Drugs Home > What Is Colesevelam Used For?

Primary colesevelam uses include lowering cholesterol and treating type 2 diabetes. By reducing levels of cholesterol in the body, the drug helps lower the risk of complications associated with high cholesterol, such as heart disease. Colesevelam is used for lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes who are already taking other diabetes medications.

What Is Colesevelam Used For? -- An Overview

Colesevelam hydrochloride (WelChol®) is a medication licensed to treat high LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) levels in people with high cholesterol. It is also licensed to help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
 

Why Is Colesevelam Used for High Cholesterol?

High levels of cholesterol in the blood can accumulate on the walls of arteries (a condition known as atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries), leading to decreased blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart, brain, and other areas of the body. This can greatly increase a person's risk for developing conditions such as:
 
 
Colesevelam should be used in addition to a low-cholesterol diet and exercise. It works by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and apo B (a component of cholesterol that is related to several heart disease risk factors). It can also slightly raise HDL cholesterol, which is the "good" cholesterol.
 
Cholesterol treatment is aimed at lowering LDL cholesterol levels enough to reduce the risk of complications associated with high cholesterol (see Effects of High Cholesterol). If you are at a higher risk, you will have a lower LDL goal.
 
Colesevelam can be used alone or in combination with an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (known more commonly as a statin) to lower cholesterol levels.
 
(Click High Cholesterol Risk to determine your cholesterol risk and find out what your LDL cholesterol level should be.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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