Welchol and IBS

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/24/2009 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Okay people....so I have been taking Welchol for about 3 weeks with some improvement so my doctor wanted to try and see if my problems were releated to my pancreas. He perscribed Viokase 16 to take with meals and snacks....I started that medication three days ago and my symptoms are slowly becoming worse or back to the way I was before the Welchol. My question is how long do keep taking Viokase? Does it take a while to work? Cause I feel like total crap...literally! I am so aggrivated with my situation! Tried to call GI doctor and I cant talk to anyone because they are seeing patients right now. I just want to feel better......

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/25/2009 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Personally, I'd quit taking a medicine that was making me worse, but there are times when it's better to ask you doctor first, just because there are some drugs you need to be weaned off of. And I have no idea what viokase does--other than not make you better!
If you're not getting anywhere with the doctors fast enough, and you're desparate to correct the problem, ask a pharmacist for advice.  He probably can't tell you how long it will take to work--if it will work--but he can tell you if it's safe to quit it cold turkey. 

Post Edited (Keriamon) : 6/25/2009 12:16:36 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/5/2009 12:13 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello everyone,

I asked my doctor if he would prescribe welchol to me and he said that he would but my insurance wouldn't cover it and it is very expensive.  Wondering if anyone else has expierienced this. 

He did put me on the cholestrol medicine that is a powder.  I cannot think of the name.  Pretty rough going down.  It kinda helps for the D but creates alot of gas

Thank you,

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/25/2011 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I am also new to this site.  I have had IBS for a few years now.  I practically begged my doctor for help, I couldn't leave the house many times because of the symptoms acting up.  He prescribed Welchol about 2 years ago and it changed my life.   It is amazing.  After a while I thought I would try not taking it to see if it was really helping or a coinincidence.  Let's just say, it was  REALLY helping!  I can't go without it.  I still have break-throughs if I eat too much at one time., but I can honestly say it is a god-send!  I had Stage 1 colon cancer in 2002.  complete recovery but wonder if that triggered  everything.  Hope this information helps someone else.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/11/2012 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I am on Xanax XR which i take in the morning and Ativan as needed along with Remeron which i take at night. My doc just put me on Welchol 625 mg 2 tabs twice a day for ibs because of the removal of my gallbladder and i am interested if it affects an of the other medications i am taking. if anyone has any info that would be great because i cant find anything else online.

Post Edited (S9APEP1) : 1/11/2012 12:11:38 PM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/17/2013 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I just discovered this site. So far, it's great.

I have IBS, GERD, and some food allergies. Up until 2 weeks ago, I also thought I was lactose intolerant. I had my gallbladder out when I was 21 (8.5 years ago) and recently had the flu. It wrecked my immune system, digestive system, respiratory system...

Because my older brother has really serious Crohn's, no one ever questioned why I have IBS. Then when I went to see our gastro a few weeks ago (we have the same gastro - he's great), he asked if I'd had IBS symptoms before having my GB out. I honestly couldn't remember any but couldn't be sure either.

He started me on a trial for two weeks of Welchol. It was amazing. I was feeling like a completely new person. My D was pretty much gone. I went back to my factory defaults of a BM every 2-3 days (I know that seems infrequent to most, but that was normal for me when I was young so even having 1 a day was a major thing for me and I was sometimes having to stay glued to the toilet through most of the day), my constant cramps were mostly gone, hell, I even felt like my constant distended stomach was reduced! I could eat whatever I wanted, even dairy!!

Then when I called him to say, yes, it works. Write me a real scrip, there was about 4 days where I didn't take it. Everything came back with a vengeance! I guess that's a pretty sure sign it was the medicine and not just "feeling better" that was having the effect.

I did want to share a weird thing though. Now that they've developed this oral suspension version (significantly cheaper), I'm desperate to try it (I'm a starving artist), but I have an oral allergy to orange-flavored things! Ugh. What a freaking pain.

Anyone else run into odd problems with minor allergies that keep them from taking meds?

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/12/2013 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi - have started on Welchol for Habba syndrome and it has changed my life.  No more D - almost ever!  But still lots of urgency. I have tried taking it several ways - does anyone know the best way?  And how much?  Will too much actually make things worse?  Any advice is appreciated!  Really want to get rid of urgency so other ideas that compliment Welchol?

