|Type of medicine||Bile acid sequestrant|
|Used for||Lowering cholesterol|
Lipid is another word for fat. Lipids are easily stored in your body and serve as a source of energy. Cholesterol is a lipid. It is made naturally in your body from the food you eat. When the concentration of cholesterol in your blood is too high, it is called hypercholesterolaemia.
In hypercholesterolaemia, small fatty patches called atheroma develop within the inside lining of your blood vessels. Over time, these patches can make a blood vessel narrower and this is called atherosclerosis or 'hardening of the arteries'. This narrowing reduces the blood flow through the artery and increases the risk of a number of heart and blood vessel diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.
Taking colestipol reduces the amount of cholesterol in your blood. It does this by binding to bile acids which are passed into your digestive system from your liver and gallbladder. This prevents the bile acids from being reabsorbed (recycled) into your body in the usual way. By preventing the bile acids from being reabsorbed, your liver has to make more bile acids which it does by using cholesterol from your blood. This lowers the amount of cholesterol in your blood and reduces your risk of blood vessel disease.
Before taking colestipol
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking colestipol it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take colestipol
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the brand of colestipol you have been given, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Take colestipol granules exactly as your doctor has told you. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how much to take and when to take it. Your dose will also be on the label of your pack. (A usual starting dose is one or two sachets a day.)
- Take colestipol mixed into a liquid such as orange or tomato juice, water, or skimmed milk. Stir the granules from the sachet into at least 100 ml of the liquid. If you prefer, you can take colestipol mixed into 100 ml of soup, fruit smoothie, yoghurt, or with your cereal. Do not take the granules dry.
- Try to take colestipol at the same time(s) each day. This will help you to avoid missing any doses.
- Colestipol can stop the absorption of many other medicines. If you are taking other medicines, these should be taken at least 1 hour before you take colestipol or alternatively, 4-6 hours afterwards.
- If you forget to take a dose, don't worry, just take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. You will need to have blood tests from time to time to measure your cholesterol level.
- Your doctor will give you advice about eating a healthy diet, reducing the amount of salt in your diet, stopping smoking and taking regular exercise. Following this advice will also help you to reduce your risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease.
- Treatment with colestipol is usually long-term. Continue to take it unless you are advised otherwise.
- Long-term treatment with colestipol may reduce your body's absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D and K) and folic acid. Your doctor will advise you if you need to take a vitamin supplement.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.
Can colestipol cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common colestipol side-effects - these affect around 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water|
|Feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach ache||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich and spicy food|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store colestipol
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Colestid® Orange; Manufacturer's PIL, Colestid® Orange, Pharmacia Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2008.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Hannah Gronow|
|Last Checked: 14/03/2012||Document ID: 13852 Version: 1||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.