Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Constipation: Colesevelam may cause or worsen constipation. Fecal impaction (a large mass of stool that may be lodged in the colon) and worsening of hemorrhoids may occur. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if any of these side effects become bothersome.
Drug interactions: Colesevelam can interact with other medications, such as birth control pills, cyclosporine, and warfarin (see "What medications can interact with colesevelam?" for more medications). If you take any of these medications, you should wait at least 4 hours before taking colesevelam. Your doctor will monitor you and the other medications you are taking while you are taking colesevelam. In general, if a drug interaction cannot be ruled out, you should take colesevelam at least 4 hours after your other medications in order to lessen the risk of the other medications not being fully absorbed into the body.
Gastrointestinal: The safety and efficacy of colesevelam have not been established for people with swallowing problems, severe gastrointestinal motility disorder, inflammatory bowel disease, liver failure, or major gastrointestinal tract surgery. If you have any of these conditions, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Triglyceride levels: Colesevelam can increase triglyceride (blood fat) levels. If your triglyceride (blood fat) levels are greater than 3.4 mmol/L, your doctor should monitor them while you are on this medication.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if colesevelam passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under 18 years old.