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Cholestyramine is a bile acid sequestrant, a custom pharmacy drug used to lower cholesterol levels and alleviate itching that may be caused by bile duct blockages. As a bile acid sequestrant, cholestyramine functions by assisting the body in the removal of bile acids.

How to Use Cholestyramine

Cholestyramine can be given in a chewable bar form but is often delivered as an oral suspension powder that should be mixed with food or fluids and taken before or during a meal. Consult with your compounding pharmacist if you have questions about how to use the compounded drug cholestyramine. As with all prescription drugs, always follow your physician's directions for usage of cholestyramine.

Possible Side Effects

Side effects may occur with the use of cholestyramine. Some of the more common side effects seen with cholestyramine are as follows:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Upset Stomach
  • Stomach Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of Appetite

As with any custom pharmacy drug, side effects are possible. Each person is unique, so there is no way to know exactly what side effects you may experience, if any. Should you encounter any of the above or any other side effects, monitor your condition and seek medical assistance if you feel it is needed, or if any side effects are increasing in intensity, becoming worse, or not going away. Contact your physician immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects, or any other side effects that are concerning:

  • Black or Tarry Stools
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Allergic Reactions (hives, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling, rash)
  • Severe Nausea
  • Unusual Bleeding Anywhere in Body
  • Unusual Bruising


Cholestyramine is contraindicated for patients with intestinal obstruction or biliary obstruction.

All patients should consult with their physician to discuss any medications they are currently taking or have recently taken as cholestyramine may negatively interact with many and various other drugs. A complete medical review and history should be initiated before beginning use of cholestyramine.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, breast-feeding or expecting to breast-feed soon you should not take cholestyramine unless your physician has decided that it is warranted.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA