Prevalite Precautions and Warnings
Understanding Prevalite precautions and warnings prior to starting the medicine can help determine whether the drug is suitable for you. People who have a biliary obstruction or who are allergic to the drug or its components should not take Prevalite. Precautions and warnings can also help advise you of potential side effects or complications, such as constipation, increase in triglycerides, and decreased absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
Prior to taking Prevalite® (cholestyramine), you should talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of the following conditions:
- Stomach problems
- Gallbladder disease or gallstones
- Difficulty swallowing
- Biliary obstruction
- Recent surgery
- Bleeding problems
- An allergy to Prevalite or 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 are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some Prevalite precautions and warnings to be aware of include:
- Prevalite can interact with certain medications (see Prevalite Drug Interactions).
- Prevalite can cause constipation. It is important to let your healthcare provider know if you have any kind of stomach problem because Prevalite could worsen your condition. You should also drink plenty of water, increase the amount of fiber in your diet, and exercise to help prevent constipation.
- Prevalite may cause a slight increase in triglycerides. The medicine, however, has not been well studied in patients with triglyceride levels greater than 300mg/dL. If you have high triglycerides and are taking Prevalite, your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your progress more closely.
- Prevalite has been shown to cause a decrease in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) in animal studies. Therefore, Prevalite should be used with caution in people with vitamin deficiencies.
- Sipping or holding the medicine in your mouth for long periods of time may cause teeth problems, including discoloration, tooth decay, or erosion of enamel.
- Prevalite is a pregnancy Category C medicine. This means it has not been studied in pregnant women. However, when studied in animals, it did produce a negative effect on the fetus. If you are pregnant, you should only take Prevalite if the benefit outweighs the possible risk to your unborn child. If you become pregnant while taking Prevalite, contact your healthcare provider immediately (see Prevalite and Pregnancy).
- Since Prevalite is not absorbed into the body, it is likely that it doesn't pass through your milk if you are nursing. However, it can affect absorption of certain types of vitamins. Therefore, you should let you healthcare provider know if you are going to breastfeed. Together, you can decide what makes most sense for your particular situation.