If you have type 2 diabetes or a certain type of high cholesterol, your doctor might suggest Welchol as a treatment option for you.

The following conditions are treated with welchol.

colesevelam hydrochloride is an active ingredient in Welchol. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work. You can drink and take a tablets with you.

For more information about Welchol, including details about its uses, see this in-depth article on the drug.

It is used for a long time. Mild or serious side effects can be caused by welchol. Continue reading to learn more.

Some people may experience side effects during their treatment. Some of the reported side effects of Welchol are listed.

The side effects explained section is where you can learn more about this side effect.

Mild side effects have been reported with the drug.

  • sore throat.
  • A nose that is too cold or too dry.
  • high blood pressure.
  • Back pain.
  • indigestion (upset stomach)
  • There is pain in the muscles.
  • fatigue (low energy)
  • weakness
  • It is a problem of the colon.
  • nausea

The side effects explained section is where you can learn more about this side effect.

These side effects should be temporary. Some may be easy to manage. If you have any symptoms that bother you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Unless your doctor recommends it, you should not stop taking it.

Welchol may cause mild side effects other than the ones listed above. See the Welchol prescribing information for details.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Welchol, visit MedWatch.

Some people may experience serious side effects. There have been serious side effects with this drug.

If you develop serious side effects while taking the drug, call your doctor. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you have a medical emergency, immediately call the emergency number.

There is a chance of an allergic reaction after taking the drug. It is not clear if this side effect occurred in studies.

Get answers to questions about the side effects of Welchol.

Does Welchol cause weight loss or weight gain?

In studies, some people who took Welchol for type 2 diabetes lost a small amount of weight. Other people in the studies experienced no change in weight or a small amount of weight gain. This varied depending on which, if any, other diabetes medications they took with Welchol.

In studies, weight gain was more likely when people used Welchol with diabetes drugs known to cause weight gain. These include insulins such as Tresiba (insulin degludec) and sulfonylureas such as Glucotrol (glipizide).

If you experience nausea or indigestion, you could reduce your appetite. Some people may lose weight. Along with diet and exercise, swelchol is prescribed. Changes to your diet and exercise routine can lead to weight loss.

If you have questions about what to expect from your treatment, talk to your doctor.

Do side effects of Welchol vary between the 625-mg tablet and the liquid suspension?

No, side effects of Welchol aren’t known to vary between the 625-mg tablet and the liquid suspension. No differences in side effects were reported in the drug’s studies.

If you have questions about the risks of side effects from the drug, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Is memory loss a side effect of Welchol?

No, Welchol shouldn’t cause memory loss. This wasn’t a side effect reported in studies of the drug.

Welchol is sometimes taken along with a statin drug to treat high cholesterol. It’s unknown whether statins can cause memory loss. To learn more about statins and memory loss, see this article.

If you notice that you are losing memory during your treatment for high cholesterol, please let your doctor know. They can try to figure out the cause of your memory loss.

Does Welchol cause hair loss?

No, Welchol doesn’t cause hair loss. This wasn’t reported in studies of the drug.

Low vitamin absorption is a possible side effect of Welchol. In some cases, this could contribute to hair thinning or loss. For details about the symptoms of vitamin deficiencies, see this article.

Cholesterol can cause hair loss. Lower cholesterol medications have not caused hair loss.

If you are concerned about your cholesterol medications causing hair loss, talk to your doctor.

Welchol can be used to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in children ages 10 to 17 years old who have a genetic (inherited) condition called heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

In studies, most side effects in children taking Welchol were the same as those seen in adults. But children also experienced a few additional side effects, including:

Talk to your doctor about the risks of side effects with the drug.

Learn about the side effects of Welchol.


Nausea can occur during Welchol treatment. In studies, this was more common than some of the drug’s other side effects. In most cases, nausea from Welchol is mild.

What might help

Your doctor can give you suggestions on how to manage nausea. Some ideas include:

  • drinking lots of fluids to stay hydrated
  • Eating bland foods is what I like to do.
  • Eating more frequently.

“OTC medications such as calcium carbonate andPepto- Bismol can be used to treat nausea. Before taking any OTC drugs, you should talk with your doctor to make sure they don’t interact with other drugs.”

If you vomit several times after a few hours, or if you have nausea for a long time, you should call your doctor. Your doctor can help determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend a treatment.

Low blood sugar

Welchol can cause low blood sugar in some people. In studies of people taking Welchol for type 2 diabetes, low blood sugar was more common than some of the drug’s other side effects. But most people who used Welchol didn’t have low blood sugar.

People who take other medications that lower blood sugar are more likely to have low blood sugar with welchol. Succinctly, these include sulfonylureas, and instuments.

