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Questran Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Questran (cholestyramine) for Oral Suspension is used to lower high levels of cholesterol in the blood, especially low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ("bad" cholesterol). Questran powder is also used to treat itching caused by a blockage in the bile ducts of the gallbladder. It is a cholesterol-lowering agent. The brand name Questran is discontinued in the U.S. Generic forms may still be available. Common side effects include constipation, stomach/abdominal pain, gas, nausea, and vomiting.
The recommended starting adult dose for all cholestyramine powdered products is one packet or one level scoopful once or twice a day. The recommended maintenance dose is 2 to 4 packets or scoopfuls daily (8-16 grams anhydrous cholestyramine resin) divided into two doses. Cholestyramine may interact with blood thinners, digoxin, propranolol, diuretics (water pills), thyroid hormones, birth control pills or hormone replacement, seizure medicines, or antibiotics. Tell your doctor all medications you use. During pregnancy, cholestyramine should be used only when prescribed. It may affect the absorption of certain nutrients. This medication is unlikely to pass into breast milk, but it may affect the absorption of certain nutrients. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Our Questran (cholestyramine) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
Questran in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- blood in your urine;
- severe stomach pain;
- ongoing constipation;
- feeling short of breath;
- black, bloody, or tarry stools; or
- easy bruising or bleeding.
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild constipation, diarrhea;
- stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, weight changes;
- bloating or gas;
- hiccups or a sour taste in your mouth;
- skin rash or itching;
- irritation of your tongue;
- itching or irritation around your rectal area;
- muscle or joint pain; or
- dizziness, spinning sensation; ringing in your ears.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Questran (Cholestyramine) »
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Questran Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
To prevent constipation, eat a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. If you become constipated while using this drug, consult your pharmacist for help in selecting a stool softener and/or a laxative.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal pain, unusual bleeding/bruising, rapid breathing, confusion.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Questran (Cholestyramine)»
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Questran FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The most common adverse reaction is constipation. When used as a cholesterol-lowering agent predisposing factors for most complaints of constipation are high dose and increased age (more than 60 years old). Most instances of constipation are mild, transient, and controlled with conventional therapy. Some patients require a temporary decrease in dosage or discontinuation of therapy.
Less Frequent Adverse Reactions: Abdominal discomfort and/or pain, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, eructation, anorexia, and steatorrhea, bleeding tendencies due to hypoprothrombinemia (Vitamin K deficiency) as well as Vitamin A (one case of night blindness reported) and D deficiencies, hyperchloremic acidosis in children, osteoporosis, rash and irritation of the skin, tongue and perianal area. Rare reports of intestinal obstruction, including two deaths, have been reported in pediatric patients.
Occasional calcified material has been observed in the biliary tree, including calcification of the gallbladder, in patients to whom QUESTRAN (cholestyramine) has been given. However, this may be a manifestation of the liver disease and not drug related.
One patient experienced biliary colic on each of three occasions on which he took QUES-TRAN. One patient diagnosed as acute abdominal symptom complex was found to have a “pasty mass”in the transverse colon on x-ray.
Other events (not necessarily drug related) reported in patients taking QUESTRAN (cholestyramine) include: Gastrointestinal-GI-rectal bleeding, black stools, hemorrhoidal bleeding, bleeding from known duodenal ulcer, dysphagia, hiccups, ulcer attack, sour taste, pancreatitis, rectal pain, diverticulitis.
Laboratory test changes-Liver function abnormalities.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Questran (Cholestyramine) »
Additional Questran Information
Questran - User Reviews
Questran User Reviews
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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