Bile acids, which are normally present in the digestive tract, stimulate the colon. Bile acid binding agents prevent bile acids from stimulating the colon, which slows the passage of stools and relieves diarrhea. It is not common for bile to cause this problem, but if it does, these medicines can help. They usually are not tried soon after a person is diagnosed. But if symptoms don't improve with usual treatment, they may be tried.
Bile acid binding agents, such as cholestyramine (such as Prevalite), are mixed with water and may be taken several times a day.
Side effects include nausea, bloating, gas, feelings of fullness, abdominal (belly) pain, and constipation. These side effects may be similar to the symptoms that the medicine is intended to treat.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
Current as ofAugust 9, 2016
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.