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Having cholesterol and close to become a diabetic. On Welchol. Is this medication safe?

I have cholesterol in the high 200s; have a coronary stent; cannot take statins. Just prescribed Welchol 625mg tabs (3tabs twice a day); I am borderline diabetic, 63 years old; have never had heart even, but may have had silent strokes (brain lesions visible). Is Welchol safe for me? helpful to me? what may I expect in the way of physical problems with this medication, including short and long term? Thank you.
Asked On : Wed, 1 May 2013
Answers:  4 Views:  62
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Diabetologist 's  Response

You have hyperlipidemia with coronary stent.
Your cholesterol is little higher.
You should maintain it around 150mg%.
Welchol is a lipid lowering drug.
It will reduce the cholesterol in your blood.
It is safe.
Some of the common side effects are
Mild constipation.
Nausea and vomiting.
Muscle pain.
Head ache
Answered: Wed, 1 May 2013
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General & Family Physician Dr. Het Ram Bishnoi 's  Response
Sep 2013
Hi, thanks for the posting the question to H.C.M. Forum.
Stent is there i.e coronary artery disease.
Diabetic case.
Here please remember one thing that a diabetic patient is always prone to heart disease whether it is silent or known case. The silent case is most dangerous as you have seen in your case.
WELCHOL is a drug which is used in both diabetes and coronary artery diseases.
Welchol is indicated as an adjunct to diet & exercise to reduce elevated LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN CHOLESTEROL ( LDL-C) in adults with primary hyperlipidemia as an monotherapyor in combination with a coenzyme, namely Hydromethyle-glutaryl-coenzyme.
LDL-C treatment goals are to reduce it less than 100 mg/dl.
The best result comes when welchol reduces it (LDL-C) less than 70 mg?dl.
So the patient who is on this drug(WELCHOL) , main object is to regulate LDL-C less than 70 mg/dl.
So periodical blood examination is must to check LDL-C after every 10-15 days.
When this is in control than stop the medicine and than off & on , according to need.
Only mild side effects are there as allergy ( noted on first day of therapy,if any) ,nausea, constipation etc.
Once again keep in mind that diet and exercise are adjunct of this drug.
Good luck Dr. HET
Answered: Wed, 1 May 2013
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Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Akhilesh Dubey's  Response
Welcome to HCM,
You have coronary artery disease,high cholesterol level but you have not mentioned level of LDL and other components.
Welchol contains colesevelam hydrochloride, a non-absorbed, polymeric, lipid-lowering and glucose-lowering agent. It works by binding bile acids.
Please take with meals and water.
This drug is useful in reducing cholesterol and LDL but may increase Triglyceride level slightly.
This drug apart from lowering cholesterol level also improves Glycemic control. Hence take care of diet diabetic as well as low fats and low cholesterol diet.
You have mentioned that you can not take statin I presume there must be some reason.
Constipation, Dyspepsia, Hypoglycemia,Nausea, and Hypertension.
If you have any symptoms please contact your treating Physician.
Hope this is useful for you.
Take care
Good Luck.
Dr Akhilesh Dubey M.D.

Answered: Wed, 1 May 2013
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General & Family Physician Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta's  Response
WELCHOL is a very good drug and  is safe and useful for you.
WELCHOL (colesevelam hydrochloride) is a non-absorbed, polymeric, lipid-lowering and glucose-lowering agent intended for oral administration. 

 WelChol is part of a class of drugs known as bile acid sequestrants. It works by binding to bile acids in the intestines, preventing them from being reabsorbed into the body. Bile acids are made in the liver from broken-down cholesterol. Therefore, removing these substances from your body helps lower your blood cholesterol. The medication can lower both total and LDL cholesterol, while slightly raising HDL cholesterol.
It is not yet known how WelChol works to help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. However, it is clear that the drug works within the digestive tract, since it is not absorbed into the rest of the body.

As far as side effects of this medicine are concerned ,most people tolerate it quite well. 
If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor.
 Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects include constipation,heartburn and nausea.

Answered: Wed, 1 May 2013
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