Skip to Content

Welchol Side Effects

Generic Name: colesevelam

Note: This document contains side effect information about colesevelam. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Welchol.

In Summary

Common side effects of Welchol include: constipation. Other side effects include: dyspepsia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to colesevelam: oral powder for suspension, oral tablet

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, colesevelam (the active ingredient contained in Welchol) 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 colesevelam:

More common

Less common

  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • body aches or pain
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • cool, pale skin
  • cough
  • depression
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty in breathing
  • difficulty in moving
  • dizziness
  • dry throat
  • ear congestion
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • hoarseness
  • increased hunger
  • joint pain or swelling
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of consciousness
  • loss of voice
  • muscle pains, cramps, or stiffness
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • pounding in the ears
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • shivering
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • slurred speech
  • sneezing
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • sweating
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • trouble with sleeping
  • trouble with swallowing
  • voice changes
  • vomiting

Incidence not known

  • Bleeding after defecation
  • bloating
  • constipation
  • dark urine
  • full or bloated feeling
  • pain or discomfort in the chest
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • pressure in the stomach
  • severe stomach pain
  • swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
  • unable to swallow saliva
  • uncomfortable swelling around the anus
  • yellow eyes or skin

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of colesevelam 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:

More common

Less common

  • Accidental injury
  • back pain
  • lack or loss of strength

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to colesevelam: oral powder for reconstitution, oral tablet

General

The most frequently reported side effects were constipation, dyspepsia, and nausea.[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Constipation (up to 11%), flatulence

Common (1% to 10%): Dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, abnormal stools, abdominal distension

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysphagia

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Pancreatitis

Frequency not reported: Intestinal obstruction

Postmarketing reports: Bowel obstruction, esophageal obstruction, fecal impaction, exacerbation of hemorrhoids, pancreatitis[Ref]

Metabolic

Common (1% to 10%): Hypertriglyceridemia, hypoglycemia[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension, myocardial infarction, aortic stenosis, bradycardia[Ref]

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Pharyngitis, rhinitis, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection[Ref]

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Accidental injury, asthenia, flu syndrome/influenza, fatigue, creatine phosphokinase increased

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Serum transaminases increased[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Myalgia, back pain[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Postmarketing reports: Increased seizure activity (resulting from decreased phenytoin levels)[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity reaction[Ref]

In clinical trials of type 2 diabetes, patient who received this drug as an add on to a sulfonylurea discontinued the trial due to body rash and mouth blistering that occurred on the first day of therapy.[Ref]

Hematologic

Postmarketing reports: Reduced international normalized ration (INR) in patient on warfarin therapy

Hepatic

Postmarketing reports: Increased transaminases

Endocrine

Postmarketing reports: Elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in patients receiving thyroid hormone replacement

References

1. "Product Information. Welchol (colesevelam)" Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., Parsippany, NJ.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

Further information

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.