What is this medication for?
Cholestyramine resin belongs to the class of medications known as bile acid sequestrants. When used in addition to diet and exercise, this medication helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood called low-density lipids (LDL). It works by binding to cholesterol-like substances, called bile acids, in the intestines and preventing them from being absorbed into the body.
Cholestyramine resin may be used for symptomatic control of bile-induced diarrhea due to short bowel syndrome and may also be used to relieve itchiness associated with partial blockage of bile ducts.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Cholestyramine Light by Sandoz is available as:
- powder (oral)
- 4 g resin/packet
- 4 g resin/scoopful
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of cholestyramine resin is 4 g (1 packet) 1 to 6 times daily depending on circumstances. The powder must be mixed with 2 to 6 ounces (30 mL to 180 mL) water or other fluids (milk, fruit juice, or other non-carbonated beverage). It may also be mixed with highly fluid soups or pulpy fruits with high moisture content such as applesauce or crushed pineapple.
Other medications should be taken at least 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after cholestyramine resin. Cholestyramine should never be taken in its dry form. The color of cholestyramine resin may vary somewhat from batch to batch but this does not affect the effectiveness of the product.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
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Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to cholestyramine powder or any of its ingredients
- have bile ducts that are blocked completely