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Generic name: colestipolkoe-LES-ti-pol ]
Brand names: Colestid, Colestid Flavored
Drug class: Bile acid sequestrants

Medically reviewed by on Jun 20, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Colestid?

Colestid is a cholesterol-lowering drug.

Colestid lowers "bad" cholesterol in the blood, which is also called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Lowering your LDL cholesterol may reduce your risk of hardened arteries, which can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and circulation problems.

Lowering high cholesterol levels is an important part of preventing heart disease and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

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

Colestid side effects

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

Colestid may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects of Colestid may include:

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.


Do not take Colestid granules without mixing them with water or another liquid. Taking the granules dry could cause you to accidentally inhale or choke on the granules.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take Colestid if you are allergic to it.

To make sure Colestid is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Colestid is not expected to harm an unborn baby when taken at recommended doses. However, taking this medicine can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins that are needed during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Colestid.

Taking Colestid can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins that are important if you are nursing a baby. Do not take this medicine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Some forms of colestipol may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using Colestid if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

Colestid is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take Colestid?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not crush, chew, or break Colestid tablet. Swallow it whole. Swallow only one tablet at a time.

Take the tablet with a full glass of water.

Call your doctor if you have have trouble swallowing the tablet, or if it feels like it gets stuck in your esophagus after you swallow it.

Dissolve the Colestid granules in a small amount of water, milk, broth soup, applesauce, hot or cold cereal, or crushed fruit (such as pineapple, pears, peaches, or fruit cocktail). Stir this mixture and drink or eat all of it right away. Swallow the mixture without chewing or holding it in your mouth. This medicine can damage your teeth if left in contact with them for too long.

Do not take Colestid granules without mixing them with water, other liquid, or food. Taking the granules dry could cause you to accidentally inhale or choke on the granules.

Use only the dosing scoop that comes with your supply of colestipol granules. Do not keep it for later use. The scoop may not be the right size for use with a different brand of colestipol granules.

While using Colestid, you may need frequent blood tests.

It may take 2 weeks to several months of using this medicine before your cholesterol levels improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed.

Colestid is only part of a treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store 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.

What should I avoid while taking Colestid?

Avoid taking other medicines at the same time you take Colestid. Taking this medicine can make it harder for your body to absorb certain drugs, making them less effective. Take your other medicines at least 1 hour before or 4 hours after you take this medicine.

Avoid constipation by drinking 8 to 12 full glasses (8 ounces each) every day while taking Colestid. Ask your doctor before using a laxative or stool softener.

What other drugs will affect Colestid?

Other drugs may interact with colestipol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

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