal obstruction (occasionally requiring medical intervention), fecal impaction, pancreatitis, abdominal distension, exacerbation of hemorrhoids, and increased transaminases have been reported in postmarketing experience.
Immunologic side effects have included infection (10%).
In the lipid-lowering trials, 807 patients received at least one dose of colesevelam (the active ingredient contained in Welchol) therapy (total exposure 199 patient-years). In the type 2 diabetes trials, 566 patients received at least one dose of colesevelam therapy (total exposure 209 patient years). In clinical trials for the reduction of LDL-C, 68% of patients receiving colesevelam therapy versus 64% of patients receiving placebo reported an adverse event. In clinical trials of type 2 diabetes, 60% of patients receiving colesevelam therapy versus 56% of patients receiving placebo reported an adverse event.
Respiratory side effects have included nasopharyngitis (4%), pharyngitis (3%), rhinitis (3%), sinusitis (2%), and increased cough (2%).
Musculoskeletal side effects have included myalgia (2%).
Metabolic side effects have included hypoglycemia (3%). Hypertriglyceridemia has been reported in postmarketing experience.
Nervous system side effects have included headache (6%), pain (6%), and back pain (3%).
Other side effects have included abdominal pain (5%), accidental injury (4%), asthenia (4%), and flu syndrome (3%).
More Welchol resources
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