What is WelChol?

WelChol is a cholesterol-lowering medication. It works by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from your diet.

WelChol is used to treat high cholesterol. Lowering your cholesterol can help prevent heart disease, strokes, and blood vessel diseases.

WelChol

Health Benefits

WelChol has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 46% and total cholesterol by up to 27%.

In a large clinical study, WelChol was shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from cardiovascular disease by 31%, 34%, and 24%, respectively.

WelChol is also effective at reducing triglycerides and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of WelChol are gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects are usually mild and resolve on their own. If they persist or become bothersome, talk to your doctor.

Other potential side effects of WelChol include:

Headache

Dizziness

Nausea or vomiting

Abdominal pain

Muscle aches and pains

Rare but serious side effects of WelChol include:

Liver problems

Kidney problems

Allergic reactions

If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking WelChol and call your doctor immediately.

Dosage of WelChol

The usual starting dose of WelChol is one 162 mg tablet taken orally three times daily with meals. Your doctor may increase your dose up to 324 mg three times daily based on your response to treatment.

WelChol is available in both tablet and capsule form.

WelChol should be taken with food. If you experience gastrointestinal side effects, take WelChol with meals or snacks.

If you miss a dose of WelChol, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular schedule. Do not take two doses of WelChol at the same time.

Interactions

WelChol can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Do not start or stop taking any medication without first talking to your doctor.

Mechanism of Action

WelChol works by binding to bile acids in the intestine and preventing their absorption. This reduces the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from your diet.

Pharmacokinetics

WelChol is rapidly absorbed from the intestine and has a bioavailability of approximately 30%. It is metabolized in the liver and excreted in the feces.

Half-Life

The half-life of WelChol is 12 hours.

Special Populations

Elderly

No dosage adjustment is necessary for elderly patients.

Children

WelChol has not been studied in children and should not be used in this population.

Pregnant Women

WelChol should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Animal studies have shown no adverse effects on the fetus, but there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.