Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Bile Acid Binding Medicines
Bile acids, which are normally present in the digestive tract,
stimulate the colon. Bile acid binding agents prevent bile acids from
stimulating the colon, which slows the passage of stools and relieves diarrhea.
It is not common for bile to cause this problem, but if it does, these
medicines can help. They usually are not tried soon after a person is
diagnosed. But if symptoms don't improve with usual treatment, they may be
Bile acid binding agents, such as cholestyramine (such as Prevalite), are
mixed with water and may be taken several times a day.
These medicines are usually prescribed to treat high cholesterol.
Side effects include nausea, bloating, gas, feelings of fullness, abdominal
(belly) pain, and constipation. These side effects may be similar to the symptoms that
the medicine is intended to treat.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
April 26, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital.