The main WelChol uses include lowering cholesterol and treating diabetes. The drug is licensed to treat high cholesterol in people who cannot lower cholesterol through lifestyle changes alone. By reducing cholesterol levels in the body, WelChol helps lower the risk for complications associated with high cholesterol. WelChol has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes who are already taking other diabetes medications.
An Introduction to WelChol UsesWelChol® (colesevelam hydrochloride) is a medication licensed to treat high LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) levels in people with high cholesterol. It is also licensed to help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
High levels of cholesterol in the blood can accumulate on the walls of arteries (a condition known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries), leading to decreased blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart, brain, and other areas of the body. This can greatly increase a person's risk for developing conditions such as:
WelChol has been licensed for the treatment of high cholesterol. It should be used in addition to a low-cholesterol diet and exercise. The drug works by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and apo B (a component of cholesterol related to several heart disease risk factors). It can also slightly raise HDL cholesterol, which is the "good" cholesterol.
Cholesterol treatment is aimed at lowering LDL cholesterol levels enough to reduce the risk of complications associated with high cholesterol (see Effects of High Cholesterol). If you are at a higher risk, you will have a lower LDL goal.
WelChol can be used alone or in combination with an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (known more commonly as a statin) to lower cholesterol levels.
(Click High Cholesterol Risk to determine your cholesterol risk and find out what your LDL cholesterol level should be.)