Cholestyramine Side Effects
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 14, 2022.
More frequently reported side effects include: constipation, dyspepsia, heartburn, nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting. Continue reading for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
Applies to cholestyramine: oral powder for suspension.
In some animal studies, cholestyramine was found to cause tumors. It is not known whether cholestyramine causes tumors in humans.
Serious side effects of Cholestyramine
Along with its needed effects, cholestyramine 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 cholestyramine:
- Black, tarry stools
- stomach pain (severe) with nausea and vomiting
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking cholestyramine:
- Loss of weight (sudden)
Other side effects of Cholestyramine
Some side effects of cholestyramine 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:
- Heartburn or indigestion
- nausea or vomiting
- stomach pain
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to cholestyramine: compounding powder, oral powder for reconstitution.
The most frequently reported side effect is constipation.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Constipation
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Tongue irritation, irritation of perianal area, abdominal discomfort/pain/distention, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, dyspepsia, steatorrhea
Rare (less than 0.1%): Intestinal obstruction
Frequency not reported: Rectal bleeding, black stools, hemorrhoidal bleeding, bleeding from known duodenal ulcer, dysphagia, hiccoughs, ulcer attack, sour taste, pancreatitis, rectal pain, diverticulitis, eructation, dental bleeding, dental caries, calcification of gallbladder, tooth discoloration, erosion of tooth enamel[Ref]
Intestinal obstruction occurred rarely and 2 deaths in pediatric patients were reported.[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Claudication, angina, arteritis, thrombophlebitis, myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia, postprandial angina increased[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Osteoporosis
Frequency not reported: Backache, arthritis, muscle/joint pain[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Bleeding
Frequency not reported: Prothrombin time increased, prothrombin time decreased, anemia, hypoprothrombinemia[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anorexia, hyperchloremic acidosis, Vitamin A deficiency, Vitamin K deficiency[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Rash, skin irritation
Frequency not reported: Ecchymosis, xanthoma of hands/fingers, urticaria[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Liver function test abnormal[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Headache, paresthesia, syncope, dizziness, drowsiness, femoral nerve pain[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Vertigo, weight loss, weight gain, glands swollen, edema, chest pain, tinnitus[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Arcus juvenilis, uveitis, night blindness[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Hematuria, dysuria, burnt odor to urine, diuresis[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Asthma, wheezing, shortness of breath[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Libido increased[Ref]
More about cholestyramine
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- Drug class: bile acid sequestrants
- En español
Questran, Cholestyramine Light, Prevalite, Questran Light
Related treatment guides
1. "Product Information. Questran (cholestyramine)." Par Pharmaceutical Inc (2002):
2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
4. "Product Information. Cholestyramine Light (cholestyramine)." Sandoz Laboratories, Eon Division (2017):
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.