Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional. Brands and generics both contain the same active ingredient(s) and are medically equivalent. Some brands are marketed under different names by the same manufacturing country depending on the country of origin.
Choltran (cholestyramine) is a medication which prevents bile from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream after digestion, causing it to be excreted as waste instead. It is predominantly used to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood, but also sees use in alleviating the severe itching associated with certain liver problems, alleviate diarrhea, and to encourage rapid elimination of other medications.
In other words, Choltran is used to:
While very useful at what it treats, patients should have the condition evaluated by a doctor prior to starting treatment with Choltran. The medication will have no effect if reabsorption of bile is not contributing to the condition.
Likewise patients who have diabetes, a thyroid disorder, kidney or liver disease, chronic vitamin deficiency, or chronic constipation should discuss risks with a doctor prior to taking Choltran.
Choltran is most widely available as a powder; either individual sachets or a canister with a scoop. One sachet or one scoop represents one dose; the number of doses taken varies according to the condition being treated and patient response.
Powdered doses should be mixed in a non-carbonated beverage or high-liquid content food; water, juice, tea, soup, applesauce, and so forth are all viable options. Once mixed in, the beverage or food should be consumed immediately and in entirety.
Ideally a doctor will help a patient individualize treatment. Very rough treatment guidelines are:
Detailed instructions are included with each package of Choltran. Some additional tips to ensure treatment goes well:
Additional dietary changes are often recommended along with Choltran, to further enhance the medication's effects and minimize side effects, as well as further control the underlying condition.
Choltran binds with bile in the digestive tract, and binds to many other substances that might otherwise bind to bile. This can cause a range of complications as far as absorbing nutrients and other medications, particularly if used long term.
If the medication is used for more than a couple of weeks, patients may start to experience depletion of vitamins A, D, E, and K. These patients may be prescribed a multivitamin to compensate, which should be taken several hours before or after a dose of Choltran.
Other medications should also be taken several hours before or after a dose of Choltran, though this may not be enough in all cases. Double-check with a doctor regarding all other medications taken during treatment, particularly vital medications.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid this product if at all possible due to nutrient deficiency concerns.
The most common side effect associated with Choltran is constipation. Increasing fluid intake is the best way to prevent this from happening. Consult a doctor if it becomes severe.
Other side effects are rare and most are harmless, including mild constipation or diarrhea, mild stomach upset, bloating, and itching around the anus. Very rarely more serious reactions occur, which call for emergency medical attention:
Regular doctor check-ups are advisable for all patients taking Choltran, to ensure it is working as intended and to monitor any possible subtle side effects, such as vitamin deficiency.