Medically reviewed on July 2, 2018
What is colestipol?
Colestipol is a cholesterol-lowering drug.
Colestipol 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.
Colestipol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not take colestipol 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 colestipol if you are allergic to it.
To make sure colestipol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
blockage in your intestines;
a stomach or digestive disorder;
a thyroid disorder;
a history of major stomach or bowel surgery; or
if you have a vitamin A, D, E, or K deficiency.
Colestipol is not expected to harm an unborn baby when taken at recommended doses. However, taking colestipol 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 colestipol.
Taking colestipol can make it harder for your body to absorb certain vitamins that are important if you are nursing a baby. Do not take colestipol without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Some forms of colestipol may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using colestipol if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
Colestipol is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take colestipol?
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 colestipol 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 colestipol 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. Colestipol can damage your teeth if left in contact with them for too long.
Do not take colestipol 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 colestipol, 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.
Colestipol 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 colestipol?
Avoid taking other medicines at the same time you take colestipol. Taking colestipol 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 colestipol.
Avoid constipation by drinking 8 to 12 full glasses (8 ounces each) every day while taking colestipol. Ask your doctor before using a laxative or stool softener.
Colestipol 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.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe constipation or stomach pain; or
black, bloody, or tarry stools.
Common side effects 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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Colestipol dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipoproteinemia:
-Initial dose: 2 g orally once or twice a day
-Maintenance dose: 2 to 16 g once a day or in divided doses
-Dose increases of 2 g once or twice a day should occur at 1 to 2 month intervals.
-If desired therapeutic effect on low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is not obtained at a dose of 2 to 16 g per day with good compliance and acceptable side effects, combined therapy or alternate treatment should be considered.
-Initial dose: 5 g (1 packet or 1 level scoop) orally once or twice a day
-Maintenance dose: 5 to 30 g (1 to 6 packets or level scoops) orally once a day or in divided doses
-Incremental dose increases should occur at a rate of 1 dose per day at 1 to 2 month intervals.
-If desired therapeutic effect is not obtained at 1 to 6 doses per day with good compliance and acceptable side effects, combined therapy or alternate treatment should be considered.
Use: For use as adjunctive treatment to diet for the reduction of elevated serum total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia (elevated LDL) who do not respond adequately to diet
What other drugs will affect colestipol?
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.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02.
More about colestipol
- Colestipol Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 2 Reviews
- Drug class: bile acid sequestrants