Questran sachets contain the active ingredient colestyramine, which is a type of medicine called a bile acid sequestrant.
What is it used for?
- High blood cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolaemia).
- Preventing coronary heart disease in men aged 35 to 59 years who have high blood cholesterol (primary hypercholesterolaemia) that has not responded to a cholesterol-lowering diet or other measures.
- Relieving itching caused by partial blockage of the bile ducts (biliary obstruction), or a form of liver disease involving the bile ducts (primary biliary cirrhosis).
- Relieving diarrhoea associated with:- Crohn's disease; surgical removal of part of the intestine (ileal resection); removal of the nerve supply to the gut (vagotomy); decreased nerve supply to the gut due to diabetes (diabetic vagal neuropathy); or radiation treatment.
How does it work?
- Questran sachets contain the active ingredient colestyramine (previously spelt cholestyramine in the UK), which is a type of medicine called a bile acid sequestrant. (NB.
Use with caution in
- Children with inherited high blood cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolaemia).
- Diabetes (each sachet of Questran contains 3.79g of sucrose).
Not to be used in
- Total blockage of the bile duct (total biliary obstruction).
- This medicine is not recommended for children under six years of age.
- This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- The safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding has not been established. The medicine is not absorbed into the bloodstream, but it may cause deficiences in fat soluble vitamins with prolonged use. For this reason, it should be used with caution in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and only if the potential benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risks to the baby. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
- Dissolve or mix this medication with water before taking.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- High levels of chloride in the blood resulting in high acid levels in the blood (hyperchloraemic acidosis).
- Increased tendency to bleed due to vitamin K deficiency.
- Blockage (obstruction) of the intestines.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
- It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
- Colestyramine may interfere with the absorption of other medicines from the gut if they are taken at the same time at this medicine. To avoid this, other medicines should be taken at least one hour before or four to six hours after taking colestyramine.
If you are taking any of the following medicines your treatment should be monitored, as colestyramine may alter the effects of these medicines, even if the above advice regarding timing of doses is followed:
- anticoagulants, eg warfarin
Colestyramine significantly decreases the effect of leflunomide and should not given to people taking leflunomide unless it is needed to wash-out the leflunomide.
Colestyramine is not recommended for use in combination with raloxifene.