Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Dec 12;12:CD009361. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009361.pub2.

Colesevelam for type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Author information

  • 1Endocrine Unit, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia.



Colesevelam is a second-generation bile acid sequestrant that has effects on both blood glucose and lipid levels. It provides a promising approach to glycaemic and lipid control simultaneously.


To assess the effects of colesevelam for type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Several electronic databases were searched, among these The Cochrane Library (Issue 1, 2012), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, LILACS, OpenGrey and Proquest Dissertations and Theses database (all up to January 2012), combined with handsearches. No language restriction was used.


We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared colesevelam with or without other oral hypoglycaemic agents with a placebo or a control intervention with or without oral hypoglycaemic agents.


Two review authors independently selected the trials and extracted the data. We evaluated risk of bias of trials using the parameters of randomisation, allocation concealment, blinding, completeness of outcome data, selective reporting and other potential sources of bias.


Six RCTs ranging from 8 to 26 weeks investigating 1450 participants met the inclusion criteria. Overall, the risk of bias of these trials was unclear or high. All RCTs compared the effects of colesevelam with or without other antidiabetic drug treatments with placebo only (one study) or combined with antidiabetic drug treatments. Colesevelam with add-on antidiabetic agents demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in fasting blood glucose with a mean difference (MD) of -15 mg/dL (95% confidence interval (CI) -22 to - 8), P < 0.0001; 1075 participants, 4 trials, no trial with low risk of bias in all domains. There was also a reduction in glycosylated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in favour of colesevelam (MD -0.5% (95% CI -0.6 to -0.4), P < 0.00001; 1315 participants, 5 trials, no trial with low risk of bias in all domains. However, the single trial comparing colesevelam to placebo only (33 participants) did not reveal a statistically significant difference between the two arms - in fact, in both arms HbA1c increased. Colesevelam with add-on antidiabetic agents demonstrated a statistical significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol with a MD of -13 mg/dL (95% CI -17 to - 9), P < 0.00001; 886 participants, 4 trials, no trial with low risk of bias in all domains. Non-severe hypoglycaemic episodes were infrequently observed. No other serious adverse effects were reported. There was no documentation of complications of the disease, morbidity, mortality, health-related quality of life and costs.


Colesevelam added on to antidiabetic agents showed significant effects on glycaemic control. However, there is a limited number of studies with the different colesevelam/antidiabetic agent combinations. More information on the benefit-risk ratio of colesevelam treatment is necessary to assess the long-term effects, particularly in the management of cardiovascular risks as well as the reduction in micro- and macrovascular complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, long-term data on health-related quality of life and all-cause mortality also need to be investigated.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk