Cholesterol-lowering medications - bile acid sequestrants
Bile acid sequestrants include:
- Cholestyramine (Questran, Questran Light, Prevalite, Cholestyramine Light)
- Colestipol (Colestid, Colestid Flavored)
- Colesevelam (Welchol)
Taking bile acid sequestrants may deplete vitamins A, D, E and K.
Low levels of vitamin A may cause:
- Night blindness
- Rough and dry skin
- Itchy skin
- Dull hair
- Broken nails
- Increased risk of infections
Vitamin D, along with calcium, keeps your bones strong and healthy.
Low levels of vitamin D may cause:
- Increased risk of osteoporosis
- Softening of the bones, called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults
- Fractures even on minor injury
- Muscle cramps
- Numbness or tingling in toes and feet
- Poor immune response and some medical experts even suggest an increased risk of cancer
It's rare to be deficient in vitamin E. Low levels of vitamin E may cause:
- Diseases of the retina
- Loss of coordination
- Bone weakness
- Unsteady way of walking
Low levels of vitamin K may cause:
- Poor clotting ability which can lead to bruising or possibly serious bleeding including potentially internal bleeding
- Bone weakness
Taking cholestyramine may deplete vitamin B9.
Low levels of folic acid in the body may be linked to:
- Heart disease
- Birth defects
Symptoms may include:
- Mouth sores
- Swollen tongue
- Poor growth
The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be affected when you take certain medicines. If you have any of these signs and symptoms, it does not always mean you have low levels of these nutrients.
Factors that affect the level of nutrients are:
- Your medical history
- How long you have been taking the medicine
Please talk to your health care provider. They can best address your health care needs and see if you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.
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Gold Standard Drug Database. Drug Monograph: Colesevelam, 2016. www.clinicalkey.com/#!/content/drug_monograph/6-s2.0-2295. Accessed July 12, 2016.
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Review Date: 9/19/2016
Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.