Drugs Home > Precautions and Warnings With Colestipol

Before starting any medication, you should understand all of its precautions and warnings. With colestipol, you should know that side effects may occur with use of the drug, including constipation, increased triglycerides, and decreased absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Precautions and warnings with colestipol also extend to people who have an allergy to colestipol, Colestid, or any of the inactive components used in making the drugs.

Colestipol: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Prior to taking colestipol (Colestid®), you talk to your healthcare provider if you have:
  • Stomach problems
  • Gallbladder disease or gallstones
  • Heart disease
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Constipation
  • Biliary obstruction
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Thyroid problems
  • Recent surgery
  • Bleeding problems
  • An allergy to colestipol or to any other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives.
It is also important to let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding
  • A frequent user of alcoholic beverages.
Tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Colestipol

Some precautions and warnings to be aware of while taking colestipol include the following:
  • Colestipol can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Colestipol).
  • Colestipol can cause constipation. It is important to let your healthcare provider know if you have any kind of stomach problem, because colestipol could make your condition worse. You should also drink plenty of water, increase the amount of fiber in your diet, and exercise to help prevent constipation.
  • Colestipol may cause a slight increase in triglycerides. However, it has not been well studied in patients with triglyceride levels greater than 300 mg/dL. If you have high triglycerides and are taking colestipol, your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your progress more closely.
  • Colestipol has been shown to cause a decrease in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and folic acid in animal studies. Therefore, colestipol should be used with caution in people with vitamin deficiencies.
  • The effects of colestipol during pregnancy are not known. If you are pregnant, you should only take colestipol if you and your healthcare provider believe that the benefit outweighs the possible risk to your unborn child. If you become pregnant while taking colestipol, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Since colestipol is not absorbed into the body, it is likely that it doesn't pass through your milk if you are nursing. However, it can affect the absorption of certain types of vitamins. Therefore, you should let your healthcare provider know if you are planning on breastfeeding. Together, you can decide what makes most sense for your particular situation.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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