Low blood sugar can cause symptoms.

In rare cases, low blood sugar can be severe. Symptoms of severely low blood sugar can include seizure and loss of consciousness. In some cases, severely low blood sugar can lead to coma or may even be fatal. If you’re concerned about your risk of low blood sugar with Welchol, talk with your doctor.

What might help

If your blood sugar gets too low, your doctor or pharmacist can help you create an action plan. This usually involves a specific routine. Some people will take 15 grams of sugar or drink 4 ounces of juice or non- diet soda and wait 15 minutes to check their blood sugar level.

Along with diet and exercise, welchol is prescribed. Your doctor can suggest a diet and exercise plan to help you manage your blood sugar.

If you have questions about your risk of low blood sugar, talk to your doctor. If your symptoms are life threatening, you should go to the nearest emergency room.

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Welchol can cause an allergic reaction in some people. But it only occurred in one participant in studies.

Mild to serious symptoms can be present.

  • There is a skin rash.
  • It is itchy.
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • “It’s usually under your skin, but it can be anywhere.”
  • It can be hard to breathe if you have swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat.

What might help

If you have mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a mild rash, call your doctor right away. They may suggest an over-the-counter oral antihistamine, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), or a topical product, such as hydrocortisone cream, to manage your symptoms.

If your doctor confirms you had a mild allergic reaction to the drug, they will decide if you should continue taking it.

If you have a severe allergic reaction, you should call the emergency number. These symptoms could be life threatening and need immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you had a serious allergic reaction to the drug, they may have you switch to another treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

Keep notes on any side effects you have during your treatment. You can share this information with your doctor. This is helpful when you are starting to use a combination of treatments.

Side effect notes can include things.

  • What dose of drug did you take when you had the side effect?
  • How soon did you experience the side effect?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • How did it affect your daily activities?
  • What other drugs were you taking?
  • Other information is important to you.

Sharing notes with your doctor will help them learn more about how you are affected by the drug. If needed, they can use this information to adjust your treatment plan.

If you have a medical condition that affects your health, you may not be a good choice for welchol. Before starting the drug, you should talk to your doctor about your health history. The list has factors to consider.

Sensitivity to phenylalanine. Welchol oral suspension contains phenylalanine, a substance that makes it taste better. Some people with a rare medical condition called phenylketonuria can have a reaction to phenylalanine. If you have phenylketonuria, Welchol oral suspension may not be safe for you, but you may be able to take the tablet form. Talk with your doctor about whether Welchol is right for you.

High triglycerides. If you have a high level of triglycerides, this can lead to pancreatitis. Your doctor likely won’t prescribe Welchol for you if your triglycerides are above a certain level or if you’ve previously had pancreatitis because of high triglycerides. If you have high triglycerides, talk with your doctor to see if Welchol is safe for you to take. If they decide to prescribe Welchol for you, they may monitor your triglyceride levels closely during your treatment through blood tests.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Welchol or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Welchol. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.

Vitamin deficiencies. If you have a deficiency (not enough) of certain vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, Welchol may not be right for you. This is because Welchol can prevent your body from absorbing these vitamins when you eat. So, if you already have a low amount of these vitamins, Welchol can make your deficiency worse. Your doctor can determine whether you can take Welchol.

Blockage in your intestines. If you have a medical condition that causes slow or difficult digestion, Welchol may not be right for you. This drug may raise your risk of a There is a problem in your body.. If you’ve had issues with this type of blockage before, your doctor likely won’t prescribe Welchol for you. Your doctor can determine whether Welchol is safe for you to take.

Alcohol use and Welchol

It is safe to drink alcohol while taking welchol. Alcohol can cause nausea, so if you drink it during your treatment it may make it worse.

Also, both Welchol and excessive alcohol use can increase your triglyceride levels. This increases your risk of acute pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas).

If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor about the amount that is safe to drink.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Welchol

It is not known if it is safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about whether or not you should use the drug.

Mild or serious side effects may occur with welchol. If you have a side effect, you can ask your doctor to treat it. Here are a few questions to ask.

  • Does the oral suspension cause more side effects than the tablets?
  • Does the drug cause long-term side effects?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of side effects?
  • How do I know if I have high triglycerides?
  • Do any of my medical conditions increase my risk of side effects from welchol?


Will my side effects from Welchol be worse if I also take a statin?



It is possible.

Some of Welchol’s side effects, such as There is pain in the muscles. and nausea, can also be side effects of statins. Some people taking both drugs may have a higher risk of certain side effects. Or the side effects they experience may be worse.

If you have concerns about your side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.