Drugs Home > Colestipol

Colestipol is a medicine that is often prescribed for the treatment of high cholesterol. The drug helps to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels in the blood by binding to bile acids in the intestines and preventing them from being reabsorbed into the body. It comes in either tablet or granule form, and is generally taken once or twice a day.

What Is Colestipol?

Colestipol (Colestid®) is a prescription medication used to lower cholesterol levels in the blood, including total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol). Lowering the amount of cholesterol may help to prevent conditions such as heart disease, angina (chest pain), stroke, or heart attack. The medication should be used in combination with diet and exercise for the best results.
 
(Click What Is Colestipol Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Colestipol?

Colestipol is manufactured by Pfizer, Inc.
 

How Does It Work?

Colestipol is part of a class of drugs known as bile acid sequestrants. It works by binding to bile acids in the intestines, preventing them from being reabsorbed into the body. Bile acids are made in the liver from broken-down cholesterol. Therefore, removing these substances from your body helps to lower your blood cholesterol.
 

When and How Do I Take This Medication?

Some general considerations to keep in mind when taking colestipol include the following:
 
  • This prescription drug is taken once or twice a day, depending on your healthcare provider's recommendation.
     
  • Colestipol should be used in combination with lifestyle modifications. This includes a healthy diet that is low in cholesterol and saturated fats, limited alcohol use, weight loss, and exercise.
     
  • Your dosage should be taken with a meal and plenty of water to avoid constipation.
     
  • Colestipol comes in either tablets or granules. The tablets are large pills, so be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have had swallowing or choking problems.
     
  • Do not break, chew, or crush the tablets.
     
  • The granules should never be taken in their dry form. Make sure to follow the preparation directions on the prescription. Colestipol may be mixed with water, non-carbonated beverages, liquid soup, apple sauce, or crushed pineapple.
     
  • Colestipol should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in the blood. Do not take it more often than directed.
     
  • Colestipol may reduce the absorption of some medications. If you are taking another medication, you may need to take it one hour before or four to six hours after you take colestipol. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can let you know which medications need to be taken separately.
     
  • For this medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Colestipol will not work if you stop taking it.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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