Cholestyramine – What Is It? Ingredients? Dosage? Benefits?
Cholesterol is a chronic condition that often becomes a life-threatening disease. If you don’t treat the condition properly, it could even cause your life. There are medications available to reduce the high lipid levels in the blood. When it comes to prescription medications, you might have heard of cholestyramine. The article discusses cholestyramine, its benefits, dosage, etc. Let’s look at each aspect of this medicine in detail.
What is Cholestyramine?
Cholestyramine is a generic drug used to lower the high cholesterol in the blood. Doctors prescribe this drug to reduce excess lipid levels with diet changes.
The medicine is available in the form of powder for oral suspension. Cholestyramine can’t lower high cholesterol itself, but it works with other medications to lower cholesterol.
Therefore, this prescription drug has a vital role in combining therapy for reducing cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a condition of developing excess fatty substances in the blood. Fat deposits in different parts of the body, and it mainly affects the arteries.
Fat deposition in the arteries gradually forms plaque and decreases blood flow, oxygen supply to your heart and brain, and other body parts.
The lowering of blood flow damages the heart muscles and results in several cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, and heart valve complications. Using these medications can help to reduce heart diseases associated with high cholesterol.
What are the ingredients contained in Cholestyramine Powder?
Cholestyramine for oral suspension contains the following ingredients, such as
- Citric Acid Anhydrous
- FD&C Yellow No.6
- Polysorbate 80
- Propylene Glycol Alginate
- D7C Yellow No.10
- Xanthan gum
- Colloidal silicon dioxide
Dosage of Cholestyramine Powder
When it comes to the dosage of cholestyramine, it depends on several factors, such as
- The medical condition being treated
- Body reaction to the first dose
- Your complete medical history
- The severity of your condition
For adults, the starting dose of cholestyramine is one pouch or one level scoop. The powder is taken by mouth usually once or twice per day. If you consider cholestyramine, your doctor would suggest you follow the medicine from a low dosage and gradually increase it based on the lipid levels in your body.
The powder can be consumed 1 to 6 times per day. Exceeding dosage can cause several side effects, so you can’t take cholestyramine more than 6 pouches a day. Children who are under 18 years old, should take 240 mg/kg of anhydrous cholestyramine resin in 2 to 3 divided doses. Taking an overdose might be harmful to children’s health.
How should you use this medication?
As aforementioned, cholestyramine comes in powder form with doses measured by the scoopful or in individual dose packets. The medicine can not be consumed in dry powder form.
You should mix the medicine with water or any liquid and drink the liquid in the correct dose that is prescribed by your doctor. You can use applesauce or crushed pineapple to mix the medication. Starting with the lower dosage of cholestyramine will reduce the side effects and give desired results. Similar to other medicines, cholestyramine can interact with other medications.
If you are a person who takes regular medication for other health conditions, make sure to have it at least one hour before or 4 to 6 hours after consuming cholestyramine. Holding the mixture in your mouth may lead to tooth discoloration, enamel erosion, or tooth decay.
Be sure to brush your teeth while you are using this medication. The regular use of cholestyramine at the same time each day brings the most benefit to the medicine. Ask your doctor about any doubts related to the medicine, usage, benefits, dosage, etc.
You should not take cholestyramine if you have the following conditions, such as
- Kidney disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Chronic constipation
- Blockage in your stomach
- Liver disease
- Allergy like wheezing, itching, trouble breathing
Cholestyramine can absorb certain vitamins in your body. If you consider the medicine, your doctor would also prescribe vitamin supplements to balance the number of vitamins in the body.
Talk to your doctor If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding because you need more vitamin supplements than a normal person follows.
What are the considerations you need to keep in mind while consuming Cholestyramine?
- Take the medicine with meals, and it helps you avoid interaction with other medicines.
- You can mix this drink with any other non-carbonated drink.
- Keep the medicine at room temperature or you can mix the powder in the liquid, and store it in the refrigerator overnight.
- Do not store the medicine in a moist area
- You can carry the medicine while traveling. Be sure to take the medicine and put it in your carry-on bag
- Drink plenty of water or any liquids with this drug. Before taking the medicine make sure the powder is completely dissolved in the liquid.
- Don’t take the medicine sip by sip or do not hold it in your mouth for so long.
- The medicine can be refillable. You don’t need a new prescription for this drug to be refilled.