Colesevelam is used in combination with an appropriate diet and exercise in order to reduce elevated cholesterol levels and control blood sugar in people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
What is Colesevelam?
Colesevelam is a bile acid sequestrant. It works by helping remove bile acids from the body. The body then uses cholesterol to produce more bile acids, which causes blood cholesterol levels to decrease. The exact way as to how colesevelam helps to treat type 2 diabetes has not yet been identified.
How should Colesevelam be taken?
Colesevelam can be taken alone or in combination with other drugs. It is administered orally in the form of tablets. These tablets should be taken during meals and with plenty of fluids.
Side effects associated with Colesevelam
Colesevelam can cause constipation and hypoglycemia. It can also reduce the absorption of other drugs.
Among the other possible side effects of colesevelam include the following:
- Back ache
- Mild stomach pain
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Stomach discomfort
- Stuffy or runny nose
It is important to contact a doctor immediately if you experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
- Difficulty swallowing
- Severe or persistent constipation, diarrhea or stomach pain
- Severe or persistent headaches or dizziness
- Pain or irritation in the throat
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Colesevelam
Treatment with colasevelam may be contraindicated in cases involving certain intestinal problems, surgical procedures of the stomach or intestine, risk of bowel block, or pancreatitis caused by high triglycerides. It may take up to several weeks before colesevelam can provide complete effectiveness.
Before starting treatment with colesevelam, it is important to tell your doctor if:
- You have any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or to any other drugs, food or various substances
- You are taking any other medications, herbal remedies or supplements. Mentioning in particular: insulin, sulfonylureas, metformin, cyclosporine, hydantoins, thyroid hormones or warfarin
- You are suffering (or have suffered) from difficulty swallowing, esophagus problems, hemorrhoids, low levels of vitamin A, D, E or K, difficulty absorbing nutrients, high triglycerides, pancreatitis or gastrointestinal problems
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding
It is important to inform physicians, surgeons and dentists of any ongoing treatment with colesevelam.