What is Cholestyramine

This page contains educational material about the drug Cholestyramine. This information is for educational purposes only. Nothing in this text is intended to serve as medical advice. All medical decisions should be made only with the guidance of your own personal medical authority. I am doing my best to get this data up quickly and correctly. If you find errors in this data, please let me know.

The cholestyramine pages on this site:

Cholestyramine: What is It

Cholestyramine: Why is it used in CIRS & How It Works

Cholestyramine: How to Take It/Safety

Cholestyramine: Alternatives - Research on Biotoxin Binders

Quick answer: Cholestyramine is a medication that has largely been used in the past to lower elevated levels of cholesterol. We are using it to lower mycotoxin levels.

Once you are removed from moldy environments you need to remove the mycotoxins from your body. This is best done with Cholestyramine. This is a prescription drug. There are other possible alternatives that I am researching and experimenting with. Other people are using them also. However, so far the response is that Cholestyramine works the best. Removal of mycotoxins has to be done before your body can begin to heal.

Detailed answer: Cholestyramine is a bile acid sequestrant, like colestipol and colesevelam. These molecules are positively charged non-digestible resins that bind to bile acids in the intestine to form an insoluble complex, which is excreted in the feces. They are used mainly for the treatment of high cholesterol levels, in patients not responding to dietary treatment as well as a second line-treatment for pruritus associated with cholestatic disease, in patients with incomplete biliary obstruction. Several data indicate that modulation of bile acid homeostasis has a good clinical effect in managing diabetes mellitus and the diarrhea from bile acid malabsorption.Cholestyramine is an anion binding resin that has a quaternary ammonium side chain that creates a localized, net positive charge.  The functional group of the anion exchange resin is a quaternary ammonium group attached to an inert styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer.

When is Cholestyramine used by Practitioners?
In the past it was used to treat high cholesterol levels. In this regard, Cholestyramine has largely been replaced by statins. It is still used in people who can not take statins.
Additionally, it is used to treat pruitis (itchy skin) that occurs during liver failure or partial biliary obstruction. It is also used to treat diarrhea due to bile acid malabsorption.
One use that is becoming more common-place is its use to adsorb toxins A and B produced by Clostridium difficile biotoxins.
It is used in a “wash out” procedure in patients taking leflunomide or teriflunomide to aid drug elimination when the drug needs to be discontinued due to severe side effects.
The use of Cholestyramine for Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome or Biotoxin Illness is an “off label” use. This means that it has not been studied  for its use for CIRS. However, the FDA in 1999 did rule that there was not reason to expect an increased risk to a person’s health from us of Cholestyramine in patients who have biotoxin illness such as from ciguatera, mold, pfiesteria, or post-lyme syndrome compared to people who do not have these illnesses. Practitioners can prescribe Cholestyrmine under this FDA exemption.

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