Prior to taking this medication, you should alert your healthcare provider if you have:
- Stomach problems
- Gallbladder disease or gallstones
- Difficulty swallowing
- A biliary obstruction
- Recent surgery
- Bleeding problems
- An allergy to Cholestyramine or to any other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
It is also important to let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant
- A frequent user of alcoholic beverages.
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may also be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Cholestyramine for more information on this topic, including information on who should not take the drug.)
Cholestyramine has been licensed for several uses, including:
- Lowering LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in patients with high total cholesterol
- Relief of itching caused by a partial biliary obstruction.
(Click What Is Cholestyramine Used For? for more detailed information on these uses.)
Cholestyramine is part of a class of drugs known as bile acid sequestrants. It works by binding to bile acids in the intestines, preventing them from being reabsorbed back into the body. Bile acids are made in the liver from broken-down cholesterol. Therefore, removing these substances from your body helps to lower your blood cholesterol. Cholestyramine can lower both total and LDL cholesterol.