Cholestyramine Side Effects
More frequently reported side effects include: constipation, dyspepsia, heartburn, nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
For the Consumer
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.
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention
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)
Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention
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:
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
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]
Common (1% to 10%): Osteoporosis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Bleeding
Frequency not reported: Prothrombin time increased, prothrombin time decreased, anemia, hypoprothrombinemia[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Rash, skin irritation
Frequency not reported: Liver function test abnormal[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Libido increased[Ref]
1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
3. "Product Information. Cholestyramine Light (cholestyramine)." Sandoz Laboratories, Eon Division, Lake Success, NY.
4. "Product Information. Questran (cholestyramine)." Par Pharmaceutical Inc, Chestnut Ridge, NY.
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.
More about cholestyramine
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- Drug class: bile acid sequestrants