Cholestyramine Resin

Table of contents

  • Brand Names
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacologic Category
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Therapeutic Use
  • Pregnancy and Lactation Implications
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings and Precautions
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Toxicological Effects
  • Genes that may be involved
  • Induces
  • Drug Interactions
  • Nutrition/Nutraceutical Interactions
  • Dosage
  • Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Special Considerations

Brand Names


Austria: Quantalan; Belgium: Questran; Cyprus: Questran; Czech Republic: Questran; Denmark: Questran; Finland: Questran; France: Questran; Germany: Colestyr-CT, Colestyramin, Lipocol-Merz, Quantalan, Questeran, Questran, Vasosan P; Greece: Questran; Ireland: Questran; Italy: Questran; Netherlands: Colestyramine, Questran; Poland: Questran, Vasosan P; Portugal: Quantalan; Slovakia: Questran; Spain: Efensol, Resincolestiramina; Sweden: Questran; UK: Questran.

North America

Canada: Cholestyramine, Novo-Cholamine; USA: Cholestyramine, Locholest, Prevalite, Questran.

Latin America

Argentina: Questran; Brazil: Questran; Mexico: Questran.


Japan: Questran.

Drug combinations


Cholestyramine Resin: C~27~H~47~N. Mw: 385.67. CAS-11041-12-6.

Pharmacologic Category

Antilipemic Agents; Bile Acid Sequestrants. (ATC-Code: C10AC01).

Mechanism of action

Binds to bile acids in the intestine and forms a nonabsorbable complex which is excreted in feces. Partial removal of bile acids from the enterohepatic circulation results in increased conversion of cholesterol to bile acids in the liver, causing a compensatory increase in hepatic uptake (and thus systemic clearance) of circulating LDL-C. Reduces serum total and LDL-C concentrations. In partial biliary obstruction, reduction of serum bile acid concentrations reduces excess bile acids deposited in dermal tissues, resulting in relief of pruritus.

Therapeutic use

Primary hypercholesterolemia. Pruritus associated with elevated levels of bile acids. Diarrhea associated with excess fecal bile acids. Binding toxicological agents. Pseudomembraneous colitis.

Pregnancy and lactiation implications

Cholestyramine is not absorbed systemically, but may interfere with vitamin absorption. There are no studies in pregnant women (use with caution). Does not enter breast milk.

Unlabeled use


Hypersensitivity to bile acid sequestering resins or any component of the formulation. Complete biliary obstruction. Bowel obstruction.

Warnings and precautions

Chronic use may be associated with bleeding problems. May produce or exacerbate constipation problems. Fecal impaction may occur. Hemorrhoids may be worsened. Not to be taken simultaneously with a number of other medicines (decreased absorption). May interfere with fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and folic acid. Some dosage forms may contain phenylalanine. May increase prothrombin time and decrease cholesterol, and iron.



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