Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Cholestyramine

Cholestyramine

Last updated on 30/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Cholestyramine

ALTERNATIVE NAME: Colestyramine, Cholestyramine resin

CHINESE NAME: 考来烯胺

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Olestyr Powder

DRUG CLASS: Lipid-regulating drugs

SUB CLASS: Bile acid sequestrant

USED FOR: Hyperlipidemia, Pruritus associated with cholestasis

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 4g (oral powder)

What is Cholestyramine for?

Cholestyramine belongs to a class of medications called bile acid sequestrant which combines with bile acid in the small intestine and excrete through feces. Cholesterol in the blood is therefore reduced since they are used to make new bile acids. Although Cholestyramine can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL, “bad cholesterol”) levels, it is not a first-line agent used for hyperlipidemia in Hong Kong due to its interactions with drugs and food. On the other hand, it is also indicated for the treatment of pruritus associated with cholestasis.

How to use it?

Cholestyramine can be administered as suspension, in which the powder should be added to 120-180 ml of liquid before taking. The usual dose is 4 g once to twice daily, and can be increased gradually to 8-16 g/day divided in 2 or more doses. Maximum dose is 24 g/day.

What are the side effects of Cholestyramine?

Common side effects of Cholestyramine include constipation, flatulence, headache, abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting.

Who should not take Cholestyramine?

– People who are allergic to Cholestyramine or any component of the formulation
– Patients with complete biliary obstruction

Pharmacist Tips:

– Do not sip or hold the suspension in mouth for a long time because it may cause discoloration of teeth and erosion of tooth enamel. Check your teeth regularly.
– Supplementation of vitamins A, D, E, and K, folic acid may be required with high-dose cholestyramine over a long period of time.
– Lifestyle modification is the first line treatment for hyperlipidemia, which includes a healthy diet, regular exercise and weight management.
– Drink more water during the treatment.

Common dosing schedule:
Cholestyramine is recommended to be taken at mealtime. Also, other oral medications should be administered 1 hour before or 4-6 hours after taking Cholestyramine.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Cholestyramine may interact with:
Warfarin
Digoxin
Levothyroxine
– Nonsteroidal anti-Inflammatory drugs, e.g. Aspirin, Ibuprofen
– Diuretics, e.g. Frusemide, Hydrochlorothiazide
– Beta-blockers, e.g. Metoprolol, Propranolol
– Contraceptives, e.g. Levonorgestrel, Ethinylestradiol

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Cholestyramine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Cholestyramine is an over-the-counter medicine and can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Cholestyramine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.