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Drugs reference index «Colestid»



Generic name: Colestipol hydrochlorideBrand names: Colestid

Why is Colestid prescribed?

Colestid, in conjunction with diet, is used to help lower high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is available in plain and orange-flavored granules and in tablet form.

Most important fact about Colestid

Accidentally inhaling Colestid granules may cause serious effects. To avoid this, NEVER take them in their dry form. Colestid granules should always be mixed with water or other liquids BEFORE you take them.

How should you take Colestid?

Colestid granules should be mixed with liquids such as:

Carbonated beverages (may cause stomach or intestinal discomfort)Flavored drinksMilkOrange juicePineapple juiceTomato juiceWater

Colestid may also be mixed with:

Milk used on breakfast cerealsPulpy fruit (such as crushed peaches, pears, or pineapple) or fruit cocktailSoups with a high liquid content (such as chicken noodle or tomato)

To take Colestid granules with beverages:

  1. Measure at least 3 ounces of liquid into a glass.
  2. Add the prescribed dose of Colestid to the liquid.
  3. Stir until Colestid is completely mixed (it will not dissolve) and then drink the mixture.
  4. Pour a small amount of the beverage into the glass, swish it around, and drink it. This will help make sure you have taken all the medication.

Swallow Colestid tablets whole, one at a time. Although they are unusually large and may be hard to swallow, do not cut, chew, or crush them. Take the tablets with plenty of water or other liquid.

  • If you miss a dose...Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose.
  • Storage instructions...Store Colestid granules and tablets at room temperature.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Colestid.

  • Side effects may include:Constipation, worsening of hemorrhoids

Why should Colestid not be prescribed?

You should not be using Colestid if you are allergic to it or any of its components.

Special warnings about Colestid

Before starting treatment with Colestid, you should:

  • Be tested (and treated) for diseases that may contribute to increased blood cholesterol, such as an underactive thyroid gland, diabetes, nephrotic syndrome (a kidney disease), dysproteinemia (a blood disease), obstructive liver disease, and alcoholism.
  • Be on a diet plan (approved by your doctor) that stresses low-cholesterol foods and weight loss (if necessary).

Because certain medications may increase cholesterol, you should tell your doctor all of the medications you use.

Colestid may prevent the absorption of vitamins such as A, D, and K. Long-term use of Colestid may be connected to increased bleeding from a lack of vitamin K. Taking vitamin K1 will help relieve this condition and prevent it in the future.

Your cholesterol and triglyceride levels should be checked regularly while you are taking Colestid.

Colestid may cause or worsen constipation. Dosages should be adjusted by your doctor. You may need to increase your intake of fiber and fluid. A stool softener also may be needed occasionally. People with coronary artery disease should be especially careful to avoid constipation. Hemorrhoids may be worsened by constipation related to Colestid.

If you have phenylketonuria (a hereditary disease caused by your body's inability to handle the amino acid phenylalanine), be aware that Flavored Colestid granules contain phenylalanine.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Colestid

Colestid may delay or reduce the absorption of other drugs. Allow as much time as possible between taking Colestid and taking other medications. Other drugs should be taken at least 1 hour before or 4 hours after taking Colestid.

If Colestid is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Colestid with the following:

ChlorothiazideDigitalisFolic acid and vitamins such as A, D, and KFurosemideGemfibrozilHydrochlorothiazideHydrocortisonePenicillin G,Phosphate supplementsPropranololTetracycline

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Colestid during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or plan to breastfeed, check with your doctor. Since Colestid interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K it may affect both the mother and the nursing infant.

Recommended dosage for Colestid


One packet or 1 level scoopful of Flavored Colestid granules or one packet or 1 level teaspoon of unflavored granules contains 5 grams of Colestipol.

The usual starting dose is 1 packet or 1 level scoopful once or twice a day. Your doctor may increase this by 1 dose a day every month or every other month, up to 6 packets or 6 level scoopfuls taken once a day or divided into smaller doses.

If you are taking Colestid tablets, the usual starting dose is 2 grams (2 tablets) once or twice a day. Your doctor may increase the dose every month or every other month, to a maximum of 16 grams a day, taken once a day or divided into smaller doses.


The safety and effectiveness of Colestid have not been established for children.


Overdoses of Colestid have not been reported. If an overdose occurred, the most likely harmful effect would be obstruction of the stomach and/or intestines. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately.

  • Colestid Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Colestid MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Colestid Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Colestid Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Colestipol Prescribing Information (FDA)

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