Dixie Dame
New Member

Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/12/2013 3:17 PM (GMT -6)   
After three months of my IBS being so active as to curtail my life, I asked my Doc to prescribe Rifampin because of a blub in Readers Digest. She did so reluctantly, said one other patient had used it with no improvement. I took Rifampin 300mg three times a day for three weeks. Either the IBS attack had run its course, and the stress I was under at the time let up, or this drug REALLY WORKED. IBS stopped and I have been fine for two months! A record. I don't know why it worked, or if I could take this drug again, (a one time treatment??) but I am just happy in the present.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/13/2014 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
My son is 22 and he has suffered with irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea all of his life.  When he turned 18, he saw a doctor who put him on Welchol and it immediately changed his life drastically.  We call it the miracle drug. He is in college and he will not go anywhere without Welchol.  He keeps it in his book bag or car or whatever. He takes one right before each full meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner.  He won't eat if he goes somewhere and forgot the Welchol, (which is rare.)  I thank God for this medicine.  We could do commercials for it.  It has been amazing for my son.   

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/26/2014 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking Welchole for 2 months. I call it the magic pills. I am so enjoying being regular. Going out to eat without worry. I take 3 morning 3 night. I love this medicine. They first thought I had mild crones and I used some meds for that but after a fees years it wasn't working as well.So back to the Dr. I went a he suggested I try this. It is a lot of pills in a day but it works. Magic!
Very Happy

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/27/2014 3:05 AM (GMT -6)   
New to this forum, IBD sufferer, gall bladder removed 07 nicked bile duct, beginning of my end. Very slow and painful recovery, bile emptying in my body cavity five days, two years later colon resection, appendectomy, colon perforated, take down surgery, horror, one year min. healing....since, multiple hospitalizations, colitis, diverticulitis, kidney infections, minimum 2-3 times annually. I feel like my body is slowly poisoning me...I get violently ill, if I don't have BM EVERY 2-3 days, skin feels like pins sticking my entire body, diarrhea and projectile vomit, until dry heaves...blood and then dehydration begins,....I can't move my body, I am on fire...pack my upper body in ice bags, next comes freezing....mind you I'm now on my bed, on protective mats with my bowels emptying like I've never heard of, it's uncontrollable, pouring out my body and looks to be at least 32 ounces......only then do I get a reprieve. This can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours.....every time now, it means hospital. I just got out of hospital Saturday, after three near four days. Started welchol, 3x daily. I pray this works. I am so tired and weary, 65 yo female......now on cipro and flagyl, colitis and kidney infection......any info appreciated. Thanks!

Post Edited (dijo) : 8/27/2014 2:09:14 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/29/2017 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Had my gallbladder removed and diarhea ever since. Now use Welchol to control it...here's what I found:

For Welchol to work for me for diarrhea:
- It must be taken around 7:00 AM every morning
- I must wait 1.5 hours before eating anything
- I need to take 2 pills

If I follow the above, I still have minor lower stomach aches occassionally and can eat anything I want throughout the day.

Support for the above.
- There's a 1930s study that showed that our bodies produce bile in the morning. Welchol binds bile.
- I only (and most people I read) have issues in the morning.
- Given the two above, bind bile in the morning, no issues the rest of the day.
- Our bodies can digest fat with low amounts of bile. (There's a 1960s study that shows this.)
- If you eat shortly after taking Welchol, the medicine doesn't have time to bind the bile, hence the 1.5 hours of waiting.

How I came to the above.
- I was trying Welchol at all the different times (before meals, in the evening, etc.) that doctors were telling me. I was taking 6 pills/day and they were sorta working; however, still having random racing to the restrooms. It was destroying my life. (I was this way for 2 years...nearly ended it due to my sufferring.)
- My gallbladder surgery was unnecessary and the doctors that were telling me how to user Welchol were clearly clueless, so I started painfully experimenting and came to the above over 4 months experiments.
- I switched to the powder for a while so that I can fine tune, experiment with dosage. Everyone is different, for me, 2 pills work.

Other comments.
- When I switched to the above, I went from 6 pills/day with unpredictability of issues to 2 pills a day and 1 issue/90 days.
- Now that I have my life back, I am going to start focusing on the minor stomach aches that I get in the morning.
- Why doctors say start with the lowest dosage and work up, I don't understand. Start with a full dose for a few days, if there's an impact, you know that Welchol may work for your issue.
- For those of you trying to figure things out, once you know Welchol will work (see bullet above), 3 pills is the common number I read on the forums. I would start with 3 and then adjust.
- Because Welchol just binds bile, the impact on your system is fast. You'll know within 48 hours if Welchol is working.
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