A bile acid sequestrant, which binds bile in the gastrointestinal tract to prevent its reabsorption.
An ion exchange resin.
Removes bile acids from the body by forming insoluble complexes with bile acids in the intestine, which are then excreted in feces.
When bile acids are excreted, plasma cholesterol is converted to bile acid to normalize bile acid levels, thereby lowering cholesterol levels.
Bile acid sequestrants primarily are used to treat hypercholesterolemia, but can also be used to treat the pruritus, or itching, that often occurs during liver failure as the liver is unable to eliminate bile.
Is is also used to prevent diarrhea in Crohn’s disease patients who have undergone post-ileal resection.
When of the terminal ileum, the site of bile acid absorption is removed or abnormal, bile acids can pass to the large bowel and attract water secondary to their osmotic effect causing diarrhea.
This drug prevents this increase in water by making the bile acids insoluble and osmotically inactive, preventing or improving diarrhea.