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Drugs reference index «ursodiol»

ursodiol

Generic Name: ursodiol ( ur so DY all)Brand names: Actigall, Urso, Urso Forte, Urso DS

What is ursodiol?

Ursodiol is a bile acid that decreases the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver and absorbed by the intestines. Ursodiol helps break down cholesterol that has formed into stones in the gallbladder. Ursodiol also increases bile flow in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.

Ursodiol is used to treat small gallstones in people who cannot have gallbladder surgery, and to prevent gallstones in overweight patients undergoing rapid weight loss. Ursodiol is also used to treat primary biliary cirrhosis.

Ursodiol is not for treating gallstones that are calcified.

Ursodiol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about ursodiol?

Before taking ursodiol, tell your doctor if you are also taking cholestyramine (Questran), colestipol (Colestid), or estrogens (birth control pills or hormone replacement).

Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of antacid your doctor recommends. Antacids contain different medicines and some types can make it harder for your body to absorb ursodiol.

To treat gallstones, you may have to take ursodiol for several months, and not all gallstones may completely dissolve. Many people who use this medicine will develop gallstones again within 5 years after treatment with ursodiol. Talk to your doctor about your specific risks for repeated gallstones.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your doctor may perform ultrasound examinations of your gallbladder on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking ursodiol?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver disease.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether ursodiol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

To treat gallstones, you may have to take ursodiol for several months, and not all gallstones may completely dissolve. Many people who use this medicine will develop gallstones again within 5 years after treatment with ursodiol. Talk to your doctor about your specific risks for repeated gallstones.

How should I take ursodiol?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the instructions on your prescription label.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. The medication can be taken with meals unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your doctor may perform ultrasound examinations of your gallbladder on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

It may take several months of taking ursodiol before your gallstones dissolve. Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor.

It is important to take ursodiol regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Store ursodiol at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light.

See also: Ursodiol dosage in more detail

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of ursodiol is likely to cause diarrhea.

What should I avoid while taking ursodiol?

Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the specific type of antacid your doctor recommends. Antacids contain different medicines and some types can make it harder for your body to absorb ursodiol.

Ursodiol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation;

  • dizziness, tired feeling;

  • back pain;

  • runny or stuffy nose, cold symptoms; or

  • headache.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ursodiol Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Biliary Cirrhosis:

Primary biliary cirrhosis: 13 to 15 mg/kg/day in 3 to 4 divided doses.

Usual Adult Dose for Gallbladder Disease:

Gallstone prevention: 300 mg orally twice a day.Cholestasis of Pregnancy, Study (n=20): 1.5-2 g/day (20-25 mg/kg/day), given in 3 divided doses. Gallbladder stone-dissolution:8 to 10 mg/kg/day orally in 2 or 3 divided doses; maintenance therapy: 250 mg daily at bedtime for 6 months to 1 year; use beyond 24 months is not established.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Gallbladder Disease:

Biliary atresia:10 to 15 mg/kg orally once a day.Study (n=5): <1 month TPN-induced cholestasis: 20 to 30 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses.>=1 years:Cholestatic liver disease in cystic fibrosis, Study (n=30): 20 to 30 mg/kg/day orally in 3 divided doses.Primary Sclerosing cholangitis, Study (n=10): range 9 to 37 mg/ kg (mean: 17 mg/kg) orally in 3 divided doses.

What other drugs will affect ursodiol?

Before taking ursodiol, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • cholestyramine (Questran);

  • colestipol (Colestid);

  • estrogens (birth control pills or hormone replacement); or

  • antacids that contain aluminum, such as Rolaids, Mylanta, or Maalox).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use ursodiol or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect ursodiol. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about ursodiol written for health professionals that you may read.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.03. Revision Date: 4/12/2009 4:38:56 PM.
  • ursodiol Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Ursodiol Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Ursodiol MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Ursodiol Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Ursodiol Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Actigall Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Urso Prescribing Information (FDA)

See Also...