Since Cholestyramine can lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, a person may be able decrease his or her risk of developing certain health problems in the future. This includes conditions such as heart disease, angina (chest pain), stroke, or heart attack. Cholestyramine should be used in combination with diet and exercise.
The combination of Cholestyramine with a statin (Crestor®, Pravachol®, Lescol®, Mevacor®, Altoprev®, Lipitor®, Zocor®) or niacin (nicotinic acid, Niaspan®, Niacor®, Nicolar®) can further lower cholesterol levels.
Some general considerations for when and how to take Cholestyramine include:
- It is taken once or twice a day based on your healthcare provider's recommendations.
- It should never be taken alone in its powder form. Make sure to follow the preparation directions on the prescription. Cholestyramine may be mixed with water, non-carbonated beverages, liquid soup, applesauce, or crushed pineapple.
- Your dosage should be taken with a meal and plenty of extra water to avoid constipation.
- If prescribed for lowering cholesterol, Cholestyramine should be used in combination with lifestyle modifications. This includes a healthy diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats, limited alcohol use, weight loss, and exercise.
- It should be taken at the same time every day to help maintain an even level in the blood. Do not take it more often than directed.
- Cholestyramine may reduce the absorption of some medications. If you are taking another medication, you may need to take it one hour before or four to six hours after you take your Cholestyramine. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can let you know which medications need to be taken separately from Cholestyramine.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.