Since WelChol can lower total and LDL cholesterol levels (along with raising HDL -- "good" cholesterol), a person can decrease his or her risk of developing certain health problems in the future by taking it.
In previous clinical research studies, people taking 3,800 mg to 4,500 mg of WelChol daily were able to:
- Reduce LDL cholesterol by 15 to 18 percent
- Reduce total cholesterol by 7 to 10 percent
- Raise HDL cholesterol by 3 percent.
The combination of WelChol with a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (known more commonly as a statin) can further lower cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that WelChol can help lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. These studies used this drug in combination with other diabetes medications, such as metformin, sulfonylureas, and insulin. These studies showed that adding WelChol can help lower fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a measure of long-term blood sugar control.
General considerations for when and how to take WelChol include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth once or twice a day with meals. People are often advised to take it with at least half a glass of water to avoid constipation or swallowing difficulties.
- WelChol also comes in powder packets that are meant to be dissolved in four to eight ounces of water, fruit juice, or diet soda.
- WelChol 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.
- WelChol may reduce the absorption of some medications. Therefore, if you are taking another medication, you may need to take it at least four hours before you take your WelChol. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can tell you which medications need to be taken separately.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. WelChol will not work if you stop taking it.