FDA Approves Daiichi Sankyo's Welchol

WelChol is used to lower blood cholesterol levels when diet and exercise prove insufficient.

It works by binding with cholesterol-based bile acids to take them out of circulation. This prompts the liver to produce a replacement supply of bile acids, drawing the extra cholesterol it needs out of the bloodstream.

WelChol may be taken alone or with other medicines to lower the cholesterol in your blood. WelChol should be used as an adjunct to diet and exercise to reduce elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in patients with high cholesterol levels, or to control blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that may build up in the blood vessels and can lead to conditions such as heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.

Reducing high cholesterol levels. It is used along with diet and exercise. It may be used alone or with other medicines. It is also used along with other medicines to control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Welchol is a bile acid sequestrant. It works to decrease cholesterol by increasing the removal of bile acids from the body. As the body loses bile acids, it replaces them by converting cholesterol from the blood to bile acids. This causes the blood level of cholesterol to decrease. Exactly how Welchol works to treat type 2 diabetes is not known.

WelChol is a drug used to lower cholesterol. It has also been licensed to treat type 2 diabetes; however, while it is clear that the drug works within the digestive tract, it is not clear how it works to control blood sugar. WelChol comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth once or twice a day with meals. Common side effects include constipation and heartburn.