Cholestyramine and Activated Charcoal Help to Improve Psoriasis
Charcoal lowers the absorption of the drugs so you have to take it at least 2 hours before or after the prescription drugs (if you take some). In case of cholestyramine it is advised to take the other drugs at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after the cholestyramine.
Cholestyramine is the drug what is on the market for more than 50 years. It is a bile acid sequestrant that was meant to be used for lowering the cholesterol levels in the blood. It binds to the bile acids in the intestines and block their reabsorption. This makes the body to synthesize the new bile acids from the cholesterol (found in the blood) which leads to lower plasma cholesterol levels.
But after the introduction of statins cholestyramine use for this purpose is just marginal. However, cholestyramine properties made it valuable in treatment of psoriasis. Despite the official medicine statement that psoriasis has no known cause – which is popular even up to these days – it is well known that psoriasis develops when bacterial toxins (endotoxins, LPS-lipopolysaccharides) poison the body (liver). One of the effects of bacterial toxins in the blood is that they raise the sensitivity of the immune system really high – and this state of the body then we can call the “autoimmunity” or “inflammation”.
Cholestyramine is capable to bind also to these bacterial toxins and that’s why it helps to improve or totally clears up the psoriasis plaques. The effects of cholestyramine on psoriasis are known at least from 1962 when “The Journal of Investigative Dermatology” published the report “The Clinical and Biochemical Significance of Taurine Excretion in Psoriasis” where the author Dr. Roe stated complete or partial clearance of psoriasis plaques after using the cholestyramine at dosages from 9.9-16.5 grams per day for 2-11 months.
The initial clearing of the plaques was observed in about 5-10 days from the start of the therapy. However the dose required to continual improvement of the psoriasis varied between the patients.
Another mention of positive cholestyramine effect on psoriasis was published in 1982 and the authors mentioned also the “astoundingly overlooked 1962 observation” of Dr. Roe that all 12 patients treated with cholestyramine improved.
|Source: JAMA Dermatology/Archives of Dermatology. Left: 5 days on cholestyramine. Right: 10 days on cholestyramine therapy.|
Despite the fact that cholestyramine effects on psoriasis were first described at least 52 years ago, this treatment didn’t get enough publicity. The thing is that the drug patent has expired so there can be a lot of possible manufacturers what means a lot of generic manufacturers = very low financial profit. Also it would certainly suppress the new and expensive biologic drugs sales. It is a shame considering the fact that cholestyramine has much less serious side effects on the body when compared to biologic immunosuppressive drugs, steroids, ciclosporine or low dose chemotherapy.
Today you can hear just from a time to time that somebody cleared his psoriasis after taking cholestyramine prescribed for some other problem (mostly IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Why not to take cholestyramine for psoriasis?
First and the most important answer is that it is not a cure. The plaques start to reappear just about one week later after the cessation of cholestyramine. Another problem with cholestyramine therapy is that it can cause the constipation, malabsorption of important vitamins – mostly A, D, E, K, and can lead to a tooth problems (discoloration, tooth decay) from direct exposure to the drug.
Actually it is very common in psoriasis that something will help initially in just a few days or weeks but then the