WelChol - Gallbladder issues - need help and advice!!!!

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Timberlynn6869
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/10/2009 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my gallbladder removed back in 2004 and after months of dealing with bile salt diarrhea back in 2004 my doctor put me on WelChol and it worked wonders.  I took it up until Dec 2007 when I moved to a different state and got difference insurance "Kaiser".
I gave birth 6 months ago and now my system is all out of whack again and I contacted my doc thru Kaiser to ask for a RX for it and Kaiser does not have it in their formulary!!! ***!!! mad mad mad

She contacted a GI doctor and they told her for me to take 2 immodiums 4 times a day!  I am in desperate need of something similar to WelChol that I can ask for - Questran make me sick to my stomach and I cannot imagine taking immodium that much a day and how is that going to help with the bile - just stop me up!
 
HELP please!

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 3/11/2009 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I am unemployed and have no insurance. I ran out of Welchol back in December, but didn't think I could afford to see the doctor and get the prescription filled too for a while.

So I tried controlling it with diet. That didn't work. I tried controlling it with nothing but calcium pills. That didn't work either. I tried Pepto Bismol pills, and even they didn't help a lot (I can't take Imodium because it's so strong one dose will have me constipated and in agony for days).

I just saw the doctor Friday and got my prescription filled Monday. Kroger said that 90 pills was nearly $200, but I had a AAA (yes, the car people) prescription discount card that you can use only if you don't have insurance, and that got it down to $103. Depending on how many pills I need a day (which depends a lot on what I eat, stress levels, etc.) those 90 pills may last me anywhere from a month and a half to three months (my doctor went ahead and gave me a prescription for 3 per day, because sometimes I take three a day, and I like to keep a back up supply in my purse and overnight bag). So, I guess when you look at it, it's not too terrible a price to pay monthly for medicine. It's the only prescription that I'm on right now, plus I still take calcium because it helps my guts some with all the bile (even if it can't stop the bile) and I take a multi-vitamin because Welchol can interfere with the absorption of fat-soluable vitamins, and so it's important to get an extra dose.

I have to say, my guts are feeling SO much better since I got my prescription refilled. Not only am I not having diarrhea, not only am I not having burning bile poops even when they weren't watery, but the random cramps, gurgles, twinges and other weird spasms and the like that my guts would do throughout the day are gone. When I didn't have the Welchol, it was obvious frequently throughout the day that I didn't have it; now that I'm back on it, I am back to living a life like a normal person, not thinking all the time about my guts.

If I were you, I'd buy that prescription out of pocket; I'm not sorry that I did. While imodium is safe to take daily for a month or two, you have to start worrying about taking it longer than that because imodium works by slowing down the action of your intestines. Your intestines can actually get to the point where they don't want to work anymore and you can end up with chronic constipation instead. Someone on here (Lil?) said that's what her doctor thinks happened to her; overuse of imodium caused her guts to stop working on their own. The same thing happens with people who use stimulant laxatives to try and keep from having constipation; their guts get so dependent on the laxative that they will not work at all without it, and they eventually build up an immunity so that you need bigger and bigger doses of laxative to get any action out of them. Eventually they just stop working all together. So, while it's safe to use imoduim to get you through a vacation or some other stressful, public sort of event, I agree that you do not want to take it long-term. And, let's face it, bile from a lack of a gall bladder is a long-term problem.

I sure never found anything to work instead of the Welchol.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 3/11/2009 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
BTW, Colestid is in the same family and comes in pill form, and there's a generic for it. My dr. wrote me a prescription for it too so I could try it and see if it worked and then I could save some money, but the generic prescription was $80 something dollars for a month's supply (we assume that was a month's supply; I don't know how many of those I would have to take for them to work since I've never tried them). I figured a $20 a month (or less) savings wasn't worth trying a new medicine for, when I had a medicine that has never failed me in 5 years.

Oh, and the AAA prescription discount card also works if you have insurance, but it won't cover your medicine, so if you have a AAA membership, you could use it on the Welchol since your insurance company won't pay for it.

Timberlynn6869
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/11/2009 7:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Keriamon - I am soooo excited. I did research online last night determined to find something and Colestid was what I found and Kaiser prescribed me the generic form Colestipol! It cost me $15 for 120 pills - my doctor has me taking 2 pills twice daily and we will evaluate in a month if the dosage needs to be increased. I am so relieved!

Have you tried the Colestipol yet? Let me know how it helps you!
 
 
Also I never thought of adding Calcium Carbonate to the mix or a multi-vitamin either.  Do you have any suggestions on these items and how to add them to the mix?

Post Edited (Timberlynn6869) : 3/11/2009 6:09:32 PM (GMT-6)


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 3/12/2009 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I take my entire dose of Welchol in the morning (one or two pills, depending on how my guts have been lately) and a calcium pill (Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D). Then, in the evening, I take another calcium pill and my multi-vitamin.

As far as I am aware, the Welchol doesn't really interfere with the absorbtion of the calcium, but it does of the vitamins, so that's why I take the vitamins and Welchol opposite one another. I also recently found out that you can only absorb so much calcium at one time, so there's no point in taking two calcium pills at once; that's why I take one in the morning and one in the evening (besides helping my guts some, I need the calcium to be absorbed to counteract another medicine I was on that can cause bone loss).

I haven't tried the generic Colestid yet, because it's almost as expensive as the Welchol out of pocket, so it wasn't worth the hassle of trying. But you let me know if it works just as well for you, because when I get health insurance again, it might come out considerably cheaper.

Timberlynn6869
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/14/2009 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I am going to buy some Caltrate 660 w/vitamin D today and a multi-vitamin as well and start incorporating it in my Colestid routine.

I will keep you updated on the progress.
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