Drug Review: Colesevelam

Colesevelam is used primarily to reduce elevated levels of LDL cholesterol.  It’s sold in the U.S. as WelChol.  Remember that drug names vary by country and manufacturer.  This is a brief review; consult your physician or pharmacist for details.

Class:  Bile acid sequestrant

How does it work?  Unclear


Colesevelam is FDA-approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes in conjunction with insulin or diabetic pills.


Three tablets twice daily with meals, or six tablets once daily with a meal.

Side effects

Constipation in one of every 10 users.

Do not use if you have . . .

. . . serum triglycerides over 500 mg/dl, or have gastroparesis, other gastrointestinal motility disorders, risk factors for bowel obstruction, or recent major gastrointestinal procedures.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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