Welchol is a prescription drug containing colesevelam hydrochloride which is used to treat high cholesterol by lowering the level of LDL in the body or it may also be used to treat type 2 diabetes by improving glycemic control. The recommended dosage is 3750mg once per day or 1875mg taken twice per day for both ailments. Patients should always take Welchol around the same time every day, according to EMedTV. In addition, this medication should be taken with both food and water or the patient may experience constipation. Welchol is manufactured in two different forms: a tablet or a packet that is mixed into a liquid to form an oral suspension.
According to the Welchol patient information, each tablet contains 625 mg and has “Sankyo” and “CO1” written on one side of the white tablet. Adults should take either six tablets once per day or three tablets two times a day.
The Welchol oral suspension is approved for both children that are between the ages of ten and seventeen and also adults. This oral suspension is provided as a packet containing a very light colored powder with yellow granules. The packets for Welchol oral suspension are manufactured in two different sizes: a 3.75 gram packet that is to be administered only once per day or a 1.875 gram packet that should be taken twice a day.
To prepare the oral suspension, the contents of the packet should be poured into a clean, empty glass or cup. Four to eight ounces (one half to one full cup) of water should then be added to the cup. The suspension is ready after the medication has been thoroughly mixed into the water. Ingesting Welchol dry directly out of the packet may cause esophageal distress. The oral suspension provides the exact same amount of medication as the tablets, but it offers a safe alternative for those who have difficulty swallowing pills.
Pregnancy, nursing, and children
Welchol may be taken only if truly necessary in pregnant women because it is unknown if taking this medication during pregnancy could be detrimental to the baby. Scientists do not believe that this medication would contaminate the milk of a breastfeeding mother. This medication has been proven safe for usage in children between the ages of ten and seventeen, although the oral suspension is usually prescribed for this age group due to the size of the tablets. No studies have been performed on children less than ten years of age and premenarchal girls.
Who should not take Welchol?
Patients who have serum TG concentrations greater than 500 mg/dL, those with a history of hypertriglyceridemia-induced pancreatitis, and patients who have previously experienced bowel obstructions should not take Welchol.
If the first dose is missed in a patient that takes two doses per day, then both doses may be taken at the next meal. If the dose is missed for the entire day, then a normal dose should be taken the next day. A double dose should never be taken.
Other dosage information
Dosage recommendations remain the same in geriatric patients, patients with hepatic impairment, and those with renal impairment as the results from studies including patients from these populations proved this medication to be safe and effective. No study has been conducted with using dosages of Welchol exceeding 4.5 grams per day.
This medication may interact with some other drugs, therefore all drugs and supplements taken by the patient should first be discussed with a health care provider. According to MedicineNet, this medication may be taken with a statin drug to improve cholesterol control, though. The prescribed dosage may need to be adjusted based on lab results or side effects. Never abruptly stop taking this or any other prescription medication without first speaking with a medical professional. All medical questions and concerns should always be brought to a health care professional.