Welchol treats high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. Promptly report any stomach pain or severe constipation while taking this medication.

Welchol Overview


Welchol is a prescription medication used to treat elevated cholesterol alone or in combination with other drugs. Welchol may also be used to treat type II diabetes. Welchol belongs to group of drugs called bile acid sequetrants which reduce cholesterol levels by binding bile acids that are then removed from your body.

The medication comes in both a tablet and packets for oral suspension that are taken by mouth either once or twice a day based on your doctor’s instructions with a meal and a liquid.

Common side effects of Welchol are gas, constipation, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain.



How was your experience with Welchol?

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What are you taking Welchol for?

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  • Other
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hyperlipoproteinemias
  • Hypertriglyceridemia

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did Welchol work for you?

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Welchol Cautionary Labels


Uses of Welchol

Welchol is a prescription medicine use to treat:

  • elevated LDL cholesterol in adults
  • elevated LDL levels in boys and girls 10-17 years old with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia
  • elevated blood glucose levels in type II diabetes

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.



Welchol Drug Class

Welchol is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Welchol

Common side effects of Welchol include:

  • gas
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • weakness
  • muscle pain

This is not a complete list of this medication’s side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Welchol Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Gengraf, Neoral)
  • glimepiride (Amaryl, Duetact, Avandaryl)
  • glipizide (Glucotrol, Glucotrol XL
  • glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase, Glucovance)
  • levothyroxine (Synthroid, Tirosent, Levoxyl, Levo-T, Levothroid, Unithroid)
  • olmesartan (Azor, Tribenzor, Benicar HCT, Benicar)
  • oral contraceptives (birth control) containing ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Gildess, Femcon FE, Norethrin, others)
  • metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Fortamet, Glumetza, others)
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)

This is not a complete list of all drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Welchol Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Welchol and certain precautions are advised:

  • Promptly discontinue this medication and seek medical attention if severe stomach pain or severe constipation occurs, with or without nausea or vomiting.
  • Tablets can cause difficulty swallowing or esophageal (the tube from mouth to the stomach) blockage and should be used with caution.

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to Welchol or to any of its ingredients
  • have a history of bowel obstruction


Welchol Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of this medication, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet.


Inform MD

Before taking Welchol, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to Welchol or to any of its ingredients
  • have pancreas problems
  • have digestive tract problems
  • have trouble swallowing foods
  • have hypertriglyceridemia (high levels of a type of fat called triglyceride in the bloodstream)
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Welchol and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

This medication falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with Welchol. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.


Welchol and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Welchol is not expected to cross into human milk.


Welchol Usage

Take this medication as prescribed by your doctor.

The medication comes in both a tablet and packets for oral suspension that are taken by mouth either once or twice a day based on your doctor’s instructions with a meal and a liquid.

Welchol Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

Welchol Tablets

  • The recommended dose is 6 tablets once daily or 3 tablets twice daily. Welchol tablets should be taken with a meal and liquid.

Welchol for Oral (by mouth) Suspension

  • The recommended dose is one 3.75 gram packet once daily or one 1.875 gram packet twice daily.
  • To prepare, empty the entire contents of one packet into a glass or cup. Add ½ to 1 cup (4 to 8 ounces) of water, fruit juice, or diet soft drinks. Stir well and drink. Welchol oral suspension should be taken with meals. To avoid esophageal distress, Welchol oral suspension should not be taken in its dry form.

Welchol Overdose

If you take too much this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.


Other Requirements

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from moisture.
  • If you are being treated for diabetes or for high cholesterol levels, eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, and be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitcian.
  • Kepe this and all other medications out of the reach of children.