This medicine contains the active ingredient ursodeoxycholic acid, which is a bile acid that is produced naturally in human bile. It is prescribed for dissolution of gallstones formed from cholesterol. Gallstones should not be seen in X-radiation and should not be greater than 15 mm in diameter. Gallbladder should be functional regardless of the presence of gallstones. This medicine is also used for the treatment of inflammation of the stomach wall caused by bile acid reflux (bile reflux gastritis) and treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) (chronic disease of the bile duct that leads to progressive cholestasis and often end-stage liver disease).
Is Ursodeoxycholic acid suitable for me?
Ursodeoxycholic acid is not suitable for everyone. Do not use it
- if you are hypersensitive to ursodeoxycholic acid or to any of the other ingredients of the medicine
- if you have acute inflammation of the gallbladder or biliary tract
- if you have biliary tract occlusion (closing the main bile duct or cystic duct)
- if you suffer from frequent pain like cramps in the upper abdomen (biliary colic)
- if you have calcified gallstones (which can be seen on X-ray)
- if you suffer from severe kidney or liver disorder
- if your gallbladder is not working (not shrinking) properly
In particular, you must tell the doctor if you:
- have diabetes
- have liver or kidney problems
- are using hormonal contraception
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
Ursodeoxycholic acid interacts with other medicines. It is most important that you tell the doctor all the medications and herbal supplements that you are currently taking.
See the package leaflet for a complete list of possible contraindications and warnings.
How should I take Ursodeoxycholic acid?
This medicine is available in form of a capsule.
You should take ursodeoxycholic acid exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. You will be prescribed your dose according to your needs, weight and condition.
- The usual dose for dissolving of cholesterol gallstones is 10 mg/kg per day.
- The usual dose for bile reflux gastritis is one 250 mg capsule taken before bedtime.
- The usual dose for primary biliary cirrhosis is 10-15 mg/kg per day, divided into 3 doses during the first 3 months. After that, the dose should be taken once a day, in the evening.
Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, or do not use it for a longer time than your doctor instructed. Also, this medicine works best if there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep this amount constant, do not miss any doses and take the medicine at the same time each day. Do not take two doses together if you miss a dose.
Read the information leaflet provided with your medication for additional information. Talk to your doctor if you have any additional questions.
What are Ursodeoxycholic acid side effects?
Like all medicines ursodeoxycholic acid can cause side effects, including:
- severe pain in the upper right abdomen
- worsening of liver cirrhosis
- calcification of gallstones
- hives (urticaria)
Consult a doctor if the side effects are severe. See the package leaflet for a complete list of side effects.