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Cholestyramine Resin

Generic name: Cholestyramine Resin [ koe-LES-teer-a-meen-REZ-in ]
Brand names: Prevalite, Questran, Questran Light
Drug class: Bile acid sequestrants

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 12, 2022.

Uses of Cholestyramine Resin:

  • It is used to lower cholesterol.
  • It is used to treat itching caused by bile duct blockage.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Cholestyramine Resin?

  • If you have an allergy to cholestyramine or any other part of cholestyramine resin.
  • If you are allergic to cholestyramine resin; any part of cholestyramine resin; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have a biliary tract block.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with cholestyramine resin.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take cholestyramine resin with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Cholestyramine Resin?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take cholestyramine resin. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you have constipation, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower this side effect.
  • Take other drugs at least 1 hour before or 4 hours after you take cholestyramine resin.
  • Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
  • Sipping cholestyramine resin after mixing or holding it in your mouth for a long time may lead to tooth changes like change in color. Talk with your doctor.
  • Take good care of your teeth. See a dentist often.
  • If you are 60 or older, use cholestyramine resin with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Bowel block has rarely happened with cholestyramine resin in children. Sometimes, this has been deadly. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.

How is this medicine (Cholestyramine Resin) best taken?

Use cholestyramine resin as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Before using, be sure you know how to mix and measure the dose of cholestyramine resin. Talk with the doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • Mix with at least 2 to 6 ounces (60 to 180 mL) of liquid before taking. Rinse the cup with more liquid and drink.
  • You may also mix it with highly fluid soups, applesauce, or crushed pineapple.
  • Do not take dry powder.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Severe constipation or stomach pain. These may be signs of a severe bowel problem.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.

What are some other side effects of Cholestyramine Resin?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Constipation. Drinking more liquids, working out, or adding fiber to the diet may help. Talk with the doctor about a stool softener or laxative.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Cholestyramine Resin?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about cholestyramine resin, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.