Colestipol is a cholesterol-lowering medication. It is in the drug class known as bile acid resins. Bile acid is created by the liver with the use of the body’s cholesterol. Colestipol speeds the passing of bile acid from the body. This causes the liver to make more bile acid, removing more cholesterol from the body, which in turn lowers cholesterol levels.
Colestipol, works together with diet to help lower high levels of cholesterol. It is available in tablet and granule forms. Colestid is the only brand name medication available for Colestipol at this time.
Colestipol granules should always be mixed with liquid before consumption. Never inhale granules. Never take Colestipol in dry form and use at least three ounces of liquid when mixing granules. The granules should be mixed with liquids such as:
Carbonated beverages (may cause stomach or intestinal discomfort)
Milk alone or milk mixed with breakfast cereals
Fruit juices such as orange juice, pineapple juice, or tomato juice
Pulpy fruit such as crushed peaches, pears, and pineapple or fruit cocktail
Soups with a high liquid content such as chicken noodle or tomato
Swallow Colestipol tablets whole, one at a time, do not cut, chew, or crush them. Drink plenty of water when taking the tablets.
Side effects of Colestipol may include:
• Constipation or worsening of hemorrhoids
• Abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, or flatulence
• Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, or decreased appetite
• Hiccups or sour taste
• Headache; or dizziness or drowsiness
Before starting Colestipol, you should be tested for diseases that may contribute to increased blood cholesterol, such as an under-active thyroid gland, diabetes, kidney disease, dysproteinemia (a blood disease), obstructive liver disease, and alcoholism. Other treatment for these conditions, prior to being treated with Colestipol, may be necessary.
Colestipol may prevent the absorption of vitamins such as A, D, and K. In fact, long-term use of Colestipol may be connected to increased bleeding from a lack of vitamin K. Taking vitamin K while being treated with Colestipol can help to prevent this condition as well as relieve it.
If you have Phenylketonuria (a hereditary disease caused by the body’s inability to handle the amino acid Phenylalanine), you should not take Colestipol as it contains Phenylalanine.
Colestipol may reduce the absorption of other medications. Therefore, take other medications at least one hour before or four hours after taking Colestipol.
Tell your healthcare professional about all of the medications you use since certain medications can increase cholesterol. If Colestipol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Check with your healthcare professional before combining any of the following with Colestipol:
• Pain, fever, and inflammation reducers such as
o Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
o Indomethacin (Indocin)
o Ketoprofen (Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail)
o Naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn)
• Antibiotics such as
o Penicillins (Amoxil, Augmentin, Pen VK, Veetids)
o Tetracyclines (Sumycin, Achromycin, Minocin, Doryx, Doxy, Vibramycin)
o Clindamycin (Cleocin)
• Heart medicines such as
o Digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps)
o Propranolol (Inderal)
o Methyldopa (Aldomet)
o Furosemide (Lasix)
o Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril)
o Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
o Metolazone (Mykrox, Zaroxolyn)
o Indapamide (Lozol)
• Diabetes medications such as
o Glipizide (Glucotrol)
o Tolbutamide (Orinase)
• Anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as
o Warfarin (Coumadin)
• Other cholesterol treatments such as
o Gemfibrozil (Lopid)
o Clofibrate (Atromid-S)
o Nicotinic Acid (niacin)
• Thyroid hormones such as
o Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid)
• Medicines used to treat depression such as
o Imipramine (Tofranil)
• Gallstone medications such as
o Ursodiol (Actigall)
• Seizure medicines such as
o Phenytoin (Dilantin)
• Steroid drugs such as
o Hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone)
The effects of Colestipol during pregnancy have not been determined. If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or plan to breastfeed, consult your healthcare professional. Since Colestipol interferes with the absorption of vitamins A, D, and K, it may affect both the mother and the nursing infant.
Your healthcare professional can provide you with more information on Colestipol as well as other cholesterol-lowering medications.