Important information to consider about non-systemic cholesterol lowering agents

October 29, 2002

There's been quite a bit of "noise" in the cholesterol category within the past year -- statins being recalled or relabeled due to safety concerns and future "super statins" now being called into question over safety of highest dose. And now a new compound (with no outcomes data as of yet), joins the market. What all of these compounds have in common is that they are absorbed into the blood stream.

Attached here for your review is some information about WelChol® (colesevelam hydrochloride). WelChol is non-systemic (i.e., it is not absorbed and does not travel through the bloodstream.) Thus, patients may avoid systemic side effects that might accompany absorbed cholesterol-lowering drugs.

It's part of the bile acid sequestrant class -- a class that is well studied with a safety record spanning 30 years and proven outcomes data. It is also the only non-absorbed cholesterol-lowering agent FDA approved to be used in combination with any dose of any statin -- and the effects are greater then either therapy alone.

If you are doing a cholesterol story, please review the following and consider for inclusion. And please don't hesitate to contact us for further information. Thank you.

  • WelChol is non-systemic (it is not absorbed and does not travel through the bloodstream). Thus, patients may avoid systemic side effects that might accompany absorbed cholesterol-lowering drugs.

  • WelChol is the only non-systemic cholesterol-lowering agent FDA approved to be used in combination with any dose of any statin. WelChol has been studied with three top selling statins -- Lipitor®, Zocor® and Mevacor®. Results demonstrated that co-administration of WelChol and statins can lower LDL cholesterol levels significantly better than using either therapy alone.

  • The bile acid sequestrant (BAS) class is well studied with a safety record spanning 30 years and proven outcomes data.

  • Demonstrated ability to significantly lower mortality and nonfatal MI by 19%. (p<0.05 vs. placebo)

  • 95% decrease in death and a 79% decrease in cardiovascular events versus usual care when used in combination with statins and niacin.

  • WelChol has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks.

  • Liver function monitoring is not required with WelChol. In combination with a statin, no additional liver function monitoring is required beyond that for the prescribed statin alone, unlike Zetia® that requires testing upon initiation of combination therapy with a statin.

  • The effects of cholesterol absorption inhibitors including Zetia given alone or in addition to a statin on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality have not been established.

  • In a co-administration study with Lipitor, HDL cholesterol was improved by 11% with WelChol plus Lipitor versus 8% for Lipitor alone.

  • WelChol is not for everyone, especially those with bowel blockage. Tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing or severe stomach or intestinal problems. Side effects may include constipation, indigestion and gas.
    Please see full prescribing information for WelChol (colesevelam HCl).

    For more information on WelChol, call 1-877-4-SANKYO (877-472-6596), visit the WelChol web site at; or contact Deborah Adams 212-885-0449 or Wendy Lu 212-885-0346.

    Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium) is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc. Zocor® (simvastatin) and Mevacor® (lovastatin) are registered trademarks of Merck & Co., Inc. Zetia®(ezetimibe) is a trademark of MSP Marketing Services, LLC

    Hill and Knowlton

    Related Statins Articles from Brightsurf:

    Being in treatment with statins reduces COVID-19 mortality by 22% to 25%
    A research by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Pere Virgili Institut (IISPV) led by LluĂ­s Masana has found that people who are being treated with statins have a 22% to 25% lower risk of dying from COVID-19.

    Twitter data research reveals more about what patients think about statins
    More than one in seven people taking statins -- prescribed to lower cholesterol levels -- believed that meant they could still eat unhealthy foods, a new study shows.

    Statins starve cancer cells to death
    More than 35 million Americans take statin drugs daily to lower their blood cholesterol levels.

    Statins linked to higher diabetes risk
    Individuals who take cholesterol-lowering statins may be at higher risk for developing high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, and eventually type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

    Statins could protect against motor neurone disease
    High cholesterol has been found to be a possible risk factor for the development of motor neurone disease (MND), according to a large study of genetic data led in the UK by Queen Mary University of London, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health in the USA.

    Statins are more effective for those who follow the Mediterranean diet
    For those who have already had a heart attack or a stroke, the combination of statins and Mediterranean Diet appears to be the most effective choice to reduce the risk of mortality, especially from cardiovascular causes.

    Statins have low risk of side effects
    Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are associated with a low risk of side effects.

    Statins overprescribed for primary prevention
    Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, or statins, as a preventive measure can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

    Many older adults do not take prescribed statins properly
    In a British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study of older adults prescribed statins, first-year nonadherence and discontinuation rates were high.

    Statins show little promise for conditions other than heart disease
    Medicines commonly prescribed to reduce people's risk of heart attack may have limited use for treating other diseases, research suggests.

    Read More: Statins News and Statins Current Events
  • is